Phil Mickelson’s first round Open heroics have seen him installed as a clear favourite to win at Royal Troon.

The American’s 63, a course record at the Ayrshire links, put clear ground between him and his rivals and the oddsmakers adjusted their prices accordingly.

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You could back Mickelson at 45-1 to win a sixth Major title before the final round of the Scottish Open.

But some of the big firms now have him as short as 7-2 to lift his second Claret Jug, following his victory at Muirfield in 2013.

At a best-priced 9-2, it is to be hoped the weather doesn’t catch up with him tomorrow for those who are steaming in after his brilliant first foray.

Those who don’t believe Mickelson will pick up the trophy again can now get some decent prices on those further down the leaderboard.

Rory McIlroy might have been satisfied with his two under effort of 69 but he now finds himself six off the pace.

He’s the bookies’ general second favourite and a price of 14-1 in some places may well tempt people in with three rounds still to play.

Martin Kaymer is even better off than Rory, sitting behind Phil in tied second place at 5 under par.


The German already has two Majors in the locker and you can take him at 16-1 for Troon glory.

Patrick Reed, at the top of the leaderboard for so long on the first day before Mickelson’s storming round, is also tied for second with Kaymer.

You can back him, though, at 20-1 – the same price as Henrik Stenson, who is in tied 12th at three under par.

Among the bigger priced players with form in bad weather, Soren Kjeldsen (at -4 and 66-1) and Andy Sullivan (also -4 and 33-1) may appeal at the bigger prices.