Open Championship Longshots Tips

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Steve Bamford's longshots for the 2013 Open Championship. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf

Major Championship golf has changed in recent years. Since 2002, 43 Major Championships have been won by 31 players. Indeed it would seem that every Major these days produce some long-priced contenders and winners. Angel Cabrera almost captured his 2nd Green Jacket at Augusta in April at 125/1 pre-tournament and Billy Horschel led the U.S. Open before delivering a cracking 80/1 each way return at Merion last month.

The Open Championship offers up all kinds of possibilities on the basis that the links nature of the tournament makes for a very specialised event. In reality this is probably the most likely of all Majors to produce a long-priced, even 3-figure winner. The last few years have produced the following outsiders, each of whom finished in the top 7 at least:

So don't be fooled into thinking that only the big names can with the 2013 Open Championship. Players who have a liking for technical courses or a decent track record on coastal/links set-ups are likely to go well at Muirfield, which is renowned for being a particularly fair golfing test. It's also apparent this year that the bookmakers are working incredibly hard for your business and I have never seen an Open where you can grab such favourable extended each way terms. Perfect in our quest to find a big price contender!

As we have proved in recent times - having picked out both Ernie Els and Darren Clarke in this column across the last 2 years in various markets - longshot bargain hunting is all about picking the right players, but just as key is selecting the right bookmaker for your fancied player or portfolio of players. It's worth remembering that placing your bet with a bookmaker who offers extended Each Way places maximises your chances of a payout, so do check carefully before placing your bet and remember that EW terms will change as soon as the tournament starts.

Paddy Power are offering the most value this Open Championship with a record breaking 10 places each way (usually top 5) promotion for GBS readers opening a new account with them this week via this link. Place your first bet on any player in the outright market each way up to a maximum stake of £/€10 each way and you will receive 10 places each way. Subsequent bets still get 7 places each way, so make sure your first bet is the one you really fancy! This offer runs until the start of play on Thursday only.

Over and above Paddy Power, you'll also find excellent extended place promotions from a number of key bookmakers at Muirfield, dependant upon your personal view on more places or a bigger player price. BetVictor have gone big for golf punters in 2013 and lead the way at this Open by offering a massive 8 places each way across the full 156 man field, with new customers also receiving a £/€25 free bet. I've been singing their praises in recent weeks as they've been offering extra places week-in, week-out across both PGA and European Tours. Bet365, Stan James and William Hill have also broken ranks and have matched Paddy Power by going 7 places each way. These offers run until the start of play on Thursday only:

So, fellow bargain hunters, here are my views on longshots and some alterntive market chances:

Jamie Donaldson 1pt EW 125/1 with william hill Get a £25 free bet plus 7 places each way via this link: william hill

Jamie Donaldson's development as a player has impressed me in recent times. Once known as a player who used to buckle under pressure, the Welshman's game in the past 12 months has seriously matured to the point where I have no hesitation in selecting him this week on a links course which is sure to suit. He's physically strong which is ideal when he inevitably finds trouble off the tee and his mental game has reached new heights powered by a couple of high-profile wins. His maiden European Tour victory came last July when he won the Irish Open on the infamous Royal Portrush links. From there Donaldson made the cut (finished 60th) at the Lytham hosted Open where he was 14th after an opening round -3/68. Not a bad performance considering it was only his 2nd Major Championship. 36th at Akron on his WGC debut then led to a magnificent 7th at the Kiawah Island hosted PGA Championship on the Atlantic coast. 2013 started with a bang, where Donaldson proved that he can win regularly by chasing down Justin Rose and winning in Abu Dhabi in a field that also contained Woods, McIlroy, Els, Kaymer and Dufner. Recent form of 37(Wentworth)-11(Bro Hoff Slot)-32(Merion)-10(Carton House)-6(Le Golf National) is progressive and with relatively tranquil conditions forecast and a coastal positive CV I think Jamie offers some serious value at the 2013 Open. RESULT: T32

Angel Cabrera 1pt EW 125/1 with Paddy Power Free Bet EXCLUSIVE OFFER! bet £10 get £20 in free bets plus 7 places EW get it here: Paddy Power Free Bet

Regulars will know I've followed Angel Cabrera closely in 2013. The 2 time Major winner (2007 U.S. Open & 2009 Masters) has had by far his best season since 2009 and that makes him a very dangerous proposition on a firm and fast course where his power and brilliant long iron game should make him a factor. The 2013 Presidents Cup has seriously motivated the Argentinean whose Green in Regulation, Ball Striking and Putting stats have taken a significant jump for the good this season. He currently sits in an automatic qualification spot with the cut-off looming and knows that a contending performance this week will get him into Nick Price's team. We all know that Cabrera missed out to Adam Scott in a playoff at Augusta in April, but since then a domestic win in Argentina followed by 12th at TPC Four Seasons, 9th at TPC River Highlands and 13th at Congressional has the alarm bells ringing as consistent 'domestic' patches in the past have been the pre-cursor to Major Championship contention. Experience and patience will pay huge dividends this week and Angel finished 4th at Carnoustie in 1999 and 7th at Hoylake which was the last Open to experience scorched conditions back in 2006. 'El Pato' is also available at 100/1 - 8 Places EW with BetVictor. RESULT: T11

Michael Thompson 0.5pt EW 250/1 with betvictor £25 Free Bet plus 8 places EW - Get It Here: betvictor

I'm liking the American this week on the basis that the 3rd year PGA Tour pro tends to play well when he breathes in sea air and he's a technical / shorter course specialist. Finishing 29th as an amateur at the 2008 Torrey Pines hosted U.S. Open interests and Thompson, who had a celebrated amateur career, only qualified for the Masters and U.S. Open that year by finishing runner up to Colt Knost in the 2007 US Amateur hosted at Olympic Club (more on that in a minute). Thompson's best finishes on the PGA Tour have always tended to be on shorter courses so a CV that contains Top 10/20 domestic finishes at Waialae (6th 2012), Riviera (17th 2012), Copperhead (16th 2012), Harbour Town (20th 2012), TPC River Highlands (4th 2011), TPC Deere Run (12th 2011) and Sea Island (3rd 2011/10th 2012) interests. However Michael sits just outside the OWGR Top 50 at the moment on the back of 2nd in Olympic Club hosted U.S. Open last year plus a fantastic win in February this year at Jack Nicklaus's tough PGA National track. 8th at Doral, 25th on debut at Augusta and 8th at Muirfield Village this season also highlight that Thompson isn't intimidated by elite fields and he's been in the UK for a while preparing for his 2nd Open Championship appearance. Longer prices on Thompson are available win only/with fewer each way places, however I prefer the 8 places in this instance. RESULT: MC

Alternative Market Betting

Top 10 Finish: Sergio Garcia 4pts 11/4 with Sky Free Bet Get a £10 free bet no deposit required via this link: Sky Free Bet

After avoiding being grouped with Tiger Woods in Rounds 1 and 2, I seriously think Sergio Garcia is a great investment to finish in the Top 10 at 11/4. I'd be as amazed as the next man if the Spaniard finally ended his Major Championship drought this week but you have to hand a couple of things to 'El Nino'. His Major contention record (18 Top 10s since 1999) is impressive, but it's telling that 7 of those have been at The Open Championship, with his previous Muirfield appearance gleaning an 8th back in 2002. His all-around game, including his putting, has been in awesome shape this season so with a supportive European crowd in tow and recent form of 7(Munich)-45(Merion)-19(Wentworth)-8(TPC Sawgrass)-16(Quail)-12(Open de Espana)-8(Augusta) to act as the perfect platform, I think Garcia will go well in firm and fast conditions that will reward creativity and touch around the greens. 'El Nino' is also available at 30/1 outright - 7 Places EW with Paddy Power RESULT: T21

Top 20 Finish: Brandt Snedeker 4pts 7/4 with boyles Bet £/€20 get £/€20, get it here: boyles

I know that Paul Williams was seriously close to backing Brandt Snedeker in his main 2013 Open tips and I have no hesitation whatsoever taking the Tennessee man in this Top 20 market at 7/4. Snedeker's game is all about touch and feel and it's no surprise to see that he featured in the Top 10 at the 2010 U.S. Open hosted at Pebble Beach. The course that week was naturally technical with its main defence being amazingly firm and fast playing conditions. Wins at Pebble Beach (2013), Torrey Pines (2012) and Harbour Town (2011) all fit in nicely for obvious reasons and his recent form is quietly impressive. 3rd at Royal Lytham, 12 months ago and Brandt for me is primed to win a Major very, very soon. Brandt is also available at 40/1 - 7 Places EW with Paddy Power RESULT: T11

Want some free bets? There's well over £700 up for grabs for GBS visitors from some of the top bookmakers - click here for the latest offers!

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:55BST 16.7.13 but naturally subject to fluctuation. Author Steve Bamford, Find us on Google+

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