Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply
Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply

The Open 2017 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Matt Kuchar (ew)Tournament Winner60/1Betfair
Marc Leishman (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Betfair, Paddy Power
Zach Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner100/1Betfred, Ladbrokes

Venue

Possibly the finest links course in the world, Royal Birkdale will host The Open 2017 –  the first time it’s hosted this event since 2008, when Padraig Harrington secured the second of back-to-back victories, his 3-over total highlighting the difficult nature of this 7,200 yard, par 70 layout. Ian Poulter finished second to Harrington 9 years ago, and the two were in the mix again at last week’s Scottish Open, making them intriguing possibilities this year. Going further back, Justin Rose finished fourth here as an amateur in 1998 – when Mark O’Meara’s level par total was enough to secure victory. This tight coastal course has all the protections you’d expect from a classic links set-up – pot bunkers, large sand dunes, dense rough and undulating greens. The best winning score in an Open here was Ian Baker-Finch’s 8-under total of 272 in 1991 so it’s unlikely we’ll see too many low scores this week. The weather forecast suggests conditions will be mostly overcast with a chance of rain, with a moderate breeze off the sea creating a little extra difficulty without threatening havoc.

Favourites

Dustin Johnson was the 9/1 favourite for last year’s Open, but a back injury followed by a couple of missed cuts at his last two outings have persuaded BetVictor to offer the world number one at a top industry price of 16/1 for this edition. Jordan Spieth is the same price at Bet365, who are offering 8 places for each-way bets, with Rickie Fowler at 16s with the same firm after an impressive run of form this year. Jon Rahm won the recent Irish Open to underline his credentials in links golf and the Spaniard who has stormed into the world’s top 10 since the turn of the year is 18/1 with Coral who are also offering 8 places. Rory McIlroy, who is struggling for form after missing the cut at 3 of his last 4 tournaments, including the US Open, is at 20/1 with Bet365, while Masters champion Sergio Garcia is available at 20/1 with Betfred as he bids to become the third successive Spanish winner – after Rafa Cabrera-Bello’s win at the Scottish Open. Justin Rose and Hideki Matsuyama are 22/1 and 25/1 respectively at Betfred, while rising English star and local boy Tommy Fleetwood is 25/1 with Coral.

Tips

MATT KUCHAR is enjoying a hot streak of form right now and if the American is ever to make the breakthrough in the majors this could be it. He is a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, with eight top 10s to his name in the majors, finishing in the top 25 no fewer than 19 times since 2010. Kuch finished in T4 at the Masters and T16 at the US Open this year, plus T4 at the recent Memorial Tournament and also last week’s Scottish Open. His strong performance at Dundonald is perhaps the most significant – and he looks a solid each-way pick at 60/1 with Betfair with their 8 places.

After finishing fifth at Royal Liverpool in 2014, MARC LEISHMAN went on to lose out in a three-way play-off the following year at St Andrews, when Zach Johnson lifted the Claret Jug. The Australian, who also finished fourth at Augusta at 2014, has shown that he has the temperament to compete at the majors and he returns to England with his game in great shape. The world no. 34 won the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year, and after finishing in a share of 27th place at the US Open he has posted results of 17th and fifth on his last two outings. He’s a 50/1 shot with most bookmakers – but Betfair and Paddy Power offer 55’s and 8 places.

ZACH JOHNSON‘s form has been hit and miss over the last few seasons, causing him to slip to 71st in the world rankings right now. However, the 2015 Open champion has proved that he is suited to certain conditions, best highlighted by his record in the John Deere Classic, in which he finished 5th on Sunday. His results over the last 6 years at the Deere Run read 5-34-3-2-1-3 and his performances at the Open show a similar liking for the conditions – he was 12th last year at Troon, 6th at Muirfield in 2013, 9th at Royal Lytham in 2012 and 16th at St George’s in 2011.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Matt Kuchar (ew)Tournament Winner60/1Betfair
Marc Leishman (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Betfair, Paddy Power
Zach Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner100/1Betfred, Ladbrokes