The Open: The three-ball contests you can’t afford to miss

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Amazingly it’s that time of year already, as the world’s best golfers head to the Open Championship, and with so many stories to play out this weekend at Royal Troon, this year’s edition could be a classic.

The 145th Open returns to the Ayrshire venue for the ninth time, with Americans winning each of the last six visits.

Last year saw Zach Johnson claim a popular win at St Andrews, as bad weather ensured the tournament finished on the Monday for only the second time.

This year the weather looks set to have a major say once again, so everyone will have to be on it from the first tee on Thursday.

The three-ball draw threw up some tantalising prospects, and we’ve picked out three trios you simply can’t afford to miss…

Willett/Fowler/Day

The reigning Masters champion, a man oh so close to becoming a regular Major winner, plus the world number one.

This trio of Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day promises to be enthralling and there’s a very good chance this year’s winner could emerge from here.

Mickelson/Westwood/Els

This is possibly the most experienced three-ball of the weekend, yet it still has every chance to being a victorious one.

Mickelson – 2013 Open champion – carded a fine 66 on the final round of his traditional Open warm-up, the Scottish Open, on Sunday, while Ernie Els was second during the tournament’s last visit to Troon in 2004.

Westwood will again be looking to shed his nearly-man tag, after finishing second to Willett in the Masters.

Zach Johnson/Scott/Stenson

Reigning champion Zach Johnson proved 12 months ago he can hold his nerve when it matters, and he’s in a fine three-ball with two in-form men.

Scott enjoyed a stunning early part of the year and has remained consistent since – top 10s in his last two events – and has finished in the top-10 in each of the last four Opens.

And then there’s Stenson, who shrugged off his US Open withdrawal with victory at the BMW International and boasts three top-three finishes at the Open.

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

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