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Johnnie Walker betting preview
By David John Last updated: 23rd August 2010
Dave John is backing Ryder Cup hopeful Alvaro Quiros to put on a big show in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The final scramble for Ryder Cup places dominates the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles with European captain Colin Montgomerie set to announce his 12-man side for October at the close of play on Sunday night.
Miguel Angel Jimenez has decided to tee it up now after moving into the ninth and final qualifying spot in a bid to boost his chance while Ross McGowan, Simon Dyson and Alvaro Quiros are all in the mix.
That trio need a top-two finish and a win each respectively if they are to thrust themselves on to the team at the 11th hour.
To my mind, Spain's Quiros looks the man most likely to make the strongest bid for glory.
Peter Hanson showed in last week's Czech Open what is possible when knowing only a victory would suffice.
He made hard work of it and eventually required a play-off to beat Gary Boyd and Peter Lawrie but his efforts saw him vault up to eighth on the Ryder Cup list and currently in the team.
He obviously plays again here as he bids to cement his place on the side.
It is an advantage that Quiros knows exactly what he has to do so he won't have to spend time during the event adding up the Euros hoping he makes enough cash to get to Celtic Manor.
It is asking a lot but he has the talent and the character to rise to the occasion - he showed plenty of fortitude to win his national title back in May after a play-off with James Morrison so I don't think he will come up short in terms of stomach for the fight.
The one slight reservation is the dreadul forecast which has predicted rain and showers all four days and getting on the wrong side of the elements could scupper his chance.
He did play well though in similar conditions at Loch Lomond and was in decent form the following week at St Andrews in the Open Championship so you would expect Quiros would be able to handle whatever the Scottish weather can throw at him.
If he didn't manage to win, then a big week could just catch the eye of Monty anyway as he is just the sort of character to have in a Ryder Cup team and could be an outside bet to usurp someone like Justin Rose or Luke Donald as one of the captain's picks.
Three other picks this week will avoid Ryder Cup entanglements but are all good players in the expected conditions - Brett Rumford, Jamie Donaldson and Alastair Forsyth.
Aussie Rumford is not the most predictable but he does tend to show up when the weather closes in and he comes into the event on the back of a couple of good performances in Stockholm and Ireland.
He is a regular at Gleneagles and has posted a top-10 in the past so there is every chance he will bounce back from last week's missed cut in the Czech Republic.
He was second earlier in the season at the Ballantine's Championship in very wild conditions so it would not be a shock to see him feature prominently again.
Donaldson is another player who seems to thrive when the elements gets tough and has enjoyed an excellent 2010 with six top-10 finishes.
A title for the CV still remains elusive but surely his time will come sooner rather than later and a T6 here 12 months ago gives us real cause for optimism that the duck could be finally broken here.
Forsyth looks the pick of the home contingent although he has not been in particularly great form this season.
A T20 last week was his best effort of the season and that could provide a bit of impetus back in front of the Scottish galleries where he has posted three results in this event inside the top seven.
The weather will be of no consequence to the man from Paisley and he merits some respect at longish odds.
1.5pts e.w. Alvaro Quiros at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, general). Has to win to make the Ryder Cup and can make a bold bid.
1pt e.w. Brett Rumford at 100/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, Betfred). Very good player in bad weather, looks set for a good week.
1pt e.w. Jamie Donaldson at 66/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, Betfred, Boylesports). Very consistent 2010 and chance to grab an elusive first title.
1pt e.w. Alastair Forsyth at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, general). Can also grind it out in bad weather and form at Gleneagles.
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