The Open: Five men looking to become household names at Royal Troon
The wonderful thing about tournaments like the Open Championship, is that it only takes the right golfer in the right conditions to be the star of the show. And nowhere was that more evident than last year’s Championship at St Andrews, so who will step up 12 months later?
A year ago, no fewer than four amateur players – Jordan Niebrugge, Ashley Chesters, Ollie Schneiderjans and Paul Dunne finished in the top 30.
All four have since gone professional, so who will be the unknown stars to come to the fore at Royal Troon this weekend?
Let’s start with this year’s two amateurs, hoping to bag the lauded silver medal.
England’s 21-year-old Scott Gregory landed his spot at this year’s Open by virtue of his Amateur Championship title at Royal Porthcawl.
Previous winners of the tournament include Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal and Portsmouth-born Gregory boasts an impressive youth record.
Italian Stefano Mazzoli has had almost a year to prepare for this weekend, having claimed the European Amateur title last August in Slovakia.
The 19-year-old has already made his European Tour debut, impressing greatly in the Italian Open and will be hoping to repeat Matteo Manassero’s stunning amateur run to 13th in 2009.
Jon Rahm Rodriguez
This Spaniard took the bold move to turn pro last month, sacrificing his spot as last year’s leading amateur.
But a run to T23 at the US Open – as leading Amateur – was a prelude to a stunning professional debut at the Quicken Loans where the 21-year-old finished third, thus reclaiming his place at Troon this weekend.
Having starred as an amateur, memorably leading after day three last year, Paul Dunne is back as a professional.
The Irishman amazingly won the Open qualifier for the third straight year to book his place in Scotland.
Having missed the cut at Hoylake in 2014, Southend’s Matthew Southgate is back and ready to impress.
The 27-year-old landed the best result of his career earlier this year, coming home fourth at the Irish Open.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.