South African swinger a massive price for the Open Championship

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One of the singular joys of golf betting – as anyone who backed 80/1 play-off loser Angel Cabrera at the Masters will tell you – is the opportunity to back an overlooked player at a monster price and dare to dream.

The chances of South African legend Ernie Else have been well documented previously on this site, but the 25/1 shot is not the only representative of the Rainbow Nation who is fancied to outrun his odds in this year’s pursuit of the Claret Jug.

Charl Schwartzel (33/1) and Louis Oosthuizen (40/1) are other South Africans who occupy the upper reaches of the betting, but it’s their lesser-spotted countryman Thomas Aiken who may just make a splash at 150/1 if putting his best foot forward at Muirfield.

Nine of the last 10 Open winners had carded a top 10 finish during the calendar year, whilst six had posted a victory and whilst, overall Aiken has not been in exactly scintillating nick this term, he fulfils both those requirements.

Four rounds under the 70-mark won him the Avantha Masters in India and his T3 in the Volvo World Matchplay further vouches for his ability to string together four days of consistently high class golf if the stars align.

Aiken – as you might expect from a triple-figure punt – isn’t exactly brimming with Major experience, never having participated in The Masters or the US Open and never making the cut at the USPGA, but his British Open record is decent by comparison, with the Johannesburg golfer making the cut in four of the past five years.

T8 and T7 finishes in the 2007 and 2013 renewals respectively, represent some serious links performances to take note of and 11 of the last 15 Open Championship winners had previously posted a top 10 finish at the tournament.

Filtering the field through the three aforementioned trends, the South African is one of just 10 entrants that remain, alongside Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and countryman Els.

He’ll take in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Links in his final pre-Open prep and that tournament – for which he’s a 125/1 shot – has acted as a great prep for British Open winners in recent years, with the last three winners all honing their sea-side game in Inverness.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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