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golf: Confident Leonard set to rock Vijay.

Byline: PAUL KEALY

FILL your boots with a 72-hole match bet sell of Vijay Singh against Justin Leonard in the Open at Murfield.

Leonard has a fantastic Open record and arguably turns up at the East Lothian links in better shape than ever.

Top-20 finishes in both the US Masters and US Open should fill him with confidence in a Major he is far better equipped to win.

The 1997 champion and 1999 joint runner-up (after a play-off with Britain's Paul Lawrie and fruitcake Frenchman Jean Van de Velde) is capable of putting plenty of distance

between himself and the

Fijian, whose reputation for consistency has taken a big knock this season with three missed cuts.

Singh is always difficult to write off and has a fine Open cv, but he simply does not deserve favouritism on this year's form.

On the various indices put up by the layers, Jose Maria Olazabal looks a reasonable sell at 11 on IG's Rest of the World line.

It always has to be pointed out that you are trading at heavy odds-on when selling on these markets and the downside is much bigger than the upside, but it is hard to find any enthusiasm for backing Ollie to do well.

After a great start to the season with wins on both tours, Olazabal has taken a big step backwards.

All his old driving problems have returned and he is in for a hard - and possibly short - week if he misses as many fairways as he has been recently.

Phil Mickelson has never made the top ten in an Open and that is partly because he hits the ball too high to be

effective on links courses.

The stats don't lie and he is a perfectly reasonable sell on any of the indices.

However, the Big Gun/Major Men indices look more of a buyers market as there are several fancied runners with big question marks over them.

The always under-rated David Toms gets just a 7-9 quote from Sporting, which is an insult to the USPGA champion, especially as he is only one point higher than David Duval, who is rapidly getting used to spending the weekends with his feet up.

Recommendations

Sell V Singh v J Leonard

in 72-hole match bet

10pts at 0 (IG)

Sell J M Olazbal on ROW index

2pts at 11 (IG)

Buy D Toms on Big Guns index

5pts at 9 (Sporting)

CAPTION(S):

Fiji's Vijay Singh is having a poor time of it this year and could struggle at Muirfield
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2002
Words:424
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