Once again the unofficial 5th golf major returns to the famous links course of Minch Old Course on Friday 14th August this year, with 12 of the finest golfers on the globe lined up to show the huge galleries just how you play the fine game of golf. Ok, scrap that, it’s the MCC Annual Golf Day, played on a ropey common course, with no one watching and with 12 of the worst golfers you’ve ever seen, sound about right?
But importantly we need to understand the betting odds this year, local bookies BetMinch have once again given us their thoughts. Butch Harmon from Sky Sports Golf is guest editor with a few insider thoughts…
Dave ‘’Alton Towers’’ Gordon
Some disappointing news to start. For the 1st time ever a champion is not returning to defend his illustrious title. Poor effort from the club Secretary, but believe it or not he is not at Alton Towers..instead off to see his beloved Man Utd get smashed by Aston Villa. A £10 fine awaits for you on your return Mr Gordon, the R&A do not take lightly to champions not returning, hang your head in shame. With that putting stroke he wouldn’t have won anyway…
Butch ‘‘You’re a disgrace man, I hope the PGA ban you for life’’ Bit harsh Butch!
Chris ‘‘Spawny’’ Wall
An ever present at the MCC open, it’s about the only cricket club related event Chris wouldn’t miss. Probably the most regular golfer in the field, Wall just loves his golf. As his nickname would suggest he is a lucky boy on the golf course, always seems to go his away, always seems to make pars from behind trees and somehow plays of 14 when we all know it should be 9. Got to be a favourite around these local links, 2 time ‘major’ champ as well. Odds of 12/1 last year, reduced to 8/1 FAV for 2015.
Butch: ‘‘Adda boy Dipper, go get that W’’
Alex ‘‘8 Balls’’ Waring
Adub is a serial ball loser. And losing balls and playing well do not go together. But with a high handicap and the occasional wonder shot, Al could still compete. Last year he shocked the galleries by coming in 2nd place, despite finishing last on one occasion a few years back. These days he adopts a policy of ‘pick up the clubs and go’, as his range sessions and solo practise rounds were…well, awful to say the least. Recently returned from a steady showing on the SOG Tour, Al fancies his chances. 25/1 in 2014, reduced to 15/1 in 2015 after last years top 2 finish.
Butch ‘‘My GOD he looses a lota balls, I’m just not sure on this boy’’ Cheers Butch, that’s not really very helpful?!
Dave ‘Where’s my 4 iron, oh wait it’s the trophy’ Wall
Elder brother to Chris, Dave missed the event last year but is back, presumably so that he can try and get his 4 iron back from Screener and somehow repair it and put in back in the bag? Family life has seen Dave’s golf limited in recent times, but he still turns out for the big events… Packs a Benny Sayers hybrid though, it goes further than most Tour Pros drivers when connected. Needs to string a few good holes together early to keep the confidence high…plus needs to be home by 7 to get the kids to bed so hoping for a quick round (good luck with that Dave) Straight in at 40/1 odds for the car fanatic.
James ‘The Eton Express’ Priest
Priesty returns to the golf day after a 1 year absence. Last played when Ross Britton romped to victory and still can’t believe it to this day. Priest has seen his cricket appearances increase in 2015 and we can therefore only presume he has been practising his golf. In reality we all know he has been practising his drinking and sleeping and quite frankly we are amazed he will be up in time to get to golf for 1.00pm. Last time he was supposed to play golf was on the cricket tour, but a very heavy session on the booze saw him urinate with his pants round his ankles, end up in the wrong room and sing Chelsea FC songs all night in the ear of the Skipper… then get up late and miss the round (Shock!). Odds of 50/1 for the Eton boy.
Butch Harmon: ‘‘CELERY!’’
Peter ‘Just give me the wooden spoon now’ Screen
Screener returns for another jaunt around the common in 2015. And before you ask, no he hasn’t practised, no he isn’t any better, no he isn’t able to complete a round in under 5 hours. As its often wondered, he quite simply is just desperate to keep the Wooden spoon prize hung up on his wall, because if he takes it down there is a big gap there…so he deliberately plays badly. Technically didn’t lose last year, because Chris Davies left
after 15 holes..but the R&A were unable to hand it over to Chris, so Screener kept it by default. 500/1 last year, stretched out further to 750/1 – quite astonishing odds here
Jaime ‘how has he never won?’ Waring
J Dub or the Skips as he is now known is desperate to taste victory in this event. Top 4 finishes in the last 3 years have seen him come so close but yet so far. Holed out on the 6th for an eagle 2 from 100 yards last year to blaze into an early lead, but couldn’t keep his sh*t together after that. Recently cut to a 13 handicap despite playing some quite frankly horrific golf, Waring also recently suffered a back injury that saw him go three days of a golf trip without swinging a club! Given Waring has not swung a club in nearly 2 months his odds have dropped 25/1 in 2014, out to 28/1 in 2015.
A word from Butch Harmon ‘‘I Like Phil Mickelson’’ Yeh he’s not playing Butch, wrong tournament mate??
Eric ‘‘Mr President ’’ Wall Esq
Club President E Wall Esq returns in what is quickly becoming a Wall family outing, even tried to get Uncles & brothers playing in this event..one day there will be twelve Walls playing and no others will be allowed. Yet to penetrate a top 5 finish in the event, probably because following Pete Screen around is just too damn frustrating for him. Odds of 75/1 in 2014, remains at 75/1 in 2015.
Butch ‘‘With this guys local knowledge, he’s got a chance!’’
Pete ‘‘Please can we just play 12 holes’ Wallis
At the time of print Wallis was a) still getting his head round the thought of doing 18 holes and b) trying to get the time off work to play! His favoured course is the old course and local knowledge can play a big part in this event. If his driving goes well he stands a chance, as his short game is tidy and unlucky not have finished in the top 2 in the past…but if he brings the dog that may put him and the rest of his playing partners off… 30/1 in 2014, back down to 25/1 in 2015
Butch ‘‘Wow I like those odds, gimme 10 bucks e/w on this young man’’
Simon ‘Morris’ Mirams
The non-MCC member is in this years event on a sponsors invite, that sponsor being…umm…well we’re not sure. A long time golf buddy of Chris Wall ‘Lefty’ has slowly but surely upped his golf game this past year and adopts a very steady golf game. Sure Wall has been trying to teach him a few things like ‘Make sure you smash it as hard as you can’ and ‘make sure those wedges go really high’ but Si shrugs it off and doesn’t listen to the
immature Wall..quite right to. A bit of a dark horse, odds are 40/1 for the left handed wizard. Outside E/W bet
Nick ‘Hitcher’ Hitchcroft
Not seen at the MCC Open in many a year, Nicky is coming into the event off the back of 4 wickets last weekend and so confidence is sky high. It’s been so long since he played that BetMinch can find no form or historical records whatsoever on the 2nd XI stalwart and are quite simply baffled by this one. He’ll probably turn up and tell us he’s playing off scratch now. A very vague and guessed odds of 35/1 for the Frampton man…who knows
where he will finish?
Matt ‘1 game – 5 wickets’ Richings
Matty Richings has quite simply vanished off the face of the earth. An ever present at MCC in 2014, rumours of a long distance girlfriend mean we have not seen half as much of Matt as we would like. But he did play one game and take five wickets… just to tease us. Advised he was in for the golf day, Matt played 2 years ago alongside bro Tom and Alan Hunt and came off the course saying he had never heard such disgraceful language from elder statesmen Hunt…well nothing new there Matt, you wana try playing cricket with him for 10 years, then you’ll learn some new words. Returning odds of 45/1 for Matty.
Butch: ‘Please come back and play cricket Matt, you just gota??’
As ever BetMinch are paying 3 places on this smaller than usual field. Money back guarantee if Pete Screen gets round in 3 hours…obviously not going to happen so we are safe here.
A final word from Butch: ‘‘Go Golf that ball boys!’’