Jack Nicklaus once said “When the Open is in Scotland, there's something special about it. And when it's at St Andrews, it's even greater”. This is the 150th Anniversary Open Championship, being played on the Old Course at St Andrews, and it promises to be a cracker.
With a field of 156 players, though, how do you pick the winner, or even a top ten finisher?
The occasional gambler’s default is to follow the Tiger. Woods has conquered the field and taken the famous Claret Jug at the last two St Andrews Opens – 2000 and 2005 – and is 11/2 with Sportingbet to do so again. He is a more tempting 10/1 to be top of the leaderboard after the first round (Betfred).
With Woods stuttering somewhat of late, however, the real value lies elsewhere. Justin Rose is hitting top form at just the right time and is 25/1 (Bodog) to finish top of the pile. Alternatively world number eight Ian Poulter has added a steely determination to his game in recent years and could be ready to win his first Open. At 33/1 with bet365, Poulter is worth an each-way bet at least.
Further down the field, those with a strong outside chance of making waves at St Andrews include Henrik Stenson (90/1 with Stan James), Adam Scott (80/1 with William Hill), and Chris Wood, who has finished fifth and third in the last two opens (80/1 with bet365). Perhaps the best value would be to back Edoardo Molinari at 100/1 with Extrabet. Fresh from victory in the Scottish Open, he’ll be flying high and eager to make a big impression at St Andrews.