The Open Championship has had a way of playing out in the most volatile fashion when stacked up against the other three major championships. With wind, rain and unlucky bounces typically intertwined with the championship, players such as Ben Curtis, Darren Clarke and other surprise Sportsbooks have raised the Claret Jug over the last two decades.
The Old Course at St. Andrews will play host to the 150th Open Championship this week. It has crowned all-time greats such as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods while also featuring some surprise victors such as Louis Oosthuizen and to some extent Zach Johnson and John Daly.
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That should be to the liking of many players in the field as they would most certainly be classified as “sleepers” based on their odds courtesy of Sportsbook.
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2022 The Open Long Shots
Ryan Fox To Win (+8000)
For those who do not watch the DP World Tour on a weekly basis, you may not be familiar with Ryan Fox. Trust me when I say this guy can play as he continues to find his name near the top of the leaderboard.
The 35-year-old from New Zealand began his year in fantastic fashion, nabbing a victory at the Ras al Khaimah Classic, and has since continued to shine. Fox went on a run of four straight top-15 finishes following his triumph and one of those results included a T-2 at the Soudal Open.
He has since lost in a playoff to Victor Perez at the Dutch Open and finished on the podium at both the BMW International Open and the Irish Open. Fox’s only weakness in his game is his driving accuracy as he is known to spray it off the tee every now and again.
If he is able to avoid the fairway bunkers of St. Andrews, he will be in perfect shape to attack some of these pin positions. For reference, Fox has gained strokes from tee to green in his last 11 starts with the last occurrence of him not doing so coming back in February.
Seamus Power To Win (+12500)
There will be plenty of discussion surrounding a couple of Irishmen as both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will make for popular outright selections. Instead, we will look to Power, who finished in a tie for 30th in his last time out at the Irish Open.
The 35-year-old has been terrific this season and just passed his one-year anniversary of winning on the PGA Tour. His iron play has been fantastic of late with performances of +0.96 strokes gained approach per round at the PGA Championship where he finished T-9 and +1.23 strokes gained approach per round at the U.S. Open where he finished T-12.
Clearly comfortable in the major championship setting, a return to competition on his native continent could be what pushes Power’s name to the first page of the leaderboard. This will be Power’s Open debut and given how he has played in his first three major starts, he should be just fine at St. Andrews.
Keegan Bradley To Win (+15000)
The man from New England took the home crowd by storm and nearly captured the U.S. Open, eventually settling for a T-7 finish. Bradley is one of the best tee-to-green players in the entire game and despite his missed cut at the Scottish Open, he should enjoy his time at St. Andrews.
He posted +1.01 strokes gained approach per round at the Renaissance Club, which showcases his irons are well intact. Bradley has now gained strokes on approach in every start since the Valspar Championship in March and will hope his putter returns to its former state as well.
The former PGA Championship Sportsbook had been great on the greens before the Scottish Open. In fact, Bradley had gained strokes with the putter in seven of nine starts on the PGA Tour, including the Wells Fargo Championship where he gained nearly 10 strokes with the flat stick.
Keith Mitchell To Win (+20000)
The one-time PGA Tour Sportsbook has put together the best season of his career but has been unable to reenter the Sportsbook’s circle. St. Andrews has a way of catering to those players who flight the ball left to right and can drive the ball extremely well.
That should suit Mitchell, who is coming off top-10 finishes at both the RBC Canadian Open and the Travelers Championship. The weird thing about the former Georgia Bulldog is he tends to play his best golf at courses where McIlroy also plays extremely well.
They possess similar games and that should bode well for his chances in the Open. While he has missed the cut in his two prior showings, Mitchell is a completely different player this season and that should translate to a completely different result.
Harold Varner III To Win (+25000)
The 31-year-old has occasionally made headway in major championships, but not yet in the Open. That has the potential to change this year as Varner is coming into this week’s tournament having gained strokes on approach in every start since February.
During this time, he has collected top-five finishes at the RBC Heritage and Zurich Classic and more recently a T-13 result at the RBC Canadian Open. With St. Andrews featuring some of the largest green complexes in the world, player will need to be precise with their irons.
He has also added significant distance off the tee, which will allow him to play more wedges than he typically would at a normal PGA Tour stop. There are few better than Varner in that regard and that should allow him to contend over the weekend at the Open.
Wyndham Clark To Win (+25000)
Clark would certainly fall under the same category as Ben Curtis or Todd Hamilton as he has gone without a win in his PGA Tour career. However, he does possess the skill set ideal for the Old Course as he is plenty long off the tee and has a deft touch both on and around the greens.
His driving ability will allow him to hit many wedge shots into these greens, which is right in his wheelhouse. He played well at the Scottish Open and finished in a tie for 16th and may be able to parlay that effort into the surprise of the year.