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Five Players to Watch: Open Championship

REUTERS/Paul Childs. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

TROON, SCOTLAND | There are betting shops seemingly around every other corner in this part of the world and the Open Championship is very good for business.

If you’re feeling it, you can bet Adam Scott, Sergio García, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson against the field. You can bet Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy against the field.

You can get Masters champion Danny Willett at 55-1 or DJ, the U.S. Open champion at 9-1, or odds on whether Jim Herman will be the low American this week.

Want a sure bet?

Bet on it raining at least part of the time at Royal Troon, which it has continued to do. It’s summer in Scotland, after all.

In picking our five favorites this week, we’re going with a history-based theme:

The past six Open Championships at Royal Troon have produced American winners: Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard and Todd Hamilton.

In keeping with the trend, here are our five picks at Troon:

5. Matt Kuchar: This is a longshot, not because Kuchar hasn’t been playing well but in 10 Open Championship appearances, he has just one top-10 finish. Maybe this year things change for Kooch.

4. Jim Furyk: He’s the ultimate grinder and Troon can be a grind.

3. Rickie Fowler: His form has fallen off in recent weeks but Fowler is a big-picture guy and he wants to get back in the discussion of top players. The greens aren’t especially severe and if he can see a few putts go in, maybe his mojo returns.

2. Dustin Johnson: He’s won his past two starts – the U.S. Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He may be the player to beat this week.

1. Jordan Spieth: If the conditions are difficult as expected, Spieth’s ultimate weapon – his mindset – becomes even more valuable. Plus, he’s still stinging about his near-miss at the Old Course last year. He wants the Claret Jug.


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