Links golf is a different beast to what the world’s leading golfers confront in nine out of 10 tournament so it should pay to focus on links specialists in the Open Championship.
And, thankfully, bookmakers are listing some attractive odds about the same faces featuring towards the top of the Open Championship for the umpteenth year. One likes snapping up prices about strong contenders finishing in the top 20 of major tournaments and one has picked out three golfers who are worth supporting in the Open Championship at Royal Troon – Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and title holder Zach Johnson.
Garcia is an Open Championship specialist having gone close to winning it on a number of occasions, including finishing second in both 2007 and 2014. Garcia did miss the Open Championship cut in 2004 when Royal Troon last hosted the event – one admits that is a black mark against his name – but his form figures in his 19 appearances are outstanding – two seconds, two fifths, one sixth, one eighth, two ninths and one 10th. All up, Garcia has 10 top-20 finishes in his 19 Open Championship attempts, including seven in the 11 editions from 2005 onwards. Those are superb statistics.
Also, Garcia brings excellent recent form to the Open Championship. Garcia’s last three starts have resulted in one first and two fifths so, while the Spaniard is one of golf’s biggest chokers who is seemingly incapable of closing out major tournaments, he is a sound bet to be thereabouts when the Open Championship is up for grabs at Royal Troon.
BetVictor and Paddy Power are offering odds of +110 about Garcia finishing in the Open Championship top 20 when one thinks that the Spaniard is entitled to be odds on. That said, do not back Garcia to win the Open Championship because he cannot be trusted to get the job done.
Scott did not have the best of Open Championship records early in his career but the Australian has turned the corner since missing the cut at Turnberry in 2009. Scott was 27th in the 2010 Open Championship and 25th in the 2011 Open Championship before posting four consecutive top 10s – second in 2012, third in 2013, fifth in 2014 and 10th in 2015. Back-to-back top-20 finishes leading into the Open Championship indicate that Scott’s golf game is in a good place and one thinks that British major is probably the Australian’s best chance of adding to his big wins.
Paddy Power is taking a chance in offering odds of +110 about Scott making the Open Championship top 20 for the fifth year in a row. Scott should be odds on everywhere.
Finally, people who talk about Johnson’s Open Championship victory as a shock should keep their mouths shut. Johnson had demonstrated that he could handle pressure by winning the 2007 Masters Tournament and he had been one of the top 10 in two of the previous three Open Championship renewals. Five top-20 finishes in nine Open Championship appearances lead one to think that Paddy Power‘s odds of +175 about Johnson making it six from 10 are somewhat generous.
Johnson has warmed up nicely for his Open Championship title defence with three consecutive top-20 placings, including a last-start 10th in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and a recent eighth in the US Open.
Sergio Garcia to Finish in the Open Championship Top 20
14th – 17th July
Adam Scott to Finish in the Open Championship Top 20
14th – 17th July
Zach Johnson to Finish in the Open Championship Top 20
14th – 17th July