The 145th Open Championship is upon us. Royal Troon hosts the historic tournament for the ninth time and the first time since 2004. With the unpredictability of the weather at the Open, surprise players can often find their way into the mix. When long odds golfers get into contention, there are always betting markets to take advantage of and I’ll be looking to find them.
Greg Chalmers is the focus of my first punt. The Austrialian left-hander had been in poor form for months leading up to the Barracuda Championship. When he won that Sunday, he broke the longest streak of PGA Tour starts without a maiden win. Now Chalmers arrives at Troon off the back of his first PGA Tour win and his confidence level must be high.
In 2004, Mickelson and Weir both finished in the Top 10. Bob Charles, another legendary lefty, carded a solo 5th at Troon in 1962 and a T7 in 1973. All in all, the course seems to set up well for left-handers, which several players mentioned in 2004. Chalmers has made the cut in all three Open appearances and I’m very happy to take 33/1 about a Top 20 (Stan James) this week.
Next up is a slightly more outlandish bet. Dustin Johnson and Colin Montgomerie both jumped out at me when browsing the First Round Leader market. The Leader After 36 Holes market that Paddy Power have going is of more interest to me though.
The man I’m backing to be in control at the halfway point is 100/1 shot Scott Piercy. The 37-year-old is in fine form and has been performing incredibly well early in majors of late. At Whistling Straits in 2015, Piercy was T7 after 36 holes. The Masters started even better. He was T3 after two rounds. Entering the weekend at Oakmont, Piercy was just two shots back in T4. I think he has an excellent chance this week and this seems like a great bet.
Hideto Tanihara arrives at the Open in form only matched by Dustin Johnson. The back-to-back wins he’s chalked up seemed to have gone unnoticed by some. Tanihara has a T5 at the Open to his name and I considered backing him in several markets. Ultimately, I decided to go with Top 20 at 16/1 (Paddy Power).
Last up is a simple one. Fabián Gómez for Top Argentinian at 5/2 (Sky Bet). The only other competitor in this category is Emiliano Grillo and I think Gómez‘s price is a bit bigger than it should be. Both men are appearing in their first Open Championship and even though Grillo is clearly the bigger talent, I just fancy Gómez to come out on top this week.