Golf can be broken down to be a fairly simple game, in that the player who gets the ball in the hole in the fewest amount of shots wins.
Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways to get the ball from tee to green and into the hole.
One option is to smash it as far as you can, go and find your ball and hit it again. Another option is to play to your favourite number - use your favourite club - and rinse and repeat. The first option would be extremely unwise in the Women’s Open at Muirfield this week, as penal rough and deep bunkers wait to gobble up anything offline. The second option would be ridiculously difficult to execute as firm and fast fairways make playing to a specific number nigh-on impossible.
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The long, dry spell in the UK this summer has had greenkeepers tearing their hair out. It has resulted in firm, fast fairways and greens. Links courses more so.
The key to playing Muirfield, and playing it successfully, is finding fairways. It may sound obvious, but there is no other way to hold greens on a consistent basis.
Resort courses and Links courses are at the opposite ends of the golfing spectrum, but a player who thrived on the former a fortnight ago could be an ideal fit for the latter.
Brooke Henderson served up a masterclass to win the Evian Championship a couple of weeks ago. In winning her second major, Henderson produced a stunning display of driving. Time and again she would hit the ball and immediately reach for the tee peg, so confident that the ball was heading down the middle of the fairway.
From fairways, she found greens and her new putting stroke helped her over the line in the French Alps.
If Henderson drives the ball anything like she did at the Evian, she will give herself opportunities to score on what is one of the toughest tracks in golf.
The one mark against Henderson is that she does not have a lot of Links experience, and elected to sidestep the Scottish Open last week, but at the 16/1 that is freely available it is tempting to have her on our side.
Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda are vying for favouritism, and both are top-class talents. But Ko has not won a major since 2016, while Korda has no form at all on Links tracks and at the prices it is worth swerving the big two in the market.
While we’re prepared to take a chance on Henderson despite her lack of Links form, our second selection ticks all the boxes in the horses-for-courses bracket.
Georgia Hall’s only major win to date came in the Women’s Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 2018, and is extremely comfortable in the setting.

Georgia Hall eyes her shot prior to the AIG Women's Open at Muirfield on August 01, 2022 in Gullane, Scotland

Image credit: Getty Images

That performance in Southport was not a one-off, as Hall finished third at Kingsbarns in 2017 and second behind defending champion Anna Nordqvist at Carnoustie 12 months ago.
Hall played well without catching fire at the Scottish Open last week, with her 18th place setting her up nicely for Muirfield, and at 25/1 she appeals as a cracking each-way option.
The roll of honour on the Women’s Open is a blend of youth and experience. Nordqvist was 34 when triumphing 12 months ago, Hinako Shibuno was 21 when winning in 2020.
Youth is no barrier, but a teenager winning would break new ground. Atthaya Thitikul is only 19, but is forging a strong reputation in the game - and has top-five finishes at the Women’s PGA Championship and Evian Championship.
Thitikul’s knowledge of Links golf will improve with age and experience, but she was low amateur in 2018 an 2019 - and runner-up in the Scottish Open last season.
Her form has been impressive this season and is an each-way play at 25/1.
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