The Betting Odds are in!

Local bookies BetMinch have once again released the betting odds for the unofficial 5th major of the year at Royal Minchinhampton on Friday – The Minch CC Open 2013

Once again we all embark on what the golf writers are this year billing as the ‘Duel in the Sun’ and we could for once see some unusually warm and dry conditions for the annual golf day. Given so many of the Minch CC cricketers like a flutter on the lucrative golf betting odds the annual odds have become somewhat of a bible for betting and players, fans and gamblers alike study the following preview intently. A reminder that in 2012 Peter Screen retained the Wooden Spoon award, much to his joy (and not the joy of those playing with him.) Chris Wall returns as the defending champion following last years controversial win that was leaked and instantly trending on Twitter as being a fix, seeing as he organised the event. Though this is purely speculation and the R&A are yet to confirm or deny this & nothing more will be said of it….. So this years betting odds start with these two, BetMinch had this to say:

Chris ‘I don’t like cricket’ Wall

Bubba Wall as he likes to be known has continued a steady climb up the world rankings of golf, helped of course by winning his 2nd Minch CC open in 2012. The erratic side to his game seems to have largely disappeared, however wedge play is all important if Wall is to win again this year. The self-proclaimed ‘‘Wedge Wizard’’, or not as is often the case, needs those shiny new £400(!) wedges to fire in order to win again on tour. Can he make it 3 Minch CC Open titles? Let’s hope not because last year was definitely a fix – if you are in a group with him, keep a close eye on his ‘generous’ scoring… Odds were 8/1 in 2012 – BetMinch are remaining firm at 8/1 this year, given the bigger field in attendance.

Peter ‘Call it a 12’ Screen

Reigning Wooden Spoon winner Screen is still recovering from the humiliation of being the loser 2 years in a row. However rumour has it he actually plays deliberately bad, because he really likes having the wooden spoon award on his mantelpiece at home. Surely this year Screener has hit the range and also the putting green in preparation for the event, or has he simply tucked those clubs away only to unleash them on Royal Minch yet again on Friday. Expect the galleries to be out to watch this fine spectacle of golf…  BetMinch had him at 150/1 to win in 2012, but have been extended out to a whopping 300/1 for a maiden title for Screen. Tip of the day: Don’t bet on Screener

Jaime ‘Tony Temp Green’ Waring

Waring has seen his golf play of late slip off the radar as a new house seemingly needs more work done to it than the old Minch wooden pavilion and time has been devoted to his very fine DIY skills… However a winter round of 71 (even par, see nickname) round Naunton Downs GC, that would have been 69 had it not been for a double bogey on the last, shows there is some skill. OK so it was temp greens, each hole was 100yards shorter and the holes were the size of a large bucket but still, it’s not how, it’s how many in golf! Still aiming to be the first loser (2005) and winner of this fabled event, odds are tricky to establish here given no real form going into the event. 26/1 in 2012, but a slight drop to 22/1 for 2013 as it’s rumoured Waring fancies his chances…

John ‘Original Bandit / El bandito’ Wood

A past major winner , Wood recorded one of the most remarkable wins ever seen in tricky conditions at Minch 2010 open,  a round since dubbed the ‘Pain in the Rain’ as conditions were so bad. Woods win consequently brought about a change in the rules so that a 28 handicapper could never win again. A recent father, Wood is tired and desperate for a good nights sleep prior to this years important Major. Golf has not been a priority of late for Wood, however a fine couple of wickets in the 1st XI on Saturday will give him some sporting confidence going into the event. Last years odds were 20/1, but he is a past champion and this cannot be overlooked. He clearly can handle the big crowds that always follow this event coming down the stretch. Slight drop down to 18/1 for 2013.

John ‘Mr Sponsor ’ Cocks

1 of the Club sponsors (and therefore must always be shown respect) has seen his golfing activity reduced following a departure from Minch new course membership. A troubled back and no doubt troubled bowls if he has his 4th ‘cuzzer’ of the week the night before means JC is not in the best form coming into this event. Consistently backed as a potential winner each year by the bookies, but always a let down, JC is really troubling the bookmakers this year. However he has years of experience and a relatively low handicap and so cannot be overlooked. 10/1 in 2012, dropped back to 14/1 for 2013. Good e/w bet.

Eric ‘Mr President’ Wall Esq.

As the family shop has now closed Eric has seen more free time to hit the local courses and sharpen up his game. He has also invested in a highly expensive putter since last year, which according to youngest son C.Wall ‘‘simply doesn’t work’’. Much like last years theory, his vast local knowledge must play to his advantage, but needs to find that touch with the putter especially on what we hear are lightning fast greens up at Royal Minch. Sadly Eric won’t be arriving in the infamous F.A Wall and Sons van that was often seen tearing around the common during the Open. Somehow it was sold to an unsuspecting victim, we presume for a tenner. In 2012 odds were 85/1 and BetMinch are sticking with 85/1 again for the club President.

Tommy ‘Tank’ Shearman

A previous Wooden Spoon recipient, Tommy has steadily picked up his ability in golf over the years and no longer considers himself a contender for Wooden Spoon. But can he be a winner? The 2nd XI skipper has flourished in his new found leadership role in the 2’s with wickets and runs galore, will this sporting trend pass on to golf and see Tommy push for the title in 2013? Sadly Tommy there is no option to go ‘around the wicket please Ump’ in golf, though I suppose you could tee off from the right edge of the tee box every time? Last year was at 50/1, a drop in odds this year see him at 35/1 and considered a good each way bet if he can have a solid round.

Ross ‘Great’ Britton

A debut for Ross at the Minch CC Open this year, who made his return to Minch CC this season after a few years in the wilderness and a few years at some team called Frocester?! Never heard of them. Anyway Ross has returned to where he belongs and as he has grown up less than 2 mins from the golf course must have substantial golfing knowledge and ability we presume? A recent tweet suggest he plays #zigzaggolf but then so does Bubba Watson and he won the Masters. This competition has a history of Bandits (Messrs J.Wood and Henry Hall to name but 2) and could Ross be this years Bandit. No odds from last year, but goes straight in at 30/1 for the debut man.

James ‘The Reverend’ Priest

Another debut man, James has burst onto the Minch CC scene with some fine bowling performances & an ability to hit a very big 6. Still having nightmares about nearly beheading the Uley batsmen who thought it was wise to reverse pull a Priest bouncer with no helmet on, James also has been tweeting about the Minch CC Open advising he is a #bandit. Well if he says so, much like Ross, he must be good! We also know James likes a flutter with the bookies and recently backed Phil Mickelson at The Open so he knows what he is doing on the gambling front. Golf ability is relatively unknown but the self-proclaimed bandit enters much like Britton at a cautious 30/1 debut outing bet.

Alex ‘Course Management’ Waring

The current stand in 1st team skipper finds himself in the same bracket as J Wood currently. With young child causing sleepless nights, Waring may find it hard to stay awake on the course and his golf has suffered of late as he hasn’t played for weeks. A fabled golfing ability, A Dub has not only 1 of the finest collection of golfing gear known to man, but also one of the most intriguing golfing brains in world golf. Often tees off on a par 5 with a 7 iron, Al follows it up with a driver from the rough and still needs a 1 iron into the green…that he 5 putts for an 8, at best. A past Wooden Spoon winner, A dub returns to the field after a few Summer holidays in Portugal ‘honing’ his golf skills. Will he return from Europe to the Minch CC open a better golfer, we somehow doubt it. No odds from 2012, returns with odds of 40/1 for 2013. If Al uses the same ball all the way round, BetMinch will refund all losing bets.

Tom ‘Leading club run scorer’ Richings

Little is known about debut man Richings & infact we are not even sure if he is playing, but his batting stats in the 2nds are very impressive. Tom leads the list with most club runs so far this season and apparently hits many a boundary. So if this passes over to golf he must hit a long ball we predict. Coached by his employer Mr Alan Hunt, we therefore imagine there will be a lot of ‘Hunt Skunts’ in play and plenty of choice language if Big Al has taught him well. Golfing ability unknown – but always beware of a debut man! Enters at 35/1

Alan ‘Cheapest Tyres in Town?!’ Hunt

And onto the mentor himself Mr Alan Hunt esq. The Minch CC legend, is fabled for quick play, low ball flight and as eluded to above a few choice words if things go wrong. If your paired with Al, expect speed golf and stories of when he once took a stunning 1 handed catch at mid wicket and told the opposition batsmen to ‘F… Off you cheating ….’  for legal reasons we can’t print the last word but you get the jist. Cue a very quick and sincere apology from Hunt when he realised the error of his ways, much to the amusement of the Minch players. Local course knowledge is in Als favour here and a tidy round could see him contend, it is perhaps the only club honour he hasn’t won in his 50 plus years associated with the club so he is keen to win! 30/1 odds for the old boy.

Simon ‘Mr Sponsor (Let him win)’ Penn

Another debut man and club Sponsor, Mr Red Recruitment himself Simon makes his 1st appearance at the Minch CC Open. Now much debate has gone on about Simons calibre on the golf course. He claims to rarely pick up the clubs, but just last year went on a golfing holiday in the Balearics we believe. Perhaps he got a sponsors invite to an event on the European Tour and infact is really good. In cricket he uses Justin Langers bat, so maybe Sergio Garcia has leant him some clubs? We simply don’t know. His Dad has advised he is a good player, but then his Dad also advised he is more of a bowler than a batsman, so the Bookies are baffled by this one. A good outside bet we feel, and decent odds at 20/1, 3rd lowest odds in the field could reveal something we don’t know….

Dave ‘Flash (rather go to Alton Towers than play Hardwicke)’ Gordon

The organiser in chief, Dave Gordon, is an interesting contender. Dave recently took the plunge into marriage and has seen his golf limited of late, (poor wife management) though he still finds time to pop to Alton Towers on a Saturday afternoon (again poor wife management) However, prior to marriage Dave was a half handy golfer. An iffy putting method is often his downfall, though you can be sure to hear the phrase ‘‘you’ve got to give it a run at the hole boys’’ as he hammers his putt 10 foot by the hole every time. If he is on song Dave is a gritty customer, just like his batting. And as he is currently in form with the bat, perhaps it will pass over to golf? Odds for 2013 28/1 – In the words of Butch Harmon, I like those odds!

Dave ‘Danergoux’ Wall

The eldest of the Wall brothers, Dave is perhaps the most famous Minch CC Open player of all time, Much like Hogan, Nicklaus, Player, Woods before him, Dave finds himself in the golf hall of fame at Minch, for all the wrong reasons. The infamous Wooden Spoon award was kindly donated by Dave and to this day he does not want to see it back in his abode. Much like his father Dave has also purchased some fine new gear and we all know that new clubs makes you really good. So Dave is a shoe in to win surely? No say the bookies. However if he can get a solid round under his belt a top 10 finish is not out of his reach. Odds this year at 75/1 for Dave.

Rob ‘Homer’ Finn

A welcome return to the field for Rob who boasts some good golfing ability we understand. Worryingly it has been noted that despite never playing cricket for Minch CC, he appears to be helping to coach the youth team at present?! Given his Hockey talents, we presume the next batch of Minch CC cricketers will all be turning their bat over and reverse sweeping everything along the ground to the fence. Maybe he is also giving the young Minch players gum guards?! Anyway regarding golf, Rob is a big hitter and certain contender for longest drive. Possibly the lowest handicapper in the field, this means high expectation and masses of pressure.  But he is missing former flatmate and 1 member of his ‘2 and a Half Men’ household, Steve Rogers, so can he perform without him? Low odds for Finn, joint favourite with C Wall at 8/1.

Rich ‘Shire Straights’ Scott

A debut appearance for Richie Scott and therefore despite many years of us asking, we have no idea what golfing ability he has. Recently scored his maiden league 50 and rumours circulate that Rich could be half decent with the golf clubs in hand also. Question is, will he get as trogged in town after the golf as he once did with the boys at the infamous Shire Straights fines night at the Black Horse? We sincerely hope so. Perhaps in the same calibre as Simon Penn in that he may have a played a bit of golf years gone by, BetMinch is a little baffled by this one and debut odds at 50/1 are cautious.

Will ‘Guns’ Price – A late entry from the big ginger lad. Once played the Minch CC Open, badly! Currently living out of his car, Will will no doubt be getting trogged in town after and hoping to find a lady to go home with just so he can have a bed for the night. As for golfing chances we think they are slim as he regularly declines a club golf day on the basis he is ‘’too bad’’ Does he even have clubs stashed away in the back of his 205? A very outside chance here we feel, in at 85/1. If he gets hold of one could be a shout for longest drive?

A quick mention for those who did not qualify this year & are notable absentees:

Pete ‘1 arm’ Wallis – A usual Minch CC Open regular, Wallis finds himself on the sidelines with injury. Could have contended as has a personal best ever score round the common. Still he once holed out from 50 yards backhanded and with 1 arm on the club at Royal Shipton, so may be a late entry and swing with 1 arm???

Fred ‘The Socialite’ Gardner – Not seen up at Minch for weeks, Gardner is spending his time fleeting between Dorset, Minch and The Shard as a busy work and social life kicks in. A late withdrawal from the Winter Open at Xmas still leaves us guessing as to his golfing ability – 1 day he will qualify, 1 day we will see him back in Minch

John ‘What’s your name again?’ Turton – Much like Price, played once, was awful, never played again. Better save his ageing body for Slimbridge on Saturday.

Dave ‘Angry Man’ Cruickshank – Usually a Minch CC Open regular, Cruickshank is still sadly banned following the ball stamping incident of 2010. R&A chiefs may allow him to return next year if he’s calmed down by then.

BetMinch  would just like to add that all attendees should bet responsibly and In play betting  & ‘cash out’ is not being used on this event. BetMinch will refund all losing bets if Pete Screen doesn’t finish last…incredible betting confidence here.