Open Championship sleeper picks to watch: Here’s who might break out at St. Andrews
Jack Nicklaus. Twice. Seve Ballesteros. Nick Faldo. Tiger Woods. Twice.
And John Daly, Louis Oosthuizen and Zach Johnson.
Since 1970, St. Andrews has crowned some of golf’s biggest names in the Open Championships it has hosted. And a few players further down the odds board, especially recently. In 1995, Daly went off around 65-1, while the past two winners at St. Andrews, Oosthuizen in 2010 and Johnson in 2015, though no slouches, were listed at 200-1 and 80-1, respectively, according to golfodds.com.
There’s hope, then, if you’re wanting to look past the McIlroys, Rahms and Schefflers, the favorites this week at the Home of Golf. And we can help. Below, our staff each made a long-shot bet using odds from BetMGM to assist you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league, or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook. (And if you’re looking to place any of these bets yourself, we teamed with BetMGM, and the online sports book is offering a new promotion: Make a risk-free bet up to $1,000. Sign up for an account to get into the action today.)
On to the picks.
Staff sleeper picks for the Open Championship
Sleeper pick: Seamus Power, +8,000. I picked him before as a sleeper, and I’m gonna do it again. A year ago at this time, he won the Barbasol Championship, so maybe this week can supply some good vibes to the Irishman.
Sleeper pick: Ryan Fox, +6,600. I’m with Dethier. The Kiwi has been on a tear on the DP World Tour, with seven top-10 finishes in his past 14 tournaments, including a runner-up at the Irish Open. Proven he can handle the Old Course, too, with a top-20 finish at the 2015 Open. Love these odds. Will def be popping out to Ladbrokes next week to put my money where my mouth is.
Sleeper pick: Robert MacIntyre, +12,500. He’s from Scotland, has played this course a ton and has two top-10 finishes in his two Open Championship appearances. Sign me up.
Sleeper pick: Ryan Fox, +6,600. He may not yet be a household name, but Fox’s recent DP World Tour run is ridiculous. He won earlier this year and has just strung together four top-three finishes in his past six starts. Let’s reiterate that — his past six finishes look like this: T2-54-2-MC-3-2. Yowza! (Bonus numbers that seem too high: Mito Pereira (125-1) Thomas Pieters (125-1) and Brian Harman (150-1).)
Sleeper pick: Justin Rose, +6,600. Is 66-1 enough for a sleeper pick? Probably not, but either way, I’m picking Rose. He finished sixth back at St. Andrews in 2015, and he’s captured a decent run of form of late.
Sleeper pick: Billy Horschel, +10,000. Emotions are running high in the PGA Tour-LIV Golf battle, and Billy Horschel is a player who thrives off that sort of intensity. It would be a big win for the Tour loyalists, and provide a platform for Horschel to preach his pro-Tour beliefs.
Sleeper pick: Sahith Theegala, +15,000. More firepower. He’s going to be a star, and this week will be the start.
Sleeper pick: Ryan Fox, +6,600. From our State-side view, it’s easy to overlook the goings-on in Europe, where Fox has been a stud this year. Currently fourth in the Order of Merit, he’s got a better shot of being in the mix than his 66-1 odds would make you think.
Sleeper pick: Sam Horsfield, +20,000. Proper major sleeper. Logged a win on the DP World Tour this season before signing with LIV. Have a hunch he’s going to be in contention on the weekend.