The Review-Journal has provided golf handicapper Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1) with a mythical $200 bankroll to play the futures board at the Westgate sports book for the British Open, which starts Thursday at Carnoustie Golf Links at Angus, Scotland. Reynolds correctly picked Brooks Koepka to win the U.S. Open at 25-1 odds in the Review-Journal in June.
$65 on Rickie Fowler at 16-1
Fowler turns 30 in December and yet is still at the top in that proverbial “best player to never win a major” category. He’s the world’s No. 7-ranked player but hasn’t won an official PGA Tour event in 16 months. He got engaged in June, and this reminds me of when Sergio Garcia won the 2017 Masters after recently getting engaged. Both players were longtime bachelors in the public eye, but professional golf is a funny game and most players actually get better once they settle down. He played well in last week’s tuneup at the Scottish Open, which he won last year, so he definitely possesses the links pedigree. Fowler has eight top-five finishes in majors. At some point, he is going to have his major breakthrough, and I’m banking on sooner rather than later.
$40 on Sergio Garcia at 25-1
Garcia has gotten married and become a father since his first major triumph in 2017. Anyone who has followed his career knows that the British Open is the major he wants to win the most. His golf hero is the late Seve Ballesteros, a fellow Spaniard who won the Claret Jug three times. Garcia has had 10 top 10s and five top 5s in the British Open. Carnoustie is the perfect test for a player such as Garcia, who is not necessarily a bomber but has the length to compete and is an excellent ball striker who can use his creativity to shape shots.
$25 each on Branden Grace and Tyrrell Hatton at 40-1
Grace and Hatton are previous winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour, where Carnoustie is one of the three courses in the event rotation. In fact, Hatton has won the event two straight years. Both players are excellent links players. Hatton finished ninth at the Scottish Open and was sixth at the U.S. Open in tough conditions, which could prove important this week as the wind could play a major factor. Grace doesn’t come in on great form, but this should be a good course for him. He shot 62 on Sunday last year at Royal Birkdale to finish sixth in the British Open.
$15 on Matthew Fitzpatrick at 60-1
Fitzpatrick, 23, has looked destined for stardom since winning the British Boys Amateur championship in 2012. He was the low amateur at the 2013 British Open at Muirfield and won the U.S. Amateur that year. The Englishman has four European Tour wins and is motivated to get back on the European Ryder Cup team. He has three top 15s in his past six events, including 12th at the U.S. Open.
$10 on Adam Scott at 80-1
Scott is ranked No. 82 in the world, his lowest since his rookie season as a pro in 2000. The putting anchor ban has obviously affected his game, and he has only five top-10 finishes in his past two seasons. On the surface, he looks like a player to stay far away from, but I tend to believe in narratives in this game. Scott has gotten a blast from the past to work on his bag this week in Fanny Sunesson, who was Nick Faldo’s longtime caddie. Sunesson was on the bag for Faldo in four of his six major wins, including two British Opens. She has been retired since 2012 but will work for Scott this week.
$6 each on Haotong Li and Emiliano Grillo at 125-1
$4 on Danny Willett at 150-1
$4 on Stewart Cink at 200-1