The 2012 Open Championship special bets, news and free bets

The outright market is the most popular from a betting point-of-view although finding the winner from a clutch of world-class players is a pretty tough challenge, even if you back a handful of men from the field

There are some punters that wisely adopt a back-to-lay approach on betfair for golf tournaments although others prefer betting with the fixed-odds firms and there are countless betting opportunities available.

Tiger Woods might be a best price 10/1 to win the 2012 Open Championship although the American can be backed at 16/1 (Paddy Power free bets) to be First Round Leader which is an exciting market, especially if you are planning to watch Thursday’s action.

Lee Westwood will be popular on this market at 20/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) although Rory McIlroy has been known to get off to a flyer in major tournaments and looks like a decent shout at 25/1.

Meanwhile, there is also the chance to back any player for a top ten finish and Woods is on offer at even money (William Hill) although Padraig Harrington looks like a more solid selection at 2/1 (Sportingbet bookmaker) considering he finished strongly at the 2012 US Open and US Masters.

Ernie Els has been tipped by many and the South African is 4/1 to claim a top ten place, while Adam Scott is in great form and should be the best-performing Australian this week, while Phil Mickelson has prepared very well for the Open this time around and can be backed at 7/2.

Scott is a 7/4 chance with Stan James to be the top Australian and this looks especially attractive when you consider that Geoff Ogilvy is out of sorts and John Senden is someone with a relatively modest record in major tournaments.

The Top American market looks to be a lot more competitive, especially if you look beyond Woods. Rickie Fowler seems to relish adverse conditions and the youngster looks a cracking each-way selection at 10/1, with Ben Curtis on offer at 28/1 despite the fact that the 2003 winner is one of the few compatriots to know what’s required to win an Open.

Top Englishman looks like a fascinating market and there are players such as Simon Dyson who can play well at links courses and looks overpriced at 18/1, with Lee Westwood a predictable favourite at 5/2. Justin Rose has also been well supported at 5/1 and is also in great form at the moment.

Hole in One betting is also available and Paddy Power are offering a best price 5/6 that there is yet another ace at Lytham St Anne’s which seems more probable than the even money that no player manages to claim this feat.

Winning Margin betting is also popular and odds of 4/1 are available that the winner claims a two-shot victory which seems to be a regular occurrence.

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