(Courtesy: USA Today/SBNation)

Has your life seemed empty? Meaningless since about the second week of June? Well, I think I know why. But fret not, fellow degenerate! Sweet relief is here!

Finally! Major championship golf is back in our lives as the 147th Open Championship kicks off across the pond.

This year’s tilt takes place on arguably the most difficult test of golf on the face of planet Earth — Carnoustie. Or, “Car-nasty” if you’re really clever! Whatever you want to call it, just make sure you respect it.

While past Opens held here have been remembered for weather and carnage (both weather-induced and of the mental variety), this one shouldn’t be too far off from that — though the forecast doesn’t call for rain or driving winds. Instead, the sun and warmth of this unseasonably warm Scottish summer has made this links course hard and fast.

So — who has what it takes to tackle Carnoustie and earn themselves the right to be called “Champion Golfer of the Year?”Only time will tell — but I’ve got a few ideas.

As with any other Open any other year, you’re going to see big names on the leader board for sure — but you’ll also see your share of journeymen, amateurs, also-rans and anyone else you can think of. The Open is one of the few events in the world where, quite literally, any of the 156 entrants have a better than zero chance to take home the Claret Jug.

Here’s a look at my can’t-miss, no-doubt, mortal locks for the 147th Open Championship:

The Open Championship
Carnoustie Golf Links – Angus, Scotland
July 19 – 22, 2018

ODDS to Win:
Dustin Johnson 12/1
Rory McIlroy 18/1
Jordan Spieth 20/1
Rickie Fowler 16/1
Justin Thomas 25/1
Justin Rose 14/1
Tommy Fleetwood 18/1
Brooks Koepka 20/1
Jon Rahm 20/1
Jason Day 30/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Tiger Woods 25/1
Sergio Garcia 25/1
Hideki Matsuyama 40/1
Patrick Reed 30/1
Phil Mickelson 50/1
Marc Leishman 40/1
Paul Casey 30/1
Alex Noren 25/1
Branden Grace 40/1
Adam Scott 80/1
Louis Oosthuizen 60/1
Tyrrell Hatton 40/1
Patrick Cantlay 100/1
Bryson DeChambeau 80/1
Matt Kuchar 60/1
Francesco Molinari 25/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 80/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 60/1
Ian Poulter 50/1
Thomas Pieters 80/1
Zach Johnson 60/1
Tony Finau 60/1
Daniel Berger 150/1
Xander Schauffele 80/1
Bubba Watson 60/1
Shane Lowry 125/1
Charl Schwartzel 150/1
Webb Simpson 100/1
Brandt Snedeker 100/1
Byeong Hun An 125/1
Lee Westwood 80/1
Martin Kaymer 150/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 150/1
Jason Dufner 150/1
Russell Henley 150/1
Jimmy Walker 150/1
Charley Hoffman 125/1
Emiliano Grillo 125/1
Brian Harman 125/1
Haotong Li 125/1
Paul Dunne 150/1
Gary Woodland 150/1
Kyle Stanley 200/1
Kevin Kisner 200/1
Kevin Chappell 250/1
Adam Hadwin 250/1
Peter Uihlein 150/1
Shubhankar Sharma 250/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 100/1
Ross Fisher 150/1
Andy Sullivan 125/1
Si Woo Kim 250/1
Luke List 150/1
Chesson Hadley 250/1
Keegan Bradley 150/1
Padraig Harrington 200/1
Cameron Smith 200/1
Alexander Levy 250/1
Chris Wood 125/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 300/1
Chez Reavie 250/1
Brendan Steele 250/1
Satoshi Kodaira 500/1
Danny Willett 150/1
Russell Knox 60/1
Pat Perez 250/1
Charles Howell III 250/1
Dylan Frittelli 150/1
George Coetzee 300/1
Scott Jamieson 500/1
Sean Crocker 1000/1
Matt Jones 300/1
Anirban Lahiri 200/1
Jordan Smith 500/1
Matthew Southgate 125/1
Jonas Blixt 300/1
Jhonattan Vegas 300/1
Stewart Cink 150/1
Ernie Els 500/1
Cameron Davis 500/1
Yusaku Miyazato 250/1
Erik Van Rooyen 300/1
Fabrizio Zanotti 500/1
Gavin Green 1000/1
Shaun Norris 300/1
Michael Hendry 1000/1
Brett Rumford 1000/1
Yuta Ikeda 500/1
Shota Akiyoshi 1000/1
Danthai Boonma 1000/1
Brady Schnell 1000/1
Hideto Tanihara 500/1
Bernhard Langer 300/1
Darren Clarke 1000/1
Lucas Herbert 1000/1
Masanori Kobayashi 2000/1
Masahiro Kawamura 2000/1
Yuxin Lin 2000/1
Jazz Janewattananond 1000/1
Tom Lehman 1000/1
Mark Calcavecchia 2000/1
Todd Hamilton 3000/1
David Duval 3000/1
Sandy Lyle 3000/1
Kodai Ichihara 1000/1
Ryuko Tokimatsu 1000/1
Jovan Rebula 2000/1
Sanghyun Park 1000/1
Minchel Choi 1000/1
Matt Wallace 250/1
Alexander Bjork 200/1
Patton Kizzire 500/1
Jorge Campillo 250/1
Julian Suri 200/1
Marcus Kinhult 300/1
Beau Hossler 200/1
Kevin Na 150/1
Ryan Armour 500/1
Abraham Ancer 500/1
Sung Kang 500/1
Bronson Burgoon 300/1
Retief Goosen 200/1
Tom Lewis 500/1
Oliver Wilson 1000/1
Grant Forrest 1000/1
Jack Senior 1000/1
Ashton Turner 2000/1
Rhys Enoch 2000/1
Marcus Armitage 2000/1
Sam Locke 2000/1
Nicolai Hojgaard 1000/1
James Robinson 2000/1
Haraldur Magnus 2000/1
Thomas Curtis 2000/1
Ryan Fox 100/1
Zander Lombard 500/1
Austin Cook 250/1
Jason Kokrak 300/1
Kelly Kraft 500/1
Ryan Moore 150/1
Andrew Landry 300/1
Brandon Stone 250/1
Eddie Pepperell 200/1
Jens Dantorp 500/1
Michael Kim 200/1

Mortal Locks: 

Rory McIlroy — An Open Championship where I don’t take the action on Rory McIlroy? HA! No way. The track record Rors has in this event — and on links courses all over the British Isles — it’s hard not to love him this week. Sure, he’s been inconsistent, but he’s returning the putter he won the AP Invitational with earlier this season to his bag. Hopefully, that will cure his putting ills and propel him to victory. At 18/1, it’s hard to believe someone is actually giving that kind of action. Take it and run!

John Rahm — Perhaps the best young player without a major, I’m taking the action on John Rahm at 20/1. Few players have the mental makeup and talent to match that Rahm possesses. It’s time for him to shine — and with the odds he’s getting, you’ll be rewarded handsomely if it’s the Spaniard who hoists the Claret Jug on Sunday.

Bang for Your Buck: 

Tyrrell Hatton — What if I told you the guy who has won the last two Alfred Dunhill Links Championships — Tyrrell Hatton — is getting 40/1 money this week? Yeah, that’s what I thought — you’d throw as much money as you could spare on the Englishman. Hatton hasn’t been so hot as of late, but he’s proven he has the game to succeed in this environment. Hatton rounds out his impressive links golf resume with a T-5 at the 2016 Open at Royal Troon.

Francesco Molinari — Hard to argue with the form that Francesco Molinari has been showing as of late. With two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last four starts, you’ve got to admit — he’s peaking at the right time. At 25/1, you’d be silly to pass on the Italian at Carnoustie.

Fun Under $5:

Tiger Woods — Usually, there’s some massive underdog featured here — but this week, I want to take a look at Tiger. I’ll be honest, I don’t think he’s ready to win a major again just yet. That said,  if ANYONE can win in this environment, then Tiger has a great chance. He’s confident (then again, when isn’t he) and he’s getting 25/1 money. Not spectacular, but nothing to scoff at. Take your extra scratch and give Tiger a chance. You’ll want to be on the right side of history should he win Open No. 4.

There you have it, friends and degenerates! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get some beauty rest. After all — and like most of you — I’ll be up at 1:45am the next few days to catch the action.

Until next time, go and choose wisely…


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