Barry Plummer has his eye on England's golden summer of sport continuing in Kent. See his four picks to lift the Claret Jug here
The Open betting tips: Outright winners
Bazza’s Banker: Justin Thomas @ 22/1 with Bet365
When you can get a price like this on a man of Thomas’s calibre, he’s always going to be hard to ignore.
A solid performance in the Scottish Open is great preparation for this test, and when you look at his recent form he appears to be slowly edging back from a mid-season lull.
Thomas doesn’t have the most impressive Open Championship CV, hence why you are getting such a good price, but he did finish 11th at Royal Portrush and is too good a player to write off because of his competition form.
In the last 12 months, Thomas ranks 3rd for SG: Tee-to-Green and 4th for SG: Total, so don’t be surprised to see his consistency getting him over the line this week.
The Outsider: Tommy Fleetwood @ 33/1 with Bet365
Fleetwood can consider himself unlucky to have run into an impressive fan-favourite when finishing runner-up to Shane Lowry at Portrush in 2019, but the Englishman looks to be hitting form at exactly the right time and I like his chances again here.
His form at Open Championships has been steadily improving year on year, and he is on cloud nine currently thanks to an invitation to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.
Fleetwood is always a fan favourite at these events, and with a strong following he could be buoyed on to a first major victory this week.
The Long Shot: Branden Grace @ 60/1 with Bet365
I mentioned a few weeks ago that South African golf is in a fantastic place right now, so I cannot resist including an in-form Grace at a big price.
Grace has already has a top-10 at the Open Championship in 2017 – where he became the first male player to ever card a 62 in a major championship.
Grace has the perfect skillset for links, with a strong ability to manage the windy conditions and consistently impressive putting on these types of surfaces.
In the two events before the Scottish Open, Grace ranked a combined 3rd for SG: Tee-to-Green and 2nd for SG: Around-the-Green, so when you combine this with a hot putter you have a player who deserves to be considered at this type of test.
The ‘Why Not?’: Alex Noren @ 110/1 with Bet365
As it’s a major, let’s have a fourth pick. Noren has been on a mini resurgence in form recently, with a 4th- and 13th-place finishes in his last three starts.
Noren also has excellent Open form for a player at this price, with two top 10s and two top 20s in his last six attempts.
His short game has been his strength recently, ranking 10th for SG: Around-the-Green and 31st for SG: Putting in the last three months.
With all those factors considered, I cannot leave Noren out with excellent place terms on offer, as he screams each-way value this week.
The Open betting tips: Specials markets
Top Nationality Treble
When exploring these types of side markets at a big event like the Open Championship, you have a couple of options.
On one hand, you can throw a dart at some of the bigger odds in the bunched ‘Top European’ or ‘Top American’ markets, with some reasonable each-way places on offer.
You might even go crazy and put a few of these in an each-way accumulator in the hope of winning an inordinate amount of cash for a relatively small stake.
I however have gone for the more conservative second option in this year’s Open Championship, which is taking advantage of some of the less congested contests.
In a few of the ‘top nationality’ markets you may only be facing two or three opponents, some of which really stand out from the others. You can play these as individual selections, or follow me in with a 5/1 Bazza’s banker treble using all three selections.
Top Italian – Guido Migliozzi @ 8/11 with Bet365
Top Swede – Alex Noren @ 5/6 with Bet365
Top Irish – Rory McIlroy @ 10/11 with Bet365
First Round Leader
After his exploits at the US Open, Richard Bland looks to be great value in the first round leader market this week.
The Englishman is clearly living the dream at the moment, with a first European Tour win and a 36-hole lead in a major championship in the last couple of months.
That US Open performance was actually the only one of his last five appearances where he didn’t finish in the top-15, and as he has started under-par in each of his last nine tournaments he has the potential.
Bland has an early start tomorrow, going out in an all-English three ball which is the first of the day, so he could have a great chance to post a score and hope for the wind to kick up in the afternoon.
Ian Poulter is riding the crest of a wave at present, so after two top-5 finishes at the Charles Schwab and the Scottish Open, he is worth siding with in this market.
Poulter flew out of the traps with an opening 66 at the Scottish Open last week, and we know from experience that this is a tournament which he loves.
With his form clearly improving and the Ryder Cup looming, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bold show from Poulter at Royal St. George’s.
The fact that Migliozzi has made it into both of my special bets indicates how much I like his recent form heading into what will be his first Open Championship.
That inexperience may eventually be his downfall later in the tournament, but at a three-figure price for a red-hot player I can’t resist an each-way bet in this market.
Back-to-back runner-up finishes on the European Tour, followed by a 4th place finish at the US Open, are all the convincing I need to snap up those odds and pray for a solid opening round.
For more prices visit Bet365.
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