Sky Bet pay 10 places on The Open Championship at Royal Portrush

Sky Bet are paying 10 places on the Open Championship
Sky Bet are paying 10 places on the Open Championship

Sky Bet are paying 10 places on each-way outright bets placed prior to tee-off in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Now the final major of the season, The Open is hotly anticipated as it returns to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush for the first time in 68 years.

Rory McIlroy may well start favourite as he returns home in search of a second Claret Jug, five years after his first, but Brooks Koepka has the help of a caddie with local knowledge as he seeks to extend his major dominance.

Click on the image below for Sky Bet's latest odds and offers.

Sky Bet are paying 10 places on the Open Championship
Sky Bet are paying 10 places on the Open Championship - click the link to bet

The Open: Five key contenders

The final major of the year gets under way next week as Royal Portrush hosts the Open Championship for the first time since 1951.

Here, PA looks at five contenders for the title in Northern Ireland.

Brooks Koepka

An obvious choice but it is impossible to ignore the claims of the world number one, whose four major titles to date came from just eight starts and whose record this season reads 2-1-2. Koepka makes no secret of the fact that he prefers the tougher test that majors usually provide over low scoring regular PGA Tour events and also has the added advantage of caddie Ricky Elliott being from Portrush.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy's last major victory was the 2014 US PGA Championship, but the Northern Irishman can draw on the memories of his course-record 61 at Portrush, set during the North of Ireland Championship when he was a 16-year-old amateur. Two new holes have since been added and the former 17th and 18th holes will be used for the tented village, while McIlroy will have to cope with the heightened expectation of playing a major on home soil.

Xander Schauffele

Few players have enjoyed a more consistent record in the majors recently than Schauffele, who has recorded five top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts, including ties for second in the Open at Carnoustie last year and in this year's Masters at Augusta National. Schauffele was also third in the US Open at Pebble Beach last month and his wins in the Tour Championship and WGC-HSBC Champions prove he is not afraid to mix it with the best.

Jon Rahm

Rahm's Open record of 59-44-MC does not mark him out as an obvious contender, but the fiery Spaniard won the Irish Open at Portstewart in 2017, put up a strong title defence the following year at Ballyliffin and stormed to victory in 2019 with rounds of 64 and 62 over the weekend at Lahinch. Before that win the 24-year-old had been in excellent form with victory in the Zurich Classic (with Ryan Palmer) and five top-10 finishes, including third place alongside Schauffele in the US Open.

Henrik Stenson

Stenson's last victory was almost two years ago and he was plagued by an elbow injury for much of 2018, but the former Open champion has shown signs of rediscovering his best form recently with top-10 finishes in the Canadian Open and US Open. As well as his record-setting victory at Royal Troon in 2016, the Ryder Cup star was also runner-up in the 2013 Open at Muirfield and third in 2008 and 2010.

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