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Day, McIlroy top British Open markets

Thu, Jun 23, 2:40pm by Staff Writer

Jason Day US Open 2016

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Jason Day never really loomed as a serious challenger in the US Open, but the world No.1 is still favoured in early betting for next month’s British Open at Royal Troon.

Day finish tied for eighth at 2-over-par overall with a final round 71 at the US Open, but William Hill is keeping the faith with the Australian, making him the joint favourite to claim a second major at Scotland’s Royal Troon on July 17 with 2014 winner Rory McIlroy, both paying $8 for the win.

Jordan Spieth, the third member of golf’s so called “Big Three”, is at $8.50 after a disappointing tie for 37th at the US Open.

A more tempting bet for local punters is offered by Adam Scott, who tied for 18th last week and is paying $19 as fifth favourite on the William Hill board, behind US Open winner Dustin Johnson at $13, who has moved up to No. 3 in the PGA rankings.

Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open winner, is paying $23, ahead of Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Branden Grace and Danny Willett, who are all on $29.

Defending British Open champion Zach Johnson is paying $51 for the repeat, while 2013 champion Phil Mickelson is on $41.

Day still comfortably holds the world’s top ranking with 10 PGA Tour wins under his belt, eight of which have come in the past 17 months.

“You know, it’s pretty cool, sitting on my couch, no one can see me, but I can say I’m the best golfer on the planet, which is pretty cool. It really is,’’ Day told reporters this week.

“I want to try to win as much as I can,” he added. “I’m greedy. I’m greedy when it comes to winning.”

Day has finished in the Top 10 in his last five major championships, but none of them has been at the demanding traditional links course of Royal Troon. Royal Troon is hosting its ninth British Open, the last of which was in 2004 when America’s Todd Hamilton lifted the Claret Jug.

A highlight for fans and a real test for the players will be the eighth hole, the elevated tee is just 110m from the green. What at first looks like a simple pitch and putt can potentially turn a game around when gale force winds, a remarkably narrow green and unforgiving bunkers come into play.

Other Australians in the field to tee off on July 14 are Marc Leishman, at $71 for the win on William Hill’s reckoning, Geoff Ogilvy on $161 and Steve Bowditch, paying a healthy $301.

It was announced last month that three-time winner Tiger Woods had entered the tournament after a 10-tournament layoff while he rehabilitates from back surgery, but latest reports indicate he is unlikely to play.

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