Adam Scott 1.5 points each-way @ 22/1 (Skybet) ¼ odds 7 places
Matt Kuchar 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (Paddy Power) 1/5 odds 8 places
Colt Knost 0.5 points each-way @ 300/1 (Boylesports) ¼ odds 6 places
Ernie Els 1 point each-way @ 150/1 (Betvictor) ¼ odds 6 places
Chris Wood 1 point each-way @ 100/1 (BetBright) ¼ odds 6 places
The 2016 Open Championship starts on Thursday 14 July and, as this is being billed as an Open that just about anyone can win, the bookies will see plenty of money for a variety of players.
The big three of Day, McIlroy and Spieth are impossible to rule out, but none of them top the market as the money continues to roll-in for in-form 2016 Us Open winner Dustin Johnson. His long-straight driving should be a real asset around Troon too, but 9/1 isn’t my kind of price in the Open.
Instead, I’m going to start this week’s recommendations with a player whose last four open appearances have seen him finish 2/3/5/10 – step forward Adam Scott. The Aussie seemed to have fallen out of love with the game as he struggled to swap his broom-handle putter for a conventional one, but he eventually mastered it to play some of his best golf earlier this season when winning the WGC at Doral. Since then, he’s had his eyes on this prize, and he’s reportedly been planning his Open assault meticulously with caddie Steve Williams. Scott is another arrow straight driver when on song – and the 22/1 looks the best value at the top of the market.
Meanwhile, as Americans have such a great record at Troon, it seems a good idea to have a couple in this week’s portfolio, though Matt Kuchar and Colt Knost may not be the two Americans on most people’s minds. However, Kuchar arrives here having been a model of consistency recently finishing 3/3/6/4/46/3 on the PGA Tour and, as he’s previously finished 9th and 15th in the Open when in this sort of form, his consistency can see him feature on the leaderboard come Sunday.
Meanwhile, though Knost may not have made the sparkling start to his pro career that many predicted, he has recently started to show why he was one of the world’s top amateurs with three top-5s in his last 5 events, and he has plenty of experience of links golf having played in the Walker Cup Matches over here.
I also can’t not back my all-time favourite Open player Ernie Els, and the Big Easy has a score to settle here after losing in a play-off in 2004. His form may have been patchy this year, but his fifth-placed finish at one of his old favourite haunts last time out highlighted he’s still got game – and 150/1 is too big to resist.
I’ll also be cheering on one of the home contingent, and Chris Wood looks a likely Ryder-Cupper this year after winning the BMW at Wentworth. He can be forgiven for taking it a little easy since then, but form of 6/23/11 since shows he’s still playing well. He was also placed in his first two Opens in 2008 and 2009 and, having suffered with injuries in the interim, this is definitely his best chance of success.