ACE VENTURER is the resident golf expert on this site but I like to add my opinion when it comes to the Majors.
I picked out my tips before seeing his and I’m happy to see we’re going with the same winner and also expect Sergio Garcia to go well.
Followers of Ace’s tips will know he’s a massive Dustin Johnson fan and he correctly backed him to win the US Open last month. Before that triumph the American had choked down the home straight many times in big events and some people wondered whether he had the mentality to win one.
There’s no doubt now – and he’s always had the game. The biggest hitter in golf can destroy courses when he’s on fire – although like so many others he’s not so good with mozzies.
Johnson has won two and finished in the top five in his last four events so arrives at Royal Troon in the form of his life.
Some will doubt whether his power game is suited to links golf but he finished runner-up at Sandwich in 2011 and has been in the top 15 four times. Last year he led at halfway at St Andrews and blew a big chance at Royal St George’s in 2011.
Huge-hitting isn’t a must at Troon but if the conditions are right – and wind is forecast – Johnson could drive five of the first six holes and that potentially means six eagle chances.
Also on his side is the fact Americans have won the last six Opens at Troon – 500-1 outsider Todd Hamilton being the last in 2004.
Only three champions in the past 100 years hadn’t played at least six Opens times or finished inside the top six in a previous Open so Johnson again fits the bill here.
Johnson and world No.1 Jason Day are 9-1 joint favourites at William Hill and McBookie. Day isn’t a renowned links player – 30th was his highest finish until fourth at St Andrews last time out – but comes into the event with four top-10 finishes in his previous five starts.
Rory McIlroy, the 2014 winner, loves the event but missed the cut at the US Open and has been making some tweaks to his game. I don’t want to be backing him at 10-1 with Ladbrokes or Jordan Spieth at 12-1 with the same firm.
Much more tempting at bigger odds are each-way punts on Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott – and you can get six, seven or eight places depending on who you bet with. McBookie are going seven places and if you place a £10 bet on the outrights you will get a £10 free bet – check terms and conditions.
Garcia’s long wait for a Major goes on but he must have a chance of competing at Troon. The Spaniard won the Byron Nelson in May and was fifth in the US Open so that’s great form to bring to Scotland.
He has nine top-10 finishes at The Open and was second in 2014 so should give us a run for our money at 28-1 with McBookie.
2.5pts win D Johnson
1.5pts ew Garcia
1.5pts ew Scott
1pt Westwood top English
(13-2, Stan James)
1pt Montgomerie top Scottish