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The 152nd Open Championship takes place at Royal Troon, Scotland, in 2024 where the world's best bid to follow in the footsteps of legends of the sport including Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, who both claimed the Claret Jug at the Ayrshire venue. 

Below, we analyse the key contenders who look set to fight it out for glory at The Open and the opportunity to be labelled 'Champion golfer of the Year'. 

The Open LIVE: Leaderboard, tips, odds and updates

The Open odds

Rory McIlroy - 8/1

Rory McIlroy's agonising wait for a fifth Major title will surpass a decade before the next one comes around, but the Northern Irishman continues to knock on the door in the big events and it's no surprise to see him take high rank in the odds for the 2024 Open.

McIlroy, who claimed his only Claret Jug at Hoylake in 2014, has not won a Major since he doubled up in the US PGA Championship in the same season, a mammoth drought given he has posted a remarkable 20 Major top-ten finishes since his Valhalla triumph.

That was the case in seven of the last eight Majors and he arguably went closest of all when he was reeled in by Cameron Smith at the 2022 Open at St Andrews after a cold final day on the greens. He was fifth at Troon in 2016 but was a monumental 16 shots adrift of champion Henrik Stenson.

Jon Rahm - 9/1

Jon Rahm doubled his Major tally in 2023, adding the Masters to his victory at the 2021 US Open, and few would bet against the Spanish star winning a few more over the next few seasons.

With the Green Jacket already in his locker, Rahm will be fuelled by a desire to emulate his compatriot and hero, Seve Ballesteros, who claimed the Claret Jug on three occasions from 1979 to 1988.

The Basque came closest to doing so when tied for the runner-up spot at the 2023 Open and briefly looked like threatening runaway leader Brian Harman in Sunday's final round.

Scottie Scheffler - 10/1

Scottie Scheffler's 2023 tee-to-green numbers have been magnificent but the 2022 Masters champion has struggled to convert long-game brilliance into silverware as a cold putter has held him back in the biggest moments.

However, if Scheffler rediscovers his spark on the greens, there is every chance he will be a formidable force in the 2024 Majors.

While he's more likely to be successful in the US, the Texan boasts Open form figures of 8-21-23 and there's room for better still with added links experience on his side.

Viktor Hovland - 18/1

Steady improvements have seen Viktor Hovland become a regular Majors contender and he was frequently featured on leaderboards throughout 2023, finishing seventh at the Masters, second at the US PGA Championship, 19th in the US Open and 13th at the Open.

Three Open appearances have yielded impressive form figures of 12-4-13 for the Norwegian and he teed off alongside McIlroy in the final group at St Andrews in 2022. He has what it takes from tee-to-green but the short-game demands of links golf remain a concern. 

Cameron Smith - 18/1

Cameron Smith became an Open champion when he chased down crowd favourite McIlroy to claim the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 2022, showcasing the sparkling short-game skills which have seen him become a member of the game's elite.

The Aussie, who joined the LIV Tour immediately after his Open triumph, remains a threat in the Open despite a 33rd-place finish at Hoylake as defending champion.

Patrick Cantlay - 20/1

American Patrick Cantlay has a precise game which works at just about any golf course in the world but the nine-time PGA Tour champion has underwhelmed in Majors, making cuts without really contending for titles in recent seasons.

That should change at some stage but, for now at least, he remains a Major maiden. He will want to remedy that by the time he arrives at Troon.

Brooks Koepka - 20/1

Brooks Koepka returned to prominence in 2023, winning the US PGA Championship for a third time, and this fearsome competitor remains a key contender whenever he tees it up in Majors provided he is fit and healthy.

The LIV Golf man struggled after a strong start at Hoylake but he boasts four Open top-ten finishes and his patience and course management are assets on links courses.

Xander Schauffele - 22/1

A runner-up at the 2018 Open, Xander Schauffele continues to churn out solid Major results, finishing no worse than 17th in 2023, but he echoes his close friend Cantlay in failing to get over the line at the highest level.

After going closest at Carnoustie, he has since chalked up Open form figures of 41-26-15-17 and it seems more likely that his Major breakthrough comes in the US.

Rickie Fowler - 22/1

The comeback kid of 2023, Rickie Fowler has climbed back up the world rankings to become a factor again in Major championships once again, going close to glory when finishing fifth at the US Open in June.

Fowler, who then went and finished a respectable 23rd at Hoylake, has three Open top-six finishes to his name and he's a real threat based on form shown throughout the second of 2023's Major season. 

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