I thought long and hard about including Thorbjorn this week. He has a poor Open record thus far but there is no doubting his talent. His driving has been pretty erratic lately but the fact that he is still producing decent results shows that the rest of his game is in great shape. If he can get the driver going this week and give himself some chances, he could easily out-play his price.
Seems like every week now we have at least one leading (or close to leading) only for them to get “jelly arm” in the latter stages. Once again we had 3 players within 2 shots of the lead going in to the final round, with two just a shot behind, yet we only managed to get one placed. We’re getting the value, things just aren’t going our way at the moment.
This week is obviously very difficult when it comes to finding a potential winner but I do feel we have a couple of really live outsiders at nice prices that could go close if things go their way, as well as a couple towards the head of the market. A lot depends on getting a good start and having a little luck with the weather, which you always need if you’re going to win an Open.
12 of the last 13 winners have finished inside the Top 6 in a previous Open. Players outside the top 50 rarely win majors but that doesn’t mean we can’t go lucking for some e/w value, as plenty have placed at big prices. So we will be supporting a couple more than usual but to smaller stakes, so the same sort of outlay, hoping one or two of the bigger priced selections can get us a nice return.
2018 British Open
Note: Bigger prices are available for some selections but we have taken what we feel are the best price/place terms combination.
Brooks Keopka – 1 point e/w @ 25/1 (7 places)
It’s tough to leave Koepka out of calculations this week. He was majestic in retaining his US Open crown last month and there are definitely some similarities you can draw between they way Shinnecock played and how Carnoustie will play. There is plenty of rough around but it is not as restrictive as it could be with the weather we have had and the big hitters will be taking driver wherever possible and leaving themselves 40 or 50 yards to go. It’s hard to see Koepka not going well. The same can be said for DJ but at twice the price, we’ll happily take Brooks.
Marc Leishman – 1 point e/w @ 45/1 (8 places)
You could argue Leishman isn’t huge value this week but his price is bigger than many of those with far inferior Open records and he can usually be relied on to get competitive. He has managed top 6 finishes in 3 of the last 4 Opens and seems to really love the sort of test he will be facing this week. He has turned his consistent play in to a couple of Victories in recent years and the feeling is that he isn’t far away from adding a big one. Slight concern that this is his first visit to Carnoustie but he has put in plenty of practice and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Matthew Fitzpatrick – 0.75 points e/w @ 66/1 (8 places)
Carnoustie should suit Fitzpatrick this week and he will be one of the few that will be hoping the course really shows it’s teeth. He really loves a proper golf test and although he’s hardly set the golfing World alight this year, this is certainly the type of venue that should play to his strengths. His Open record is pretty sketchy but the feeling is he is due a really good week.
Zach Johnson – 0.75 points e/w @ 66/1 (8 places)
After a poor start to his links golf career, Johnson really seems at home with this sort of test these days and of course he proved his liking for it when winning in 2015. He has had a number of Top 20 finishes also and will be quietly plotting his way around as usual. Carnoustie should hold no fears for him as he played well here back in 2017, finishing 20th.
Ryan Fox – 0.5 points e/w @ 125/1 (7 places)
Fox has proven his liking for links golf in recent weeks, going close in the Irish Open before again playing well in the Scottish Open. Although Carnoustie will present a slightly different test, there’s no doubt he’s in great form and could just be a touch of e/w value.
Keegan Bradley – 0.5 points e/w @ 150/1 (10 places)
It’s slightly surprising to see Bradley quite so big this week. He has a perfectly respectable Open record, with three top-20 finishes in his last 4 appearances. He only got in to the event after John Daly was forced to pull out with a knee injury but he has been playing well enough this season and he is another that could go well at a huge price.
Paul Dunne – 0.5 points e/w @ 125/1 (8 places)
This one might raise a few eyebrows but Dunne has some good links form to his name and he lead the Open after 3 rounds in 2015 when still an Amateur. Granted, he closed with a 78 that year to finish down in 30th and he has missed the cut on his only other 2 appearances but the feeling is there is plenty more to come from the talented Irishman. He has a great record at Carnoustie, where he has won the British Masters and he come here in decent form. He needs to drive the ball well this week, which can often be his achilles heel but if he gets that firing there is very little not to like about the rest of his game and he could be one of the surprise packages.
Thorbjorn Oleson – 0.5 points e/w @ 100/1 (8 places)