Brooks Koepka caused a surprise last week in the US Open at Erin Hills as the American won the first Major of his career in a stunning performance that saw him finish four shots ahead of the field at the end of the weekend. Many of the big names in the sport missed the cut in Wisconsin, including Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy as they struggled in their opening two rounds around the tough golf course.
The world’s best players will now be focusing on the Open Championship, the third Major on the calendar, which is taking place at Royal Birkdale in Southport this year. Here is a look at some of the players who could cause a surprise at the tournament.
Photo Credit (above): Federacion de Madrid via Twitter
Rafael Cabrera-Bello is still looking for the first Major win of his career, which is 85/1 to come at Royal Birkdale. With this in mind, click here if you want to wanna bet online on golf where there are a range of different markets already available on the tournament. The Spaniard is a winner of five events around the world and has just recently started playing regularly on the PGA Tour in the USA. He was in contention going into the final day of the St Jude Classic after a brilliant round of 65 on the Saturday. Sadly for the European, he was unable to convert that into a win the following day as Daniel Berger defended his title. Cabrera-Bello has only once missed the cut in the last five years in the Open Championship so he clearly enjoys playing link golf.
At the age of 33, Kevin Kinser is a late developer on the PGA Tour, where he has been successful twice in the last two years. The American prevailed recently at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational in Texas where he played superbly well to hold off the challenge of Jon Rahm, Sean O’Hair and Jordan Spieth. The tournament next month will be Kisner’s third visit to the Open Championship. He will travel to Southport under the radar; however, if he continues to play some of the iron shots he has been executing recently, he can be in contention at the Merseyside course where he is available at a huge 125/1 in the betting.
Credit: PGA TOUR via Twitter
Charley Hoffman crept into contention on the final day of the US Open at Erin Hills to record his second top ten finish in a Major Championship. The man from California has been a professional since 2000 and has won four times on the PGA Tour, the most recent being the Valero Texas Open in 2016. Sadly, it has never worked out for him in the big events. As we have seen with the likes of Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke and Ben Curtis, the Open often throws up a surprise result so this could be Hoffman’s year. One of Hoffman’s biggest strengths is his putting so he won’t be giving away too many shots on the greens. If you can fancy backing the American, he is a huge 140/1 to lift the Claret Jug.
Steve Stricker is one of the best golfers never to win a Major Championship. At the age of 50, he now shares his time between the PGA Tour and Seniors Tour, where he has made a strong start following his induction. Despite his age, Stricker has finished inside the top 20 of both of the two majors so far in 2017. Royal Birkdale is not the biggest course in the world and may instead suit someone like Stricker, who can use all his experience to get around safely with a winning score.
If any of the five above are successful at Royal Birkdale, it will be the eight consecutive major that a first-time winner has come out on top on the Sunday.