Betting Week in Review: The Open and British Grand Prix Features
In our betting week in review, debutant Colin Morikawa took the Claret Jug in The Open at Royal St George’s and Lewis Hamilton is labelled “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike” after winning the British Grand Prix.
Collin Morikawa wins The 149th Open at Royal St George’s
Going into the final day at The Open at Royal St George’s, the bookies felt it was a three-way race to claim the Claret Jug.
South African Louis Oosthuizen led the field on -12 and was the bookmaker’s favourite to win, priced at 13/8. Collin Morikawa was a shot behind on -11 and was priced at 2/1. Three shots off the lead was Jordan Spieth on -9, who was priced at 5/1. The odds lengthened dramatically for the rest of the field, with Jon Rahm at 18/1 and Scottie Scheffler further behind at 20/1.
However, Morikawa excelled in the final round, taking the lead with three birdies in the front nine. The American held off the challenge of the three-time major winner and former world number one Jordan Spieth to win by two strokes in Kent.
It was a historic win for Morikawa, who was appearing in his first Open. The 24-year-old had a debut win in February at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession. His victory on Sunday at Royal St George’s means he is the first person in the sport’s history to win two different majors in his debut at The 149th Open.
Caddie Jonathan Jakovac said of Morikawa: “He’s a special kid. I’m lucky to have him. He seems like he has been there 100 times, and he hasn’t; it just goes to his mental strength and his maturity, and you add the freakish ball-striking to an absolute stone-cold demeanour who is very comfortable in all situations … and you get someone special.”
Morikawa’s second major win in eight major starts puts him in a very elite bracket of players. Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth are the only other golfers in the past one hundred years who have won multiple major wins before the age of twenty-five.
Runner-up Spieth was left to count the cost of a disastrous end to play on Saturday, which almost certainly cost him the win. The 27-year-old looked in full control but uncharacteristically made huge errors on the last two holes, double-bogeying both holes. Such was his disgust at his performance; he ignored the media after play on Saturday and went to practice.
Speith said afterwards: “I mean, I was 60 yards out in the fairway and made bogey on 17. Then I had a good look straight up the hill on 18. I finished two over on those holes, but what was frustrating was the separation it would have been. It would have been three of us at least three-shots ahead of the field, and I would have been in the final group.”
The 149th Open Championship final leaderboard – -15 C Morikawa (US); -13 J Spieth (US); -11 J Rahm (Spa), L Oosthuizen (SA); -9 D Frittelli (SA); -8 B Koepka (US), M Hughes (Can)
Hamilton Branded ‘disrespectful’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ After Win
Lewis Hamilton picked up his 8th victory at the British Grand Prix in front of 140,000 spectators in a controversial fashion after being awarded a 10-second penalty for his involvement in a crash that saw title rival Max Verstappen taken to hospital.
Hamilton was deemed to have been at fault for the crash with Verstappen’s Red Bull car at Copse corner on the first lap. After winning F1’s maiden ‘sprint’ race on Saturday, the Dutchman had started on pole and had successfully held off the Brit going into the first corner.
Hamilton once again unsuccessfully tried to pass Verstappen at the Brookland corner and heading into the Copse corner; the Brit feigned he was going for the outside but took the inside. During the move, Hamilton’s car’s front left wheel made contact with Verstappen’s rear, which sent the Dutchman spinning into the barriers with a force of 51G.
The race was stopped with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the lead, and due to the 10-second penalty issued to Hamilton, he dropped to fourth place after his pitstop. However, the 36-year-old battled back and somewhat ironically overtook Leclerc to take the lead on the same corner that he had collided with Verstappen.
The win for Hamilton means the gap between him and the championship leader Verstappen is down to just eight points. The two drivers will resume their rivalry in two weeks in the Hungarian Grand Prix, which Hamilton holds the course record on with eight wins.
There is likely to be an edge in the Hungary meeting after Verstappen publicly criticised the Brit for his actions during the race at Silverstone.
Verstappen posted on Twitter: “Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour, but we move on.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, described Hamilton’s actions as “an amateur mistake, a desperate mistake” and added: “It is disappointing and annoying; his actions have jeopardised another driver’s safety.”
Horner also said: “Putting a fellow driver in hospital and writing off a car and receiving a menial penalty and winning a grand prix doesn’t feel like much of a penalty.
“To stick a wheel up the inside at Copse corner, one of the fastest corners anywhere, there is only ever going to be one consequence of that.”
“We are just lucky someone wasn’t seriously hurt. Thankfully we got away with it.”, Horner concluded.
Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko said: “Such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.”
Hamilton defended his actions in a Tweet on Sunday, saying: “Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is ok. I will always race hard but always fairly.”
Despite being well backed by British punters, Hamilton’s win wasn’t a terrible result for bookmakers. Before the race Verstappen was 4/7 on with Hamilton second favourite at 6/4.
Hamilton revealed later that he had been the target of online racist abuse due to the incident with Verstappen. The Brit said he had received monkey and banana emojis sent to him via his Instagram account.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement: “The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable, and we’ve removed a number of comments from Instagram.”