The Open 2018 Preview – What are the Odds of an Upset at Carnoustie?

Thursday marks the start of the 147th Open Championship. 156 golfers will tee off, many of them with dreams of lifting one of the most coveted prizes in sport, the famous Claret Jug. This year the host course will be Carnoustie in Scotland, one of the ten oldest courses in the world. Aside from being the oldest, Carnoustie is also known as one of the most difficult, certainly on the Open rota.

The course has been referred to in the past as ‘Car-nasty,’ as when the weather rolls in and winds pick up it can be devilish to play, as many found out in 1999, with the best golfers in the world made to look foolish. Although a course record of 63 set by Brit Tommy Fleetwood last year tells the tale that good scores can be had if conditions are kinder. Steeped in history winners here include Henry Cotton, Gary Player, and Tom Watson. But who’s name will be engraved into the silver jug come Sunday evening?

The Claret Jug

The Claret Jug

As a sport to bet on golf can be extremely lucrative, with competition between betting companies growing each year, so too have the number of places we get for our money, with some firms paying out on the top ten this year. There’s a field at Carnoustie packed with genuine contenders, the names of favourites like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, and Rory McIlroy will be on many peoples minds when looking to a victor, as well as one man looking to return to former glories, Tiger Woods. We’ve picked out six golfers with widening odds for if you fancy trying to earn a few quid this week.

Good chance

Justin Rose – 14/1

A top ten finish in The Scottish Open shows Justin is tuning up nicely for four rounds of links golf come Thursday. The world number 3 has already won twice this year and the maturity that comes with his game these days means he tends to be in the mix. His best finish in the Open is still Birkdale when he was 17, but in the form he’s in, this could be the year Rose adds another major to that U.S. Open he won back in 2013.

Ricky Fowler – 16/1

As he proved with a good performance at The Scottish Open last week, American golfer Fowler likes his links golf. Backed up by good form, five top 20s in his last four starts, it’s hard to look past Ricky for value. With two top fives in Open appearances, we’re backing him to be there or thereabouts come Sunday.

Worth a flutter

Henrik Stenson – 22/1

The Swede certainly has for when it comes to Scottish links golf. It was back in 2016 at Troon when Stenson put in an incredible performance, carding a 63 in the final round to get his name etched on the Claret Jug. He’s had a steady yet unspectacular 2018, but a 6th place in the recent U.S. Open suggests he might be getting back near his best.

Ian Poulter – 55/1

Earlier this year at the Houston Open Poulter picked up his first win in six long years and while it has been fits and starts from there he’s shown enough this year to suggest that he can shoot some low scores when he puts his mind to it. You never quite know what Ian Poulter is going to turn up, but he’s definitely worth an each way shout for this weeks tournament.

Outside chance

Tony Finau – 66/1

A top-ten on his Masters debut earlier in the year signaled the big-hitting Finau as a player to keep a close eye on, with his fifth place in the U.S. Open showing he can definitely handle the pressure of the big stage. He’s acquitted himself pretty well in his two Open appearances and he’s surely a player set to get his hands on a major one of these days. This year might be too soon for that big win, but at a generous price, he might well be worth a bet.

Matthew Southgate – 100/1

Firstly Southgate is a member at Carnoustie, so he’ll know the course’s pitfalls more than most entering this tournament. Plus he’s something of a links specialist and has had two handy finishes in his last two Open Championships. And for those still dejected that England didn’t make the World Cup final, you can still back a Southgate for victory.

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