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Sandwich's best bets

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SANDWICH, England – It’s tradition, like baked beans for breakfast and queues during tournament week. A trip to one of the United Kingdom’s ubiquitous betting houses is to the Open Championship what pimento cheese sandwiches are to the Masters.

Late Tuesday your team ducked into a Ladbrokes to make our yearly donations . . . eh, bets. Among the highlights was Paul Casey (who finished third to Louis Oosthuizen last year at St. Andrews) at 80-to-1, Ross Fisher (a late contender in 2009 at Turnberry) at 80-to-1 and young Matteo Manassero (13th at last year’s Open and 29th in the world ranking) at a surprising 66-to-1.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy is the favorite, although he’s losing ground to Luke Donald. McIlroy began the week at 6-to-1 but has dropped to 10-to-1 followed by Donald at 12-to-1.

In a sign of the times the highest rated Americans are Nick Watney and Steve Stricker at 33-to-1, right there with Sergio Garcia. Ouch.