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View from Down Under: British Open Continues the European Sporting Summer

Just a few days after Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza held the trophies up at the All England Club, the attention of not only British punters, but much of the world, including us Aussies, moves north to Royal Birkdale for the 146th British Open.

The 128-year-old course is located just 27 kilometres north of Liverpool, and is preparing to host the Open Championship for the 10th time and the first time since 2008. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington saluted on that occasion, and is at $51 to replicate that this weekend.

Adam Scott is at $29 (+2800) to become the first Aussie to lift the Claret Jug since Greg Norman in 1993. Jason Day is quoted at $34 (+3300), while Marc Leishman — our leading player at the last major,  the U.S. Open — is at $51 (+5000), in what is a very open market. There are 10 Aussies in total in the tournament.

Henrik Stenson is the defending champion, and is a $26 (+2500) chance to be the first back-to-back winner since Harrington in 2008. The European Tour players may have an advantage here, especially in the early going, given that they’ve played in both the Irish and Scottish Opens in recent weeks, on very similar layouts as Royal Birkdale.

The course is a challenging one, and while accuracy off the tee is always important, it is even more crucial here. Players will have little chance of recovery should they miss the fairways, and each hole has tough bunkers.

One of the European Tour players worth considering is England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who grew up within walking distance of the course. He may be worth a nibble at $23 (+2200). The favorites are Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson at $15 (+1400) .

As Round 2 of the world’s oldest golf tournament gets underway, all eyes here will be on the top of the table blockbuster AFL match between Adelaide and Geelong.

The Cats have won five straight against the Crows, but are still considered outsiders with bookmakers at $2.60 (+160) with Adelaide at $1.50 (-200). This is due in some part to the fact that the league’s best player at the moment, Patrick Dangerfield, is in serious doubt to take the field for Geelong.

With Queensland winning its 11th State of Origin shield in 12 years last week, the attention of the Rugby League world now turns to the last seven rounds of the NRL season.

Of the eight games that will be played this weekend, just one game has a line of double figures, in what should be another ripping round.

It’s finals time in the Super Rugby season, getting underway on Friday night when Australia’s sole representative, the ACT Brumbies, host the New Zealand franchise, and the defending champions, the Hurricanes, in Canberra.

The Canes are at the short-priced quote of $1.16 (-625), with the Aussie side out at $5.50 (+450). Outright favoritism ahead of the quarterfinals is with South African side the Lions ($3), just ahead of the Hurricanes, who are at $3.30 (+230).