Golfers playing on links course

The Open Favourites – Who Will Win the Claret Jug?

As the excitement builds for this year’s Open Championship, the world’s best golfers prepare to compete for the prestigious Claret Jug on the storied links of Royal Troon.

In this article we delve into the leading contenders set to make their mark in one of golf’s most revered tournaments.

From seasoned veterans with multiple major victories to rising stars making waves on the international stage, this year’s field is teeming with talent and determination.

Join us as we explore the profiles, strengths, Open records and recent performances of the top players poised to etch their names into the annals of golfing history.

We take a look at how the bookies are pricing up the top players this year and how their chances of taking the Claret Jug stack up against their odds.

Who will win this year’s Open? We’ll take a look below at the leading contenders. 


Royal Troon Golf Club – A True Test for this Year’s Contenders

Royal Troon Golf Club, a perennial fixture in the rotation of Open Championship venues, presents a formidable challenge to this year’s contenders.

Known for its demanding links layout, the course stretches along the rugged Ayrshire coastline, where unpredictable winds and deep, unforgiving bunkers can turn even the most straightforward shots into daunting tasks.

The famed “Postage Stamp” 8th hole, the shortest in Open Championship golf, demands pinpoint accuracy, while the lengthy par-4 11th, “The Railway,” tests the nerve and precision of even the most seasoned professionals.

As players navigate these iconic holes, Royal Troon will undoubtedly distinguish those who can master its nuances and those who succumb to its trials, making it the perfect stage for an epic battle for the Claret Jug.

The course has been lengthened by 195 yards since it was last used for the Open back in 2016 and now measures 7385 yards, playing to a par of 71. 

The 6th hole, a par 5, will be the longest in Open history at 623 yards, providing a stern test for the players. 

However, despite the lengthening of that hole and the course overall, it is not overly long by modern major championship standards. Valhalla, used for this year’s PGA Championship, measured 7,609 yards for example.

Much will depend on ground and weather conditions though.

With the UK having experienced an exceptionally wet Spring and early Summer, the course is likely to play long and the rough could well be deep. 

So a player who can handle tough conditions and keep his ball in play will likely be favoured at Troon this year.  


Favourites for the 152nd Open Championship

Okay let’s take a look at the betting favourites for the 152nd Open Championship. 

It is set to be a thrilling contest and with the bookies offering top 8, top 10, or even top 11 for each-way bets in the week of the event there is plenty of value to be found out there for punters. 

Please note all odds quoted below are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change. 


Scottie Scheffler

  • Open record: T8-T21-T23
  • Odds: 5/1
  • Major wins: Masters 2022, 2024

The world number one has had a phenomenal year so far in 2024, with a run of four wins in five starts that included the Players Championship and the Masters.

That victory at Augusta in April was achieved in emphatic style by Scheffler, as he cruised away from the field on the back nine on Sunday, triumphing by four strokes in the end from Swede Ludvig Aberg.

Scheffler has only been out of the top ten once this season and in addition to his wins has achieved second place finishes at the Charles Schwab Challenge and Houston Open and a third place at the Phoenix Open.

In the World Golf Rankings the Texan has earned nearly double the points of the second ranked player, underlining just how dominant he has been.

However, whilst Scheffler’s record at the Open is solid, with three top-25s from three starts, he has yet to show he has fully mastered the vagaries of links golf in the same way he has other styles of course.

At odds of 5/1, he is priced similarly to the odds he was for the Masters, where he had already won and in an event with a reduced field. 

Given the potential for getting on the wrong side of the draw at the Open and the inherent uncertainty of links golf, there will be those who feel that 5/1 price is a little skinny. 

However, given his exceptional form this year it is also difficult to argue against it being a fair price.

It will be interesting to see how Scheffler fares this time in his quest to add a Claret Jug to his pair of Green Jackets, but don’t be surprised if he walks away with the trophy on Sunday.


Check out this top golf tipster who has hit winners at prices of 200/1, 175/1 and 100/1


Rory McIlroy

  • Open record: T3-T25-T60-MC-1-T5-T4-T2-MC-T46-3-T6
  • Odds: 10/1
  • Major wins: US Open 2011, USPGA 2012, 2014, Open 2014

It is now 10 years since Rory McIlroy last won a major, a fact that barely seems believable at first glance. 

When the Northern Irishman captured the Claret Jug at Hoylake back in 2014, it seemed like he had the golfing world at his feet.

A month later he added the USPGA Championship at Valhalla and very few – if any – would have believed you then if you’d said he would not win another major for 10 years. 

It is not for want of trying however and the 35 year-old has had plenty of close shaves in recent years, perhaps most notably at St Andrews two years ago when he led after 54 holes but saw his putter go cold on him in the final round. 

McIlroy has an impressive Open record, with a second, two thirds, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth to go along with his win.

He is comfortable on the links, having performed well at a number of courses on the Open rota. That includes a 5th place finish at Troon in 2016, albeit a long way behind the runaway performances of Mickelson and Stenson. 

In terms of his 2024 form, McIlroy has seen an improvement in his play with a win alongside Shane Lowry at the Zurich Classic, followed by a solo success at the Wells Fargo Championship. 

Overall McIlroy ticks a lot of boxes at 10/1 but the question remains whether he can overcome his 10-year major hoodoo and the baggage that comes with it and finally capture another major title. 



Xander Schauffele

  • Open record: T20-T2-T41-T26-T15-T17
  • Odds: 16/1
  • Major wins: USPGA 2024

Fresh off his maiden major victory at the USPGA Championship in May, Xander Schauffele should be brimming with confidence heading into the Open at Troon.

With the “monkey off his back” so to speak having now captured a major championship – and his first title of any kind in two years – the unassuming Californian will be freed up to chase more major success. 

His Open record is commendable with six cuts made out of six attempts, and a second place finish to Francesco Molinari at Carnoustie in 2018 proves he has what it takes to handle the toughest of links conditions. 

Schauffele’s ultra consistent ball-striking makes him a contender on any golf course and his ability to flight the ball and hit a variety of shots equips him to handle the strong winds that are often seen at links courses. 

In addition to his strong Open record, the Californian also has a Scottish Open title to his name, which came at the Renaissance Club in 2022. 

Add to that seven other PGA Tour wins, an Olympic Gold medal, Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup wins and Schauffele already has a highly impressive CV at the age of just 30. 

His form in 2024 has been impressive too, with second place finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and Players Championship, third at the American Express and fourth at the Genesis to go alongside his win at the USPGA. 

In all the American has notched nine top-tens from thirteen starts on the PGA Tour this season, an enviable record of consistency. 

At a general price of 16/1 at the time of writing, there will be many seeing that as a value each-way bet on Schauffele for this year’s Open.  



Jon Rahm

  • Open record: T59-T44-MC-T11-T3-T34-T2
  • Odds: 14/1
  • Major wins: US Open 2021, Masters 2023

As one of the world’s top-ranked golfers, Rahm’s powerful driving and precision iron play are well-suited to demanding links layouts.

Evidence of that can be seen in his two wins at the Irish Open at Portstewart and Lahinch, in addition to an impressive record at the Open Championship. 

The Spaniard has notched a third and a second in his last three visits to the Open and appears to relish the challenge links golf presents.  

His ability to control his ball flight and navigate challenging conditions are clearly assets. 

Moreover, Rahm’s performances in major championships, including his victories at the U.S. Open in 2021 and last year’s Masters, demonstrate his resilience under the severest of pressures. 

Since joining the LIV Tour Rahm’s major performances have been a little underwhelming by his high standards, with a T45 at the Masters followed by a missed cut at the USPGA so far this year. 

He has put up some solid performances on LIV with seven top 10s notched in 2024 however.

The 29 year-old will be looking to transfer that form to the Open more effectively than he has done to the other majors so far this year. 

While the unpredictable nature of links golf always introduces an element of uncertainty, Rahm’s all-round game and mental fortitude position him as a formidable contender to lift the Claret Jug this summer at odds of 14/1.



Viktor Hovland

  • Open record: T12-T4-T13
  • Odds: 18/1
  • Major wins: none

Shortly after having secured the FedEx Cup and playing a starring role for Europe at the Ryder Cup last Autumn, Viktor Hovland decided to change his coach. 

Many were surprised at the decision given the success he had achieved with his previous coach.

Lo and behold, the Norwegian’s form suffered badly as he failed to register a top ten in his first seven starts on the PGA Tour in 2024, including a missed cut at the Masters.

However, in May Hovland went back to his old coach Joe Mayo and saw instant results, finishing third at the USPGA Championship.

Here is the Norwegian discussing the coaching changes and the impact it had:

The early signs are promising and if Hovland can start reproducing his form of his last year then he would be a real contender for the Claret Jug. 

His Open record is encouraging with three top-15s from three starts, including a fourth place finish at St Andrews two years ago. 

Hovland has been knocking on the door in majors for a little while now with a second and third at the USPGA and a seventh at the Masters to go along with his strong Open finishes. 

Having captured some big titles in his career including the Memorial Tournament, the BMW Championship, Tour Championship and Dubai Desert Classic, the 26 year old knows how to close the deal when he gets into contention at a big event. 

So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him add a Claret Jug to his growing list of achievements. 



Conclusion – Comparing the Favourites for this Year’s Open Championship

As the world’s best golfers gear up for the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon, excitement is growing.

This year’s tournament promises an enthralling contest, featuring a blend of seasoned champions and rising stars, all vying for the prestigious Claret Jug.

Royal Troon’s challenging links course, known for its unpredictable winds and demanding holes like the “Postage Stamp” and “The Railway,” sets the stage for an epic showdown.

The course’s recent lengthening and the wet conditions add to the complexity, favoring those who can navigate tough terrains and keep their shots precise.

Among the leading contenders, Scottie Scheffler’s exceptional 2024 form, Rory McIlroy’s quest to end his decade-long major drought, Xander Schauffele’s fresh confidence from his USPGA win, Jon Rahm’s proven prowess on links courses, and Viktor Hovland’s renewed form after reuniting with his coach, make them all formidable challengers.

As betting odds highlight the potential victors, the unpredictable nature of links golf ensures that the battle for the Claret Jug will be as thrilling as it is uncertain.

The Open Championship at Royal Troon is poised to deliver another chapter of golfing history, showcasing talent, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of glory.

Good luck with any bets you have on this year’s championship and please remember to always gamble responsibly. 

Now read: The Top 10 Golf Tipsters in the World – Ranked! 




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