Open Championship - First Round Leader

It has been a long time since we have seen a firm and fast Open Championship and what appeared to be a simple task on paper looks to have become a fair bit tougher the closer we come to kick off. That doesn't mean they still won't take the course apart but the pot bunkers may provide more of a defence than what was previously anticipated. 

Danny Willett at 100/1 (Seven Places)

Danny Willett is an interesting sleeper in the outright market but it could pay to gamble on him being one of the early names to hit the top of the leaderboard on day one. The Englishman has a fair record in the Open with a couple of top tens and has extremely good memories of St Andrews.

He won the Dunhill Links here in 2021 and was leading in the clubhouse after his first two rounds only to be overtaken by a late birdie from Dustin Johnson. His win in the Dunhill came after a MC at the Fortinet, 71st at Wentworth and two other MC's in Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Therefore, recent missed cuts at the Scottish and Travelers can possibly be glossed over in favour of his history and affinity with the Old Course. Despite what has gone on recently, Willett will be confident of making significant gains here this week and his game is perfect for scoring around here. 100/1 is fair enough for the Englishman who tees off early Thursday to continue his love affair with the old course.

0.75pt each-way D.Willett First Round Leader 100/1 (1/5 7)

Danny Willet - 0.75pts e/w @ 100/1

Adam Scott at 70/1 (Seven Places)

Adam Scott has bad memories here to banish having had one hand on the Claret Jug here back in 2015. The Australian was 15 under with five holes to play only to miss a putt shorter than his fingernail and then an avalanche of dropped shots on the way home saw him drop to 10th place. He is the forgotten man of that Open Championship but it really was as spectacular as his collapse in 2012. He remains a specialist in this event though with five top 10s and only one missed cut in his last 11 appearances.

He has reached an age that isn't far from perfect for winning the Open and his scars down the years may just provide the fire to inspire him to his second major victory. He certainly can not be ruled out having finished 14th at the US Open recently. 67th at the Memorial before that was largely down to a really poor short game as his irons were off the charts good. He certainly has the ability to go well early on in this event and the 80/1 looks a tasty carrot to gnaw at.

0.75pt each-way A.Scott First Round Leader 70/1 (1/5 7)

Adam Scott - 0.75pts @ 70/1

Matthew Jordan at 150/1 (Seven Places)

Matthew Jordan looks one to be chanced on his Open debut given some of the heroics he has produced before. Jordan won the links trophy here back in 2017 and his best finish on the DPWT to date is at the Dunhill Links back in 2019. That week, he shot 12 under across his two rounds at the Old Course en route to finishing 5th for the week. The same year in the British Masters at Hillside he fired an opening 63 to break the course record and take the first-round lead.

He is clearly capable on this terrain and a hot opening round certainly is not out of the question for the Englishman. A decent top 25 in Ireland followed by a made cut in Scotland is good preparation and the Old Course holds plenty of good memories. At 150/1 certainly worth a tickle.

0.5pt each-way M.Jordan First Round Leader 150/1 (1/5 7)

Matthew Jordan - 0.5pts e/w @ 150/1