The Open Championship | Thursday 16 July - Sunday 19 July | St Andrews Old Course
The Open Championship will tee off at historic St Andrews on Thursday and as was to be expected, the golfing world is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of what promises to be a hotly contested affair. When Jordan Spieth won last week social media exploded as the world began to ponder whether he has it in him to pull off the unthinkable and win three Majors back-to-back. The sceptics were quick to point out that this will be easier said than done, especially when you consider that Rickie Fowler won in Europe a few hours before and looks to be in great form. Both of these players and the rest of the field will breathe a sigh of relief that Rory McIlroy is sitting this one out. He’s always one to watch at St Andrews and the tournament will be poorer for his absence.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth 6/1
Dustin Johnson 12/1
Rickie Fowler 18/1
Henrik Stenson 20/1
Justin Rose 20/1
Rickie Fowler (18/1 a win, 36/10 a place)
Rickie Fowler has always been good but this season he’s showed that he has what it takes to be one of golf’s greats. Since he burst onto the scene his critics have felt him to be undeserving of the praise that has been heaped on him, but they’ve been silenced in 2015 as he has gone from strength to strength. He has one of the best all-round games on the Tour and showed the field up last week in Scotland, taking home a well deserved win and setting himself up perfectly to make a charge at St Andrews. There can be little doubt that he has the mental fortitude to succeed in the face of immense pressure as he managed Top 5 finishes in all four Majors last year. There can be little doubt that he has what it takes to perform at St Andrews as he came second last year. Let’s hope this time around he goes one better.
Justin Rose (20/1 a win, 4/1 a place)
You can’t ignore Justin Rose at the Majors and although St Andrews has never been his happiest hunting ground, he certainly has the game to fare well here this year. Although the fairways at St Andrews are wide, strategically placed drives could mean the difference between winning and losing and Rose is one of the most accurate drivers around. He also knows how to make the most of it and ranks high in birdie average, a stat that will be key to winning here. I’m backing Rose each way this week, he should be near the top come Sunday.
Hideki Matsuyama (40/1 a win, 8/1 a place)
In this company the prospect of Hideki Matsuyama winning looks to be a bit of a long shot. That’s until you look at his recent form. He will arrive at St Andrews with six Top 5s in his last ten starts and those finishes almost all came against some stiff competition. Sure, he hasn’t won yet this year and expecting him to get his first victory in a Major is pretty optimistic but he certainly looks to have the all-round game to go far here. He doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses to speak of and that kind of game is what is required to win this. This price looks generous so get your bets on early as it won’t be around for long.
Henrik Stenson (20/1 a win, 4/1 a place)
I mentioned that I like Justin Rose this week because he has the ability to place the ball pretty much wherever he likes on the fairway and Stenson is another player who ticks that box. Winning at St Andrews is all about playing strategic golf and there is a clinical aspect to Stenson’s game that a lot of this field are lacking, which should stand Stenson in good stead. He’s proven time and time again that he can tame the Old Course and almost won in 2010, eventually finishing third. I think this could be Stenson’s year so I’m making him my Top Bet for the week. At this price he can’t be ignored.