It’s always a highlight of the Golfing year, but this weekend’s 2018 Open Championship should be even more spectacular than usual.
That’s because Carnoustie plays host, and the Angus venue holds nothing back. You need only look back to Jean van der Velde’s infamous collapse in 1999 to see what the course can do.
With 13 par fours, just two par fives and a brutal finish – including the famous Barry Burn – Carnoustie punishes any error in brutal fashion.
Dustin Johnson heads to Scotland as favourite this year. The South Carolina hitter is 12/1 to land his first Open. He’s in good form too with his last three results reading T8, 1, 3.
The American hasn’t yet hooked it all up over a full Open weekend, but the potential is right there waiting.
He hit six under par on day three last year at Royal Birkdale, a stunning seven under on the opening day at St Andrews in 2015, and another seven under at Hoylake 12 months earlier.
Next in the betting comes Justin Rose at 14s, who is looking for his first Open title some 20 years after his memorable T4 debut as an amateur at Birkdale.
Rose’s Open record isn’t brilliant, but he says he’s playing the most consistent Golf of his career. The stats support that claim, with the Englishman posting eight top-10s from 12 events this season.
His calm approach could pay dividends on a course which favours accuracy over power.
Many will be hoping this is Rickie Fowler’s year at 16/1. The 29-year-old finished T2 at Hoylake in 2014, but has been a little off the boil in recent months.
Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth are up at 20/1. The latter was untouchable 12 months ago at Birkdale, en route to his first Open, but he hasn’t broken the top 20 in any of his last seven events.
You’ll also find Rory McIlroy at 20s. The Northern Irishman is knocking on four years since his last Major win, and his current struggles with the putter could mean he’s up against it this weekend.
Tommy Fleetwood – 20/1 – could be a man to watch, however. The Southport swinger holds the course record of 63, and heads to Carnoustie with three top-seven finishes in his last four events.
25/1 shot Tiger Woods reckons this weekend could offer him his best chance of winning a Major.
The three-time Open champion has decent history at the venue. He was seventh when Carnoustie hosted in 1999 and 12th in 2007.
Francesco Molinari is a 33/1 shot. The Italian hasn’t got the best Open record (his best is a T9 in 2011) but he is in blistering form after winning the BMW Championship, the Quicken Loans National and a second in the John Deere Classic last week.
It could well be a case of mind over matter this weekend, so we’re keeping one eye on 125/1 shot and the last man to win the Open at Carnoustie, Padraig Harrington.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing