The 151st Open Championship begins at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Thursday and we've picked out some of the best threeball bets from the opening round of action at the final men's Major of the season.
|What||The 151st Open Championship|
|Where||Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, Merseyside|
|When||Thursday 20th July -Sunday 23th July 2023|
|How to watch||bet365’s Live Golf Tracker & Sky Sports|
|Odds||Rory McIlroy 15/2, Scottie Scheffler 15/2, Jon Rahm 12/1, Cameron Smith 16/1|
The best bet from the early starters could be Patrick Reed, who is 3/4 to go lowest when he tees it up alongside Connor Syme and Jose Luis Ballester in the 7:30 match.
Reed won the 2018 Masters and showed that he still possesses plenty of ability when fourth at Augusta National in April, then he went and finished 18th in the US PGA Championship.
The Texas native has been in fine form on the LIV Tour recently, finishing fifth at Valderrama and second at LIV Golf London before a week off which should have him spot-on for a tilt at an Open title.
Syme is a solid DP World Tour player but he's not in the same class as Reed, while Ballester is a 19-year-old amateur who will be happy to make the weekend.
Henrik Stenson wowed the galleries at the 2016 Open, seeing off Phil Mickelson in a titanic tussle at Royal Troon, and the former Champion Golfer of the Year is playing well enough to make his presence felt in the 08:14 match.
Stenson is 9/5 to win a competitive threeball which also features Harris English and Andrew Putnam, but there are reasons to think the Swede should be shorter in the betting.
After giving up the Ryder Cup captaincy in the wake of the 2022 Open, he won his first event on the LIV Tour before a quiet spell, but his next best finishes on the rebel circuit have come in two of his last three appearances when fourth in Washington DC and sixth in London.
Romain Langasque has been driving the ball well in recent outings, making 10 consecutive cuts including at the US Open and in a strong field at last week's co-sanctioned Scottish Open, and the Frenchman will be aiming for another solid week at Royal Liverpool.
Langasque, who is available to back at 17/10, has made two cuts from three appearances in the Open and he's proven to be a comfortable links performer, which will be key to success at Hoylake.
Langasque is joined in the 12:30 match by Brendon Todd, who was runner-up at the John Deere Classic last time out but was in poor form prior to that effort and does not have the power required if a rain-softened Hoylake plays as long as expected.
Travis Smyth rounds out the threeball having qualified via a weak Hong Kong sectional.
Ewen Ferguson finished fourth at the British Masters, then 12th among some elite PGA Tour names at the Scottish Open, and the Scot could make a strong start on his Major debut.
Ferguson won the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2013 and he's proven himself in links-like conditions, winning his first DP World Tour title on a breezy Sunday at the Qatar Masters.
He arrives at his first Open in superb form and can be supported at 5/4 in the 14:26 threeball which also features Spaniard Adri Arnaus and Japanese player Keita Nakajima.
Arnaus has finished no better than 68th in his last eight outings and his wayward driving is a potential issue at Hoylake, while Nakajima has been in superb form on the Japan Tour but he's faced with a big step up in class in unfamiliar conditions.
Viktor Hovland looks a realistic Claret Jug contender and can begin his bid for a first Major title by bossing the 14:48 tee time.
Hovland went into the final round tied for the lead in the 2022 Open at St Andrews, faltering on Sunday as Cameron Smith leapfrogged both the Norwegian and his fellow 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy.
However, that performance underlined the 25-year-old's ability and he continues to advertise his claims in Major championships, finishing seventh at the Masters, runner-up at the US PGA and 19th at the US Open on a course he claims he didn't like.
Finau has made no impact since winning the low-grade Mexico Open in May while Thomas is on the verge of dropping outside the world's top 20 for the first time since 2017.