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2024 Open Championship: Evaluating the Favourites and Underdogs

Jul 10, 2024

Next week, the world's best golfers will converge at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland for the year’s final major, bringing with them the promise of exhilarating competition and breathtaking moments.
But what can we expect? Bettors are already putting their money on Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked player, who’s in stunning form after a dominant season. Others believe U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau’s length and major championship form this season will help propel him to his first Open win.
Yet, predictions are not so straightforward.
Surprises are in store, with Rory McIlroy facing potential struggles and Tommy Fleetwood primed for a breakthrough. Dive into our article for all the bold predictions and insights ahead of golf’s final major of the year.

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Insights for the 2024 Open Championship

The 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon promises to be a thrilling showdown, especially with Scottie Scheffler leading the charge. As the current world No. 1, Scheffler's season has been nothing short of extraordinary, boasting six tournament wins in his last 10 starts, including a triumph at The Players and The Masters. His recent victory at the Travelers Championship further cements his status as the odds-on favourite, with 4-1 odds to clinch the Claret Jug for the first time in his career.
However, all eyes aren't solely on Scheffler. Rory McIlroy, coming off his stunning collapse at the U.S. Open, holds a 13-2 chance and remains a player to watch. It’s important to note that after McIlroy’s epic meltdown at the 2011 Masters, he followed it up by winning his first major, the U.S. Open, by a stunning eight shots. Thus, he has proven he can bounce back from disappointment.
DeChambeau, who rallied to beat McIlroy at Pinehurst, sits at 11-1 odds, ready to shake things up. Another strong contender is PGA champion Xander Schauffele, listed at 14-1, bringing his consistent form into the mix. Lastly, young prodigy Ludvig Aberg stands at 16-1, looking to make a significant impact on his Open debut. Australia’s Cameron Smith, who won the 2022 Open Championship, sits with odds of 29-1.

Potential Surprises at the 2024 Open Championship

England’s Tyrell Hatton is entering The Open in amazing form. After contending for the first three days at the U.S. Open, Hatton returned to the LIV Tour where he dominated in the Nashville event, winning by six shots. The Englishman finished in a tie for 20th at last year’s Open and is seemingly a bargain at 24-1 odds.
Conversely, Tommy Fleetwood is a surprising name to watch, with golf odds also currently standing at 24-1. Fleetwood’s form throughout 2024 has been solid, making him a strong contender for the title. Ranking third in driving accuracy (76.38%) and 16th in total driving (102), he's been hitting the ball exceptionally well off the tee. His major performances this year include a T-3 at the Masters and a T-16 at the U.S. Open. Additionally, Fleetwood managed a top-10 finish at the Open Championship in 2023, marking his third top-10 in four starts at The Open.
Jon Rahm is going under the radar at Troon, and it’s strange to consider him an underdog but his odds suggest he is. With odds of 20-1, it’s clear people are looking past him. However, despite a horrible start to the major championship season, Rahm showed signs of life at the LIV event in Nashville two weeks ago, finishing in a tie for third at -12. Rahm also has a strong recent record at The Open, finishing T-11, T-3, T-34, and T-2 in his last four starts.
Shane Lowry, sitting with odds of 31-1, is a dark horse going into Troon. The 2019 Open champion loves the seaside links and he’s had a solid run of late, with four top-10s since March. He is also coming off a top-20 finish at the U.S. Open.
Another Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen, is a massive longshot at 80-1 and has not played in a major this year because of his association with LIV. However, Oosthuizen has a stellar Open record, with a win (2010), runner-up (2015), and third-place finish (2021). Oosthuizen ranks fifth on the LIV Tour in points this year, including two runners-up. And his major championship record overall is among the most impressive of any player, with seven Top-2 finishes and 18 top-5s.

What to Expect from Royal Troon

Royal Troon will be hosting its 10th Open Championship this year. It’s most famous for being the setting of the epic 2016 duel between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson, who went back and forth all weekend long. The two players finished a combined 37-under par, with Stenson posting a winning score of -20. To put in perspective how much they ran away from the field, the third-place golfer finished at -6, a full 11 shots behind second-place Mickelson.
Scoring this year will depend purely on the weather. Troon is known for having a relatively benign front and an extremely difficult finish. The front side starts out with three par-4s under 400 yards and includes two par-5s and the shortest par-3 in Open history, the “Postage Stamp” 8th hole which will play at 123 yards. However, the back nine will play more than 300 yards longer than the front with just one par-5. The highlight of the back side is the demanding 498-yard par-4 11th that parallels the train tracks and is known famously as “The Railway.”