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Bob Weeks Picks Six: The Open Championship

Tommy Fleetwood Tommy Fleetwood - The Canadian Press

The Open Championship returns to Hoylake, more properly known as Royal Liverpool, for the first time since 2014. With it come some familiar sights, such as the unusual internal out-of-bounds for which the course is known. There are also some new features, like a very difficult redesigned par-3 17th hole.

The weather in the U.K. is expected to deliver some moisture, pretty much every day of the tournament in varying degrees. That will soften up the course considerably.

It will also, as it almost always does, provide another hazard of varying degrees for the players as they try to navigate this historic links. For all of them, it’s the last chance at a major championship this year.

To win

Rory McIlroy +600

No big surprise, but after his win at the Scottish Open, the odds dropped quickly on McIlroy, who finished that event in style with birdies on the last two holes. He said the win won’t raise his expectations for another Claret Jug, but it certainly is a wonderful way to arrive in Liverpool, a place where he has lots of good vibes from his victory in 2014.

Tommy Fleetwood +2200

It seems Fleetwood has done everything but win of late. He lost in a playoff at the RBC Canadian Open and added a T5 at the U.S. Open and a T6 at the Genesis Scottish Open. His game has been solid from driver to putter during that stretch and his past results at the Open bode well: he was runner-up in 2019 and tied for fourth last year.

Top 10

Rickie Fowler +250

Most people know that McIlroy won the Open the last time it was at Royal Liverpool. What fewer remember is that Fowler was tied for second. That’s one of this three top-six finishes in this grand old championship. While his at the Rocket Mortgage celebrated his return, the fact is he has been playing great for some time now. He has eight top-10 finishes this year including four in his last six starts.

Robert MacIntyre +490

It looked as if MacIntyre was going to pull off a Nick Taylor and win his home Open until McIlroy went birdie-birdie to pass him on the 72nd hole. Still a runner-up finish isn’t too shabby and shows he’s in good form. He’s had four top-10s and hasn’t missed the cut on the DP World Tour this season and has a scoring average of 70.31, 19th best on the Euro circuit.

Top 20

Nick Taylor +800

So, the good part about this selection is that Taylor is having an outstanding year and getting him at this number is juicy. The downside is that this is his first appearance at the Open Championship, so this could be a learning experience. I’m leaning towards the first part of this, especially with the Canadian’s good finish last week in Scotland where he ended up T19.

Keegan Bradley +370

Basing this pick on current form and not on past results at this championship. Bradley has two wins this season, including at the recent Travelers Championship. He currently sits sixth in the FedEx Cup and has reached 15th in the Official World Golf Rankings. We’re looking past the fact he’s missed the cut in the last three Opens.