4. Padraig Harrington (+18000)
Sticking with former Open Champions who could surprise at Royal Liverpool, Padraig Harrington fits the bill. The two-time Open winner has not had a good run in the historic championship in recent years. Having said that, he comes into the 151st Open Championship in pretty decent form.
Harrington finished T27 at last month’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, which could be a good indicator heading into this Open Championship with loose comparisons being drawn between Royal Liverpool and LACC.
Since the U.S. Open, Padraig collected a win on the Senior Tour, finished T18 at the U.S. Senior Open, and put together three excellent rounds at last week’s Genesis Scottish Open before a Sunday-74 resulted in an eventual T42 finish at the Renaissance Club.
3. Joaquin Niemann (+15000)
The talented Chilean hasn’t found much success at the Open Championship so far, but he has made the cut in two of his three starts. In addition, he has previously demonstrated that he has the ability and talent to contend on the big stage.
The 2022 Genesis Invitational winner finished 16th at the Masters in April and was T32 at the U.S. Open last month. Niemann finished 23rd at the LIV London event a couple of weeks ago and in his previous four starts on the tour has accumulated finishes of 10th, 33rd, 9th, and 10th.
The 24-year-old is an elite ball striker who has the game to contend in an Open Championship. Joaquin ranks 8th in greens in regulation hit on the LIV Tour this season and 5th in overall driving distance. At the U.S. Open last month he gained a significant amount of strokes off the tee as well.
If he can carry that ball-striking into this week’s Open Championship at Hoylake, the Chilean could truly emerge as a dark horse winner in Wyndham Clark-esque fashion.