Live on BBC2: Thu 09:00 Angus Loughran previews the 2014 Open Championship from the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake.
Justin Rose at 14/1 is the market leader to win the 2014 Open Championship at Hoylake and in the process rack up his third victory on the spin following his successes in the recent Quicken Loans National and last week’s Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open.
However, the best Open finish Rose has had was on his debut when as an amateur he tied for 4th in 1998 and he did not play at Hoylake when Open was last here in 2006.
Rory Mcllroy can be backed at 18/1 and will be looking to put in four consistent rounds after he once again suffered a slump during his second one at the Scottish Open, having hit a course record in the opening round.
Meanwhile, Adam Scott has to be on any short list after his near miss at Lytham in 2012 and at Muirfield last year. At 18/1 the consistent Australian looks a rock solid investment given that several bookies are offering seven places to each way backers.
Tiger Woods returns to Major action this week but, friendless in the market, he has drifted out to 25/1, with punters and bookies alike dismissing his chances.
Nevertheless, Woods might be worth a saver at these odds, although it’s a big ask for him to win after only one start since his surgery. Indeed, William Hill’s offer of 3/1 about him missing the cut is actually proving more popular than a wager on him to win even though he prevailed here in 2006 and it would be some story if he could triumph again in 2014.
Elsewhere, I like the chances of Graeme McDowell at 33/1; he was first round leader here in 2006 after opening with a 66 and was a recent winner of the French Open.
Hideki Matsutama might not be everyone’s idea of a future Open Champion but I was really taken by his tied sixth on his Open debut. He also won at Memorial in June beating Kevin Na in a dramatic play-off and at 22 is one of the game’s most exciting talents. He is available at 66/1 here, which is a very attractive price.
Many like to take a chance on players at 100/1 in a Major and Matteo Mannassero looks a great outsider at 135/1.
The 21-year-old from Verona won last year’s BMW Championship at Wentworth and is playing in his fourth Open having tied for 13th at Turnberry in 2009 on his debut as a teenager.
It was only last week at Royal Aberdeen that he had his best event of 2014, finishing tied for fourth behind Justin Rose and shooting a final round 65 so he’s an outsider who could give you a great run at Hoylake.