by Alan Barbour
This year’s Open heads to Kent and Royal St. George’s and Tiger Woods aside, hosts a glittering array of golfing talent.
World Number One Luke Donald will be confident of success following on from his four stroke win at last week’s Barclays Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.
Northern Ireland’s favourite son Rory McIlroy decided to have a break after his sensational performance in the U.S. Open at Congressional and it remains to be seen if that will prove to be a plus or a minus when he tees it up on Thursday alongside the ‘Big Easy’ Ernie Els and the enigmatic Rickie Fowler.
There is a six strong Scottish contingent taking part: Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson, Martin Laird, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle and Peter Whiteford.
R McIlroy 10/1
L Donald 12/1
L Westwood 14/1
M Kaymer 25/1
G McDowell 33/1
N Watney 33/1
S Stricker 33/1
S Garcia 33/1
P Mickelson 40/1
M Kuchar 40/1
C Schwartzel 40/1
J Day 40/1
P Harrington 40/1
K J Choi 40/1
D Johnson 50/1
J Rose 50/1
R Goosen 50/1
Each-way bets 1/4 odds first 6
Three against the Field
Former World Number One. Finished seventh last year at St. Andrews.
Assisted here by his natural low-ball flight.
Not in the best of form but did finish fourth last time in the French Open in Paris. 25/1
Ultra consistent cut maker and top-ten finisher.
Very good putter and showed he can handle links golf at last week’s Scottish Open, where he finished in a tie for tenth place. 40/1
Won the unofficial ‘fifth Major’, beating David Toms in a play-off at the Players’ Championship in May.
Finished 22nd the last time the Open was played at RSG’s.
Fader of the ball, which may benefit him this week.
Still looking for his Major breakthrough at the age of 41. 40/1
Top Scottish Player
Martin Laird 9/4
Paul Lawrie 3/1
Stephen Gallacher 4/1
Scott Jamieson 4/1
Peter Whiteford 4/1
Sandy Lyle 25/1
Selection: Martin Laird.
The 28 year old Glaswegian has amassed £1.6 million in winnings this year alone – which is more than all the other five collectively.
He plays on the PGA Tour and the consensus is that RSG’s will favour American style play.
Hole in one
Yes 5/4 No 4/7