This year’s Open Championship takes place at Royal Troon where the world’s best golfers will have to defeat one of the most famous holes in the sport.
The par three 8th, known as the ‘Postage Stamp’, was named the Open’s most challenging hole in 2014.
Although it is the shortest of any played in Open Championships, the 123 yarder can require a sand-wedge one day and a three-iron next – showing the unique challenges Troon will offer this week.
The Championship returns to the Ayrshire course for the first time since 2004, where Todd Hamilton pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history.
The journeyman player, who has only made three Open cuts since lifting the Claret Jug, defeated Ernie Els in a four-hole play-off to become the sixth American in a row to win at Troon.
Looking at the field for this week, I wouldn’t bet against the famous trophy returning Stateside once more.
Dustin Johnson is in the form of his life.
The big hitting 32-year-old finally put to rest the ‘choker’ accusations by winning the US Open at Oakmont last month – despite another run-in with the officials on the back nine.
He followed that up with a WGC win at Bridgestone in his next appearance, and his last four tournament results read 3, 5, 1, 1.
With the Major monkey off his back, the 9/1 offered by Betway seems an excellent price.
If nothing else, the fact that Betway are giving a £10 free bet if your pre-tournament selection is leading at the end of the first, second, or third rounds should be enough to back Johnson.
He led after the first and second rounds at St Andrews last year, and has racked up six Major overnight leads throughout his career so far.
Another former Major winner who I like the look of this week is Adam Scott.
Like Johnson, there were doubts about Scott’s ability to close out the biggest tournaments – none more so than when he blew a four shot lead with four to play in the 2012 Open.
However, just like DJ, he has since managed to bag himself a Major – the 2013 Masters, and he has four top 10 Open finishes in the last four years.
Having won twice this season he’s in good form and, with his Open record, I expect him to be in the hunt once again this week.
The Aussie thrives on links golf and always raises his game for the biggest tournaments.
His 25/1 price with Betway is tempting, especially as the firm are paying each-way 1/4 odds on the first six places this week.
Another each-way shout who could be worth a small investment is Patrick Reed.
The world No 13 hit a pair of 67s last week at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, so has a handle on local conditions.
He came tied 20th at St Andrews last year, on just his second Open start, and he is well placed to improve on that.
The 66/1 with Betway looks big for someone who could fly under the radar over the next four days.
- Dustin Johnson 9/1 Betway
- Adam Scott e/w 21/1 General
- Patrick Reed e/w 66/1 Betway