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Five outside bets for 2017 Open Championship glory
The splendid Royal Birkdale is the home of the 146th Open Championship - for the tenth time in the club's history - which explodes into action on Thursday as 156 players fight it out for the prestigious Claret Jug.
The likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day predictably dominate both the headlines and the betting, but with many of golf’s star men struggling for form, here at Betting Directory we pluck out five tasty outsiders who we think have a shot at glory in Southport.
Alex Noren (50/1)
First on the board is Alex Noren who we’ve selected at a juicy 50/1 to triumph in the North West of England. The Swede has enjoyed a superb time on the tour in the last year, winning five tournaments, the highlight being a rasping record-breaking victory in May’s BMW PGA Championship, as he set a course record of 62 in what was a scintillating final round.
Noren’s fine form has propelled him up to No.9 in the World Rankings, and after watching his compatriot Henrik Stenson lift the Claret Jug last year, he’ll be gunning for glory in Southport this week.
Noren has a decent links pedigree, having previously triumphed at the Scottish Open (2016), while back in 2008 at Royal Birkdale he fired a strong 72, 70 and 75 in his opening three rounds, but a 77 on the final day let him down, but a T19 was something to be proud of in his first appearance at a major championship.
The 35-year-old’s best performance since then was a T9 at the 2012 Open, and at 50/1 he is well worth a gander in the betting as he prepares to take Birkdale by storm.
Padraig Harrington (66/1)
We can’t possibly write an outsiders article without including the last player to win a major at Royal Birkdale: Padraig Harrington (2008). The two-time Open champion memorably hoisted the Claret Jug in Southport nine years ago, after battling rain, howling wins, and the likes of Greg Norman to beat the field by four shorts, as he successfully retained the Open trophy he lifted a year earlier.
Those present will never forget Harrington’s stunning eagle on the 17th hole:
But make no mistake about it, we aren’t just hurling Harrington in the mix the for the sake of it. The 45-year-old heads into the Open in decent nick, having finished fourth at the Scottish Open last weekend, which was a timely confidence booster. At 66/1 he’s definitely worth pondering to bag a third Claret Jug and fourth major trophy.
Harrington may not have fared too well at The Open since his back-to-back triumphs in 2007 and 2008, but his experience of success and course management at Birkdale will definitely put him in good stead this week, making him an intriguing one to watch as he bids to join the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus on three Open successes.
Ian Poulter (80/1)
80/1 shot Ian Poulter heads into The Open this week bidding to end his elusive search for a first major triumph. In 51 attempts the passionate Englishman has yet to get his hands on any of the four showcase spectacles, but he’s come close at The Open, including back in 2008 when he finished second behind Harrington at Royal Birkdale.
Ryder Cup legend Poulter has since come T9 in 2012 and then T3 a year later, and after successfully qualifying he’ll now be itching to return to major action, having not participated since the 2016 Masters.
In terms of current form a rejuvenated Poulter appears to have some of his old swagger back, having bagged second spot at THE PLAYERS Championship in May, while he headed into the final round of last week’s Scottish Open tied for the lead, however he frustrating faltered on the Sunday, finishing T9 and six shots off winner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Steve Stricker 150/1
Driving accuracy will be key a Royal Birkdale, and with that in mind we have included a man that currently tops this category on the PGA Tour, Steve Stricker, with the pin-point American finding an impressive 356 of his last 473 fairways from the tee at a rate of 75%.
Stricker may now be 50, but four of the last six Open winners have been over 40, while eight of the last 10 have been 35+. There is also a current trend of seven successive major winners, which Stricker would extend to eight should he triumph in Southport.
Last year Stricker posted a career-best 4th place finish at The Open, while back in 2007 and 2008 he carded T8 and T7 in the third major of the season. Stricker warmed-up nicely for the upcoming Open by hitting a stunning 64 in his final round of the John Deere Classic, grabbing a share of the lead at one point, before finishing in a tie for 5th.
Andrew “Beef” Johnson 175/1 Betfred
What a popular winner Andrew Johnson would be! An Englishman has remarkably been absent from the list of Claret Jug since Sir Nick Faldo way back in 1992, but could the 175/1 shot end this mammoth 25-year drought?
Obviously the odds are against Beef, who finished 19th last weekend in Scotland, but the 28-year-old Londoner could well be worth a punt to thrive in The Open, a tournament he recorded an 8th place finish in last year.
Johnson thrilled the crowd on that occasion, through a delightful combination of his affable personality and actual gameplay, and the “people’s champion” will once again be hoping to thrive a year on up in Southport.
The Open Championship Outright Odds
Archive - Previous 5 Golf Articles
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Europe Head The Betting For Royal Birkdale Prize
Hideki Matsuyama tipped to win 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale
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Zach Johnson To Enhance His Stunning Record At The John Deere Classic
2017 John Deere Classic Betting Preview
Alex Noren and Henrik Stenson Are Our Best Bets For The Scottish Open
2017 Scottish Open Betting Preview
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