What are the best bets for the Open Championship?
The third Major of the season starts at St Andrews on Thursday and, in the absence of injured Rory McIlroy, we have a clear favourite in Jordan Spieth.
The 21 year-old Texan is playing the best golf on the planet right now and is a best-priced 13/2 to take another step towards a Grand Slam (all four majors) following success at Augusta and Chambers Bay. The winner of six tournaments in the last eight months, the latest coming in the John Deere Classic in Illinois on Sunday, he is just the sort of Mr Cool who could defy the logic that is one Major too far.
That said, his Open record to date is nothing to shout about – 44th and 36th in two appearances – and this is his first look at St Andrews, which has a number of unique features – think double greens and tiny pot bunkers – and therefore takes some knowing. With the weather also set to play a part – pull the short short straw in the wind stakes and even making the cut is a feat – this particular punter is happy to look elsewhere for the winner, and the following trio of players make more appeal.
Rickie Fowler @ 18/1 bet365 (6 places)
While Spieth was on the other side of the pond, his compatriot had already finished the business of winning the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club and that is likely to prove far better preparation for this week. Fowler clearly enjoys the challenge of links golf – he also finished tied-second in last year’s Open – and is now up to 5th in the world rankings, with his brilliant playoff victory in the Players Championship – golf’s unofficial fifth Major – also fresh in the memory. He can handle windy conditions better than most and, while his price may have ‘gone’ somewhat following Sunday’s triumph, he still looks an absolute must for any betting portfolio.
Adam Scott @ 22/1 bet365 (6 places)
The Aussie has become a regular sight on Open leaderboards, finishing in the top five in the last three championships, and really should have win at Royal Lytham three years ago when he managed to blow a four-foot lead with four holes to play. He put that disappointment behind him when winning the Masters the following season and, while he’s without a recent win, he won’t be short on confidence following his fourth at the US Open, played on a links style layout. Now reunited with caddy Steve Williams, who was a ‘winner’ here with Tiger Woods in 2010, he looks pretty much nailed on to be in the mix come Sunday.
Martin Kaymer @ 40/1 Betfair (8 places)
The German is another fine links exponent and he loves St Andrews, describing it as “paradise” after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship there in 2010. It’s no coincidence then that his best Open finish of seventh came on the Old Lady in the same year and the dual Major winner must be relishing a return having found some form in recent weeks, including when finishing fourth at last month’s French Open. If the wind gets up, he has the game to cope, while he’s more than capable of making plenty of birdies in more benign conditions, and 10/1 a place (eight of them no less!) looks a gift all things considered.
Other players who make plenty of appeal each-way appeal at bigger odds include Shane Lowry (40/1 Sky Bet), Brooks Koepke (66/1 Ladbrokes), Tommy Fleetwood (80/1 Ladbrokes) and J B Holmes (100/1 Ladbrokes). Boylesports are refunding win stakes if your player finishes second or third in the Open, including ties, as a free bet up to £50.