The 2017 Open Championship will take place on the links of Royal Birkdale and, with Paddy Power already betting 1/5 odds 8 places and offering a bet £10 get £30 free, we thought we’d come up with 5 Links-lovers who might just be worth backing and helping you make the most of Paddy’s impressive offering.
#1 Henrik Stenson – 25/1 Paddy Power
It’s impossible not to mention the 2016 Open Champion, but last year’s stunning victory over Phil Mickleson was hardly a flash in the pan. He finished third in 2008, third in 2010, and second in 2013, and it’s worth noting that his third in 2008 was achieved here at Royal Birkdale.
#2 Sergio Garcia – 18/1 Paddy Power
Since 2001, Garcia has finished in the top-10 in the Open Championship an amazing 10 times, and this year’s US Masters Champion could easily win the Claret Jug now he’s broken his major duck. However, it’s worth noting that he’s finished 29th and 51st on his two starts here.
#3 Phil Mickelson – 50/1 Paddy Power
It took the multiple major-winning American several years to get used to the idiosyncrasies of links golf, but he now boasts four top-3 finishes in the Open since 2004, with three of them coming since 2011, including victory at Mirfield in 2013, whilst he also played his part in an epic battle with Stenson last year. His finishes of 24th in 1997 and 19th in 2008 here at Royal Birkdale also suggest that the 47-year-old could still have a part to play despite being an older than average winner.
#4 Padraig Harrington – 40/1 Paddy Power
The mercurial Irishman may have a new technique in which he lifts his left foot off the floor during his backswing, but it seems to have been working well as he returns to a course where he will probably feel a few inches taller when he gets on the first tee. That’s because he’s the reigning Royal Birkdale Champion after winning the second of his Open Titles here in 2008. He was also fifth in 1997 here, and his chances shouldn’t be overlooked.
#5 Chris Wood – 100/1 Paddy Power
The Open Championship was very kind to Chris Wood when he started out in the game as an amateur, finishing fifth here in 2008, and third in the Open Championship the following year. However, he’s had no luck whatsoever since, not qualifying three-times, and having to withdraw last year because of injury. However, as injury prone as Wood is, he must have been looking forward to returning here for some time and, the 2016 BMW Championship Winner, can make his presence felt if he stays injury-free.