The Open 2017 Preview
By Rory Ford
Rickie Fowler – 16/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes & William Hill)
One of my recent ‘go to’ guys in major tournaments. Sadly, he has come up short so far in his career but I believe The Open provides Rickie with his best opportunity of a maiden major victory. One of the most talented players on tour, he is sure to make his major breakthrough eventually and I believe it could be this week.
With numerous top 10 finishes in majors he has plenty of experience come Sunday and I’m hoping this experience finally pays off and helps him get over the line this week. A top five at the US Open this season was just the latest of those top tens. He is a fantastic links player as seen by his 2015 Scottish Open victory. He is one of the best scramblers on tour which is a major asset on difficult golf courses. Taken with his excellent recent form of four top ten finishes from his last five starts and I think we could be onto the winner. I’m taking him as my number one pick this week.
Jordan Spieth – 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
One of the finest golfers in the world right now, Spieth represents everything you look for in a major winner. He was simply devastating a couple of seasons ago and whilst people think he has dropped off that is simply testament to the high standards everyone including himself expects. He is one of the best putters in the world and if he can put himself in positions he could take some stopping.
Already a two time major winner at the young age of 23 he could have many more to come, starting this week. A winner on his last start in the Travellers shows his level of recent form. Whilst he has not graced a course in competitive action since then he is one of a few players who could come and blow the field away this week. If he starts rolling putts in early then the rest of the field have a serious task on to keep with him.
Tommy Fleetwood – 25/1 (Ladbrokes, PP)
The local lad is sure to have the biggest support from the galleries this week but that doesn’t win you the tournament. What does is replicating the level of form he has been showing lately. In his last four starts he has made four top tens and won over in France. Through in a top five in the US Open and he is one of the hottest players in the world.
His price has been battered over the last few weeks but a player playing with his level of form and confidence, on his home course, is not to be taken lightly. Another strong challenge really would come as no surprise and at the 25s still available I want him on side.
Thorbjorn Olesen – 150/1 (PP)
Now we are on to the ridiculous prices which would have us screaming the house down if they won. I think a couple stand out at these odds. First, Olesen who has lots of good links golf experience and performances. He is a former Alfred Dunhill Links Champion and this experience could be valuable this week. He is a former top ten finisher at The Open as well and at 27 he could be set for another big challenge. He also has two top fives in his last four starts so arrives in good form.
Ryan Fox – 200/1 (Ladbrokes)
This is one of the more insane prices available this week. Whilst I’m not saying he is going to win he is certainly overpriced and represents good value at small stakes each way. He has been playing some very good golf in the last few weeks. This has included two top five finishes in two links tournaments. At 200/1 I am willing to make a small investment that he could keep this brilliant form going.
They are my five picks for this year’s Claret Jug in order of preference. Let’s hope they are still in there competing come Sunday!