The Open: Who are the potential first-time Major winners this week?
These are arguably the most competitive days Golf has ever seen. With seven first-time Major winners on the spin, are we on course for number eight this weekend?
Well, with no player shorter than 16/1 to win at Royal Birkdale for this weekend’s Open, the feeling from our traders is that this year’s renewal is a real head-scratcher to call.
So, if we are to see an eighth player break his Major duck in as many events, here are five men it could be…
Rickie Fowler – 16/1
He finished in the top five in every Major back in 2014, but now Rickie Fowler might finally be ready to make that final step up.
He’s enjoying a fine year, and was sniffing around the sharp end at Augusta for much of the Masters weekend.
Fifth at the US Open, third at the Quicken Loans and ninth in the Scottish Open, Fowler is in great shape for the week ahead.
Jon Rahm – 18/1
The quandary surrounding Jon Rahm is that this still might be too soon for him.
Supporters say he’s good enough and that’s all that counts, while detractors point to the history of the Open, and in turn, it’s conveyor belt of seasoned pros proving triumphant.
The Spaniard arrives in Southport fresh from victory in the Irish Open however. The talent is there, but has he the nous and poise to negotiate Birkdale this weekend?
Hideki Matsuyama – 22/1
There’s little doubt that Matsuyama is one of those players, like Fowler, who will win a Major, it’s just a question of when.
Began the year in blistering form, but has gone off the boil since. Dismal first round efforts ruined his chances at the Masters and the US Open, but with the latter in particular, he was the best player out there on day two and four.
Sort his Thursdays out and Matsuyama will be on his way.
Tommy Fleetwood – 25/1
The home hero is returning to Southport in the middle of the best year of his life.
Tommy Fleetwood was in the hunt throughout the US Open, and followed his fourth place finish with sixth at the BMW International and victory at the Open de France.
A tenth at the Irish Open last time out confirms Fleetwood’s form, and a roaring home crowd might just spur him on to a Major.
Paul Casey – 40/1
England’s Paul Casey is one of those players you sort of forget hasn’t won a Major.
With nine top ten finishes across the four Majors since 2004, it’s easy to assume that he managed to bag one along the way.
It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s no reason it can’t be this weekend.
Sixth at the Masters and 26th at the US Open, Casey was a fine fifth at the Travelers Championship last time out and was a notable seventh when Birkdale last hosted the Open in 2008.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing