After reading my guru’s Jeremy Chapman’s predictions for the Open – Koepka, Garcia, Fleetwood, Grace, Hatton,- I still had some cash in my betting account and was looking for a further tickle.
I was attracted to Francesco Molinari at 28-1. He had won the PGA Championship at Wentworth, a flagship event, and the USPGA Quicken Loans, so he was very much in form. Add to this a tight game as he is superb iron player and I did not fancy the bombers, then he was worthy of the Pargie tenner. I thought it more likely that he would finish ‘top eight’ so the each way at 4-1 looked tasty.
The fourth and final round could have produced a host of winners. Three players were leading – Kevin Kisner, Xavier Schauffele and Jordan Spieth – whilst the Tiger lurked and McIlroy and Fleetwood were well-placed.
It was the Italian based in Kensington, a supporter of West Ham, who was hitting par after par and became a contender. He does not have a power game but he isn’t wayward either and was two-putting every time. Then on the final four holes he birdied twice and only Schauffele could catch him. He did not. Molinari has emerged from a group of capable Europeans – Joost Luiten, Bernard Weisberger, Rafa Cabera Bello, Alex Noren – to become a genuine and worthy Major champion and an important element in the Ryder Cup team.
One aspect that binds the Tour and the Open is the misbehaviour of the fans. It appears now that it was a spectator’s camera strap that caused the accident to Vincenzo Nibali resulting him in leaving the race and me losing my bet.
There was an unpleasant altercation between a spectator and Tiger Woods. Drink is responsible and I predict before long an alcohol ban – as was imposed on “Dutch Corner” on Alpe D’Huez – in both events.