Sport Golf

Saturday 20 January 2018

Seven golfers worth a punt for the Open Championship

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Phil Casey

The 144th Open Championship gets under way on the Old Course at St Andrews on Thursday. Here are seven contenders to lift the Claret Jug:

Jordan Spieth

It is impossible to look beyond the world number two, who is trying to claim the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam following victories in the Masters and US Open.

Spieth only arrived in Scotland late on Monday afternoon after winning the John Deere Classic, but the 21-year-old is riding the crest of a wave and his putting will be a massive asset.

Odds: 5/1

Louis Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen won the Open the last time it was staged at St Andrews in 2010 but would not have been such a short price if not for his performance in the US Open last month, when he recovered from an opening 77 to finish joint second, just a shot behind Spieth.

Odds: 22/1

Rickie Fowler

Fowler finished runner-up behind Rory McIlroy at Hoylake last year and was in the top five in all four majors, although he admits his only real chance of winning was in the US PGA Championship. Responded to being labelled over-rated by fellow pros with a stunning victory in the Players Championship in May and produced a similar scoring burst to win the Scottish Open on Sunday.

Odds: 16/1

Martin Kaymer

Missed the cut in the defence of his US Open title at Chambers Bay and also in the BMW International on home soil, but finished fourth in the French Open in Paris and seems to thrive on tough courses.

His excellent long-range putting will also be crucial on the vast double greens at St Andrews.

Odds: 33/1

Victor Dubuisson

Dubuisson has struggled to reproduce the form which saw him make his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles last year, but was 12th on home soil in the French Open and 10th in the Scottish Open on Sunday.

He can also boast a round of 62 on the Old Course in the Dunhill Links in 2012 and just needs to keep his temper in check.

Odds: 80/1

Bernd Wiesberger

Like Kaymer, Wiesberger appears to relish playing on tough courses, losing a play-off for the Irish Open at Royal County Down and winning the French Open at Le Golf National thanks to a flawless closing 65.

A final round of 74 in the US PGA last year when in the final group with Rory McIlroy was no disgrace and his length off the tee will be an advantage.

Odds: 66/1

Alexander Levy

An unlikely choice due to relatively poor current form, but Levy is another long hitter who can produce a string of low scores when on song with the putter.

Carded three rounds in the 60s in the Scottish Open at Gullane last week.

Odds: 150/1

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