07/20/2012 - Lytham St. Annes, England (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Heading into this week's event, Brandt Snedeker had never made the cut in three appearances at The Open Championship.
He can cross that off his list, and more.
Snedeker matched Nick Faldo's 36-hole Open Championship scoring record Friday after a 6-under 64 left him at 10-under 130. Faldo established the mark en route to victory at Muirfield in 1992.
So, how can someone explain going from missing three cuts in a row at The Open Championship, to putting his name in the storied tournament's record books?
"The golf course is playing more Americanized now, it's soft with not a lot of wind, and I have a different mentality this time, I'm playing away from a lot of pins," said Snedeker. "I tried to just get the ball on the green all day, even if it was 100 feet away. When you're putting the way I have been the first two days you want to get it on the green as fast as you can."
Here's what other players were saying after the second round of the Open Championship:
- ADAM SCOTT, who is one shot off the lead, on what his caddie, Steve Williams, can provide, considering Williams won so many major championships on the bag of Tiger Woods: "It's just that experience of his, that great experience of his might come in handy. Certainly we've got a good strategy for here, so far we've been able to execute the way we want to and not get myself in too much trouble. If that doesn't happen on the weekend, I can certainly lean on his experience to help guide me a little bit."
- TIGER WOODS, a three-time Claret Jug owner, who is four behind Snedeker, on what can still happen on the weekend: "We've got a long way to go. We have a forecast for wind on Sunday. This golf course, we haven't seen it yet with the wind we're supposed to get around this place."
- THORBJORN OLESEN, who is fourth at 5-under par, on his playing partner Saturday, Tiger Woods: "He's been my idol so many years, so it's fantastic to have a chance to play with him. I'm really looking forward to it. I have a lot of confidence. I believe I can do it."
- PAUL LAWRIE, the 1999 Open Champion, who is 4-under and six back, on any comparisons between this week and his victory 13 years ago: "Not really, because I was well behind. Maybe not so much after two days but I was 10 shots back in '99 with a round to go. What am I now, six shots at the moment? So you're looking to claw a few of them back tomorrow and give yourself a chance."
- GRAEME MCDOWELL, the 2010 U.S. Open winner and runner-up this year, who is 4-under, on why he can handle major championship pressure so well: "I control my emotions well under pressure. I do the right things when I'm under pressure. I don't always win. No one always wins. But Olympic reinforced to me that I can control myself when I'm in the mix. But still, you know, I've still got to go out there and do it this weekend."
- LUKE DONALD, the world No. 1, who shot a 2-under 70 to get to 2-under for the championship, on Friday's round without his normal caddie, John McLaren, who left Friday morning to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's first child, "I won't pay him for today, obviously, but, you know, he should be around for the birth. We don't know how long these babies take but I told John to not rush. For me that was an important thing in my life to be around for that, especially your first one, and enjoy that experience."
- RORY MCILROY, who struggled to a 5-over 75 on Friday, on what he did for the patron whom he struck with his drive Thursday on the 15th hole: "I didn't want them spending the night, with that massive gash he has on his head, in a tent, so I thought it was the least I could, put him up for the night and give him a bit of my money for him and his friend to go out for a bit of food. It's the least I could have done."
- TOM WATSON, a five-time British Open champion, who at 62, birdied the last to make the cut on number, on what it meant to make the cut: "It means a great deal to play against the kids again, one more time. I have visions of someday having the same days as I had as a kid at my age. It would be great to see everything go in the hole again."
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Is there such a thing as a trap game in the NFL?
I once asked that question to Pete Korner, who at the time was office manager and a senior linesmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants.
Korner almost ripped my head off. There is no such thing as a trap game, he loudly berated me. It’s a myth. The numbers are made using power ratings, he said.
There are trap games, though. They just might not be what you think. The perception is of a good team, say Philadelphia, laying a small number against New Orleans.
Using the highly-respected power ranking from The Gold Sheet, you’d find the Eagles with a power rating of 4 and the Saints at 8. When you factor the game being played in New Orleans, you could see why the line opened so short at less than a field goal.
For some, this makes it enticing to take the Eagles. That’s not a real trap game, though.
A real trap game, says professional gambler Dave Malinsky, is thinking you’re getting value betting a bad team, which brings us to the Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos matchup.
The Raiders are +15 in this long-standing division rivalry. Denver is on a short week having dispatched Baltimore Monday. However, the Raiders haven’t covered the spread their last 10 games.
Many bettors don’t trust the Raiders to give a full effort. Few think much of Art Shell and his Oakland’s coaching staff.
So oddsmakers have to do something to make Oakland attractive if they hope to get equal action.
Now Malinsky is a value shopper. But he won’t touch the Raiders even getting more than two touchdowns.
“I try to eliminate the undisciplined, unfocused teams because they’re the ones most likely to suffer the bad beats,” he said.
Near the top of Malinsky’s list of stay-away teams is the Miami Dolphins, who have yet to cover a spread this season.
“Whatever you think of Nick Saban, you have to look at the penalties and turnovers,” Malinsky said.
It’s easy to point out the Dolphins failed to get the money this past week against New England because Olindo Mare missed a field goal and had another field goal blocked. But even though the Dolphins outgained the Patriots, 283-213, they committed eight penalties.
Bad teams not only cost themselves victories, but pointspread covers as well. The Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers are two more examples.
The Cardinals couldn’t have been in a better position this past Sunday, up 14-0 at home against a mediocre Kansas City Chiefs squad. But they couldn’t hold it. The Packers got a push against St. Louis, but also could have won losing by three when Brett Favre fumbled at the St. Louis 11-yard line with 44 seconds left.
“The Packers were in a position to beat Philadelphia, too,” Malinsky said. “But they couldn’t even cover double digits.
“These teams just make mistakes and it costs you … they always will look good from a value standpoint. They really will. But that’s the trap.”
Houston and Tennessee rank among the six-worst teams. Malinsky wouldn’t be afraid to take either of these teams, however, if the price were high enough.
The Texans are bad, Malinsky said, but they have some discipline. The Titans showed they could not only come up with an outstanding game plan, but execute it as well, losing by one to the Colts on the road as an 18 ?-point underdog this past Sunday.
“Jeff Fisher is a worker,” Malinsky said of the Titans coach. “I’m not sure how hard Art Shell wants to work when he gets out of bed.”
Fisher, though, could be out as Tennessee coach after this season. Is he still worth backing in the right spot, with the right price, as a lame duck coach?
“It’s in his nature to keep working hard and not worry about any possible lame duck status,” Malinsky said. “He’s coaching for his resume.”
Note: Monday night game will be picked Monday. Lines used are from football betting lines.