Americans love Troon: Five USA shouts for 2016 Open Championship title
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | July 12, 2016
What is it about Americans and their success at Scotland’s Royal Troon Golf Club for The Open Championship?
Each of the last six champions at this famous South Ayrshire links course have hailed from the United States, going all the way back to Arnold Palmer in 1962. While, only one Briton has won here before; Englishman Arthur Havers in its first edition back in 1923.
Royal Troon last hosted an Open Championship in 2004, where Todd Hamilton (14/1 to be top senior with Coral this 2016 competition) claimed his one and only Major.
In fact, that was also the case for four of the last five winners from across the pond here, as Justin Leonard (in 1997), Mark Calcavecchia (1989) and Tom Weiskopf (1973) also made it their sole victory in one of golf’s premier events.
Just Tom Watson (in 1982) and Palmer won multiple Majors throughout their careers, though both share the distinction of having never triumphed in the PGA Championship – with a best finish of second apiece.
So, what does that suggest for contenders this year? A USA representative is 13/8 to win this year’s Open, but read on to find out Coral’s five specific American picks to claim the oldest and arguably most prestigious prize in golf…
After finally winning his maiden Major last time out at the 2016 US Open, Johnson is now the joint-favourite at 9/1 to follow it up with success in Scotland too.
The tall 27-year-old’s confidence will be sky high right now, and knows he can do well at The Open having finished tied-second in 2011 when it was held at Royal St George’s in Sandwich.
Aged just 22 and with two Majors already to his name, Spieth (11/1 to lift the Claret Jug) is undoubtedly the next big thing in golf, though is yet to build on what was a phenomenal breakthrough season in 2015.
He came tied-second at the Masters earlier on in the year, but flopped at the US Open, finishing joint-37th. Spieth had a great chance of winning this event last year, but eventually had to settle with tied-fourth after being one shot behind Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen, who went to a playoff.
If we’re going by one-hit-wonders, then Fowler (33/1 for victory) could well be the man to follow suit this year, having come so close at all four Majors before.
The 27-year-old’s best finish at The Open was tied-second two years ago, when he and another star yet to win a Major, Sergio Garcia, were just two shots adrift of eventual champion Rory McIlroy.
Being the defending champion, it might be a surprise that Johnson is way down in the outright betting at 55/1, but due to his age (40) it might best to take odds of 4/1 to gain a top 10 finish.
But, after a decent showing at the 2016 US Open, ending up tied-eighth, and being in the top 10 three times in the last four at The Open, Johnson could well cause another surprise.
A complete outsider at 80/1, it may be a bit of a punt to back Reed, but 2016 is the year of the underdog right?
No one could have predicted that Hamilton, whose previous and post best finish at a Major was just tied 15th, could win The Open in 2004, while Calcavecchia and Weiskopf were highly unfancied too.
Reed, 25, may not have performed well at Majors yet, but has a Cadillac Championship win to his name and also reached the last 16 at this year’s WGC-Dell Match Play. It might be worth to at least back him each-way, or take a price of 11/2 to be in the top 10.