Aficionados of Dallas will know the answer is Kristin Shepard, played by Mary Crosby, who is the daughter of Bing, who was famous for warbling ‘Straight down the middle’ and died while playing golf in Spain, which brings us neatly (not) to the Open Golf Tournament at Royal Birkdale, which kicks off at 6.35 am today.

Syntax students will have noticed the subtle changes to the headline and guess it is a reference to the Spanish sensation Jon Rahm, who is our top selection to return home with the famous Claret Jug come Sunday evening.

Ranked No 1 Amateur in the USA for an unprecedented 60 weeks, Senor Rahm has exceeded the lofty expectations placed upon him since turning professional just one year ago. Still only 22, to rise from nowhere to No 8 in the world is some achievement by anyone’s standards and he tuned up for tomorrow’s challenge by destroying the field at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, winning by 6 shots on his first try at Links golf.

Since then he has been camped out by the fourteenth tee at Royal Birkdale (I hope), preferring to practice on the course rather than play in last week’s Scottish Open.

With most of the very top players having question marks placed against their names for one reason or another, this year’s Open has, well, an Open look about it, with most bookmakers going 14-1 the field and with 8 places being the norm, our first duty is to lash into our hero, each way at 18-1.

After that, go to the Top European market and have some e/w 1-2-3-4 at 8-1, a very generous price imho.

On the off-chance that something goes horribly wrong, in a field of 150 odd it’s prescient to hedge elsewhere and the 22-1 on offer about the ultra consistent Hideki Matsuyama is well worth an each way investment.

Hot favourite in the Silliest Name For A Golfer market is undoubtedly Xander Schauffele, but in golfing terms he is well worth a look. Winner of the Greenbriar Classic in this, his rookie year, young Xander also finished a close 5th in the US Open and we suggest a tiny each way bet in the full market at 200-1, together with an each way bet in the Top American market, where he is quoted at 60-1.

Finally, the local boy Tommy Fleetwood, now up to 14th in the world rankings may be too good for the rest of his compatriots and should be backed at 9-2 accordingly in the Top English market.

Viva Espana.

Betting summary:
Open Championship winner – Jon Rahm each-way at 18/1 William Hill
Top European – Joh Rahm each-way at 9/1 10Bet
Open Championship winner – Hideki Maysuama each-way at 22/1 Coral
Open Championship winner – Xander Schauffele each-way at 200/1 Ladbrokes
Top American – Xander Schauffele each-way at 80/1 Skybet
Top English – Tommy Fleetwood each-way at 9/2 Betfred

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