Golf: Justin Rose can end long wait for English Open winner at Birkdale

No English golfer has won The Open Championship since Nick Faldo in 1992 – and not many came closer than Justin Rose did as an amateur at Birkdale in 1998.

The then 17-year-old chipped in at the last to finish in a tie for fourth, two strokes behind eventual champion Mark O’Meara.

25 years on since Faldo’s victory at Muirfield, and as the Open returns to Birkdale, Rose heads a list of English players hoping to end that unwanted streak.

Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey all have genuine claims to winning the Claret Jug, but Rose will hope his nous around the course will see him through.

He won the 2013 US Open, so has Major pedigree, and after losing out to Sergio Garcia in a play-off in this year’s Masters, has the game to capture one of golf’s biggest prizes.

He’s one to watch out for at 19.25 with

It’s an unusual Open, as there isn’t a definite favourite. Jordan Speith leads the betting at 13.25, but is closely followed by Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm.

Usual suspects Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are well down the betting, with many of golf’s elite coming into this in poor form.

Johnson is always there or there abouts when it comes to Majors, and are enhancing his odds of a top 5 finish to 10.00 – something you can hole out on until play starts on Thursday.

For those looking for someone with slightly longer odds, it might be worth looking at a former winner who is returning to form.

Padraig Harrington won back-to-back Opens in 2007 and 2008, the latter coming on this Birkdale course.

The Irishman has remodelled his swing, and is seeing the benefits, finishing 4th in last week’s Scottish Open.

In a tournament where age is rarely an issue, he could roll back the years again, and could be an outside bet to place well.

At 56.00, he’s certainly worth an each-way punt.

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