Ten to watch at Turnberry

The 138th Open Championship gets underway at Turnberry tomorrow, with Tiger Woods participating again after missing last year’s tournament. He goes into the week as hot favourite, although dozens of players could cause an upset. Let’s take a look at ten players who may be good bets to contend come Sunday.

Lee Westwood

Let’s get the obvious bet out of the way first. Many of the professionals this week have put a premium on driving the ball well and hitting the fairway. This is Lee Westwood personified. Although Lee does not have a great Open record, playing with Tiger on the first to days will empower him. Where others falter when teeing it up with Tiger, Lee will undoubtedly feed off him and the large galleries sure to be following.

Camilo Villegas

The main problem with Camilo is the amount of bogies he makes. The Colombian racks up multiple birdies, and if he could iron out a few of the mistakes, he could well compete. His drive, incredible competitive spirit and perfectionist attitude, along with the ability to strike the ball well and adapt to inclement conditions will put him in contention, if the mistakes are limited.

Hunter Mahan

A strong ball striker, Hunter has really captured the attention of golf fans, after an impressive Ryder Cup display at Valhalla, he has begun to get himself into contention more often in the major championships. He is in good form too, finishing tied sixth and tenth in the US Open and Masters respectively. One the leaders may be keeping an eye on down the closing stretches, that is if Hunter is not leading himself.

Soren Kjeldsen

The Danish born player has enjoyed good form this season, and seems to have been in contention in the majority of European Tour events so far. A possible qualifier for the next Ryder Cup, Kjeldsen comes into the Open in great form. He has not performed brilliantly in the majors to date, but has won once on the Tour this season and his form this year may give him his best finish yet.

Brian Gay

He’s been around for a while, but Gay is in scintillating form so far. Winning twice on the PGA Tour, standing eighth on the FED EX Cup standings and fourth for driving accuracy, Gay could well be a contender. What he lacks in length he makes up for in accuracy, a key to unlocking Turnberry and perhaps winning his first major.

Ryo Ishikawa

The young Japanese golfer is playing the first two days with Westwood and Woods. Could this help or hinder him? It may be too early to expect a win from Ryo, however he his certainly talented enough to post a threat. It will certainly be an interesting group to watch regardless.

Nick Dougherty

Dougherty said himself that before his recent win, the press were on his back a bit, and suddenly they are now questioning him on his Open chances. Dougherty, another young and promising talent has yet to really introduce himself on the major scene, but could Turnberry be the time? Many players are in good form, Nick is one of them.

Nick Watney

Bookies have him at pretty long odds, around the 100-1 mark, although our beloved Ken Brown has tipped him to win on his newly formed Twitter page. Another player bringing good form into the Open, Watney will surely be a contender for many Opens in the future. Perhaps worth a cheeky outside each way bet.

Raphael Jacquelin

Makes the list courtesy of a stunning back nine charge at Loch Lomond last week which propelled him to second place. The Frenchman could well be a dark horse for the Open and an unlikely European winner.

Rafa Echenique

A true outside bet, he has enjoyed a couple of good finishes, in between many poor ones. Shot an albatross recently and came close to winning on the European Tour last month. A long shot, but one who could at least make the cut.


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