The final major of the year starts on Thursday, with the Open Championship taking place at Royal St George’s, in Kent, south-east England.
Royal St George’s is a daunting challenge, with undulating terrain, dunes and deep bunkers. All the holes point in different directions, so judging winds is difficult, while any approaches hit towards the edges of the greens will drop into run-off areas or those bunkers.
Spanish superstar Jon Rahm leads the betting, and we have no doubt he is the best player in the world at the present time. He has seven top 10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments, including winning the U.S. Open, and we think has a great chance here. However, we’re going to take a watching brief as 7/1 is short for such a highly-contested championship.
Instead, with bookies offering very generous each way terms, we’re going to pick four players at longer odds who we feel are in form and can play well in the conditions, needing just one to place for us to be in the money.
First up is Ian Poulter. The Englishman finished joint fourth last week in Scotland, proving his form, and has history at the Open, placing second in 2008 and third in 2013. Europe’s Postman is desperate to make the Ryder Cup team in September, and knows a good showing here would go a long way towards that goal.
Next we have Scottie Scheffler. The American hails from Texas, where playing in high winds is something learnt at birth – hence the phrase the Texas wedge! He also competed in Scotland last week, finishing tied 12th, so has no worries over travel or acclimatisation. He has been playing well all season, and could put up a solid showing.
Lucas Herbert is another who played well in Scotland last week, finishing tied fourth, and this comes off victory in the Irish Open the previous week. The Aussie is clearly playing at the peak of his abilities, can compete in the wind, and could well produce something good this week.
Finally, we struck gold last week when Aussie youngster Min Woo Lee won the Scottish Open as tipped at 150/1. He’s a similar price this week having already shown his class in similar conditions. It’s possible those exertions (and associated celebrations) may weigh on him this week, but at these lengthy odds we’re prepared to take a chance on an emerging top-class talent.
Poulter 0.5 points ew at 75/1, 1/5 the odds for the first 8 places, bet365
Scheffler 0.5 points ew at 50/1, 1/5 the odds for the first 8 places, bet365
Herbert 0.5 points ew at 90/1, 1/5 the odds for the first 8 places, bet365
MW Lee 0.5 points ew at 140/1, 1/5 the odds for the first 8 places, bet365