Another Open Championship rolls around at Royal Troon, the 145th, with usual suspects Jason Day (8/1), Dustin Johnson (9/1), Jordan Spieth (10/1) and Rory McIlroy (10/1) taking a big bite out of the top of bwin’s market.
It’s not always won by a superstar though – take Zach Johnson, available at 50/1 having lifted the Claret Jug only a year ago, and classic shock Todd Hamilton, the last Troon winner back in 2004, rarely seen before or since, down the foot of the betting at 1000/1 for this renewal.
The three golfers below are all mammoth prices to even sneak into the top 10, despite each doing so at least once and excelling at multiple Opens, making them worthy of attention:
Justin Leonard @ 40/1
This is the only Major the 44-year-old has ever won and usually the only one he gets to play these days, bar the odd US Open, but ignore his Troon form at your peril.
Having clinched the Claret Jug at the South Ayrshire links in 1997, Leonard put in another fine Open shift last time the course hosted in 2004, managing a cracking T16.
With seven top 20 finishes at the Open to his name, including three top tens, and a T13 at Muirfield in 2013, Leonard must be of interest at a course that will hold little fear.
David Howell @ 30/1
This Surrey native never hit the heights after breaking onto the scene in the late 90s, when he landed two top-50 Open finishes in his first three starts, but Howell’s best result in a Major came when he tied for seventh at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
With a T13 finish bagged as recently as two years ago at Royal Liverpool, and another top 50 at St Andrews 12 months ago, Howell may be undergoing something of a renaissance in his favourite Major and, like Leonard, looks overpriced to make an impact.
Paul Lawrie @ 22/1
The layers aren’t taking quite as many chances with the Aberdeen native, who famously won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999 following Jean van de Velde’s remarkable implosion on the 72nd hole.
Lawrie’s heyday of four top-25 Open finishes in his first seven attempts may be long gone, but the 47-year-old has only finished outside the leading group of 40 once in the past four years – not bad going by any standards.
The best of those was T26 at Muirfield in 2013, and while Lawrie has shown little in this championship at Troon, not playing it in 1997 and cut in 2004, his overall Open form warrants the upmost respect.