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The Open 2015 betting preview

The Open Championship returns to St Andrews this July, with Rory McIlroy aiming to defend the Claret Jug he won at Hoylake last year.

The Northern Irishman won his second Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year, along with a second victory in North Carolina’s Wells Fargo Championship, and is priced at 5/1 with Coral, Betvictor and Sportingbet to regain the Open next month.

He will face a serious challenge in the form of 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, who is gaining ground on McIlroy and second in the world rankings following victories at the 2015 Masters and the US Open. At a best price of 7/1 with Sportingbet and Betbright, the young American is in form and in with a big chance of claiming the title in Scotland this year.

Fellow American Dustin Johnson is the bookies’ third favourite, priced at 14/1 by a whole host including Skybet, Totesport and Betfred. The only Englishman backed by the bookmakers to be in with a serious chance of winning is Justin Rose, at a best price of 20/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral and fresh from his second place finish behind Spieth at the 2015 Masters tournament.

Tiger Woods has struggled in recent tournaments, crashing out of the US Open after posting a first round score of 80. Golf’s most recognisable player will need a vastly improved performance in St Andrews if he is to come close to making good on Sportingbet and Paddy Power’s best odds of a 50/1 victory.

McIlroy, Spieth and Sweden’s Henrick Stenson are among a number of players priced at 125/1 with Skybet to notch a hole-in-one. Lee Westwood hit a 226-yard hole-in-one at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur last year, and at the price of 125/1 might be worth a small flutter to do so again.

The last albatross registered in a major tournament was Joey Sindelar at the PGA Championship in 2006, and Skybet have the odds of such a feat being matched at this year’s open priced at 10/1.

Tom Lewis

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