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Eight of the last nine British Open champions have been first-time winners.
The favourite heading into Thursday’s opening day of the 147th Open is world No. 1 Dustin Johnsonper OddsShark, who has never won golf’s oldest major.
Nor have Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood, who are also well fancied.
Many will look to the group of favourites to produce the 2018 champion at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland.
But there are plenty of sleepers who could also make a splash.
Paul Casey 40-1
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Casey, 40, will play in his 16th Open Championship this year at Carnoustie.
He has finished twice in the top 10, tying for seventh in 2008 and third in 2010, while he was tied-11th last year.
The world No. 14 will understand the challenge that faces the field at Carnoustie. Conditions are set to be difficult, and links golf can be unpredictable.
That should not phase Casey, who has enjoyed a fine year so far in 2018.
He triumphed at the Valspar Championship back in March, was fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May and finished second at the Travelers Championship last month.
That is some fine form to take into the British Open and, at 40-1, Casey looks a decent bet, especially if he can make a fast start on Thursday.
Prediction: Top 10
Russell Knox 66-1
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There has not been a Scottish winner of the Open since 1999, when Paul Lawrie famously won a play-off at Carnoustie after Jean van de Velde’s 72nd-hole collapse.
If that run of disappointment is going to end for the inventors of the game it could well happen back at Carnoustie, where links experience and the ability to cope with adverse conditions can be vital.
And of the five Scotsmen in the field this year, Knox looks to have the best chance of lifting the Claret Jug.
The 33-year-old has looked brilliant on the European Tour of late, following a second-place finish at the French Open with a fine victory at the Irish Open earlier this month:
The European Tour @EuropeanTour
Russell Knox wins the 2018 #DDFIrishOpen https://t.co/4fmhDuS7oK
Last week at the Scottish Open, he then shot in the 60s in his first three rounds to go into Sunday in contention before carding a disappointing 75.
Bar that round, though, he has been brilliant in his last three tournaments and could yet follow in Lawrie’s footsteps by bringing the Open back home.
Tony Finau 100-1
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Americans do not like Carnoustie—or at least their recent record at the course would suggest as much.
In the last two Opens played there, in 1999 and 2007, only one player from the United States has managed a top-five finish: Justin Leonard lost out to Lawrie in the play-off with Van de Velde.
For context, in the last five Opens, American players have taken 10 of the 25 available top-five spots, including three champions.
However, if there is to be an under-the-radar winner from the U.S. this year, it could well be Tony Finau.
He has been superb at the majors so far in 2018, placing 10th at the Masters and fifth at the U.S. Open, and the 28-year-old has the confidence and the game not to be overawed by the challenge posed at Carnoustie.
Prediction: Top 20