Open Championship: Reed can start fast

American Patrick Reed
American Patrick Reed can start fast
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Dave Tindall makes a case for a trio of players to go well in round one of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush...

"Reed was second after day one at Royal Troon after a first-round 66. He was fourth after the opening lap when he won the green jacket and has been third and seventh respectively after 18 holes at the 2015 and 2017 US Opens."

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 8 places

Weather forecast for Royal Portrush: I'm writing this at midday Wednesday and the very latest forecast is interesting. It shows black rain clouds from 11am-2pm before the sun reappears around 3pm. It also looks windy (14mph and gusts of 22mph) for the early starters. It could blow a bit in the afternoon too but the bad weather should have died down.

First-round leader history at The Open:

2018 - Kevin Kisner (63)
2017 - Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka (65)
2016 - Phil Mickelson (63)
2015 - Dustin Johnson (65)
2014 - Rory McIlroy (66)
2013 - Zach Johnson (66)

Strategy: Some elite names have taken first-round honours so the idea that anyone can have their moment in the sun for 18 holes may not apply. The first-round leaders in this year's majors? Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka at the US Masters, Koepka at the USPGA and Justin Rose at the US Open. The theme has continued. Add in the weather forecast and I'm looking at top players/major winners with post 3pm tee-times.

Reed all about it

Patrick Reed tees off at 3:10pm and is showing some nice recent form, with a top five and a T23 on his last two PGA Tour starts.

The 2018 Masters champion enjoys the creative challenge of an Open and his short game should get tested out at Royal Portrush where Tiger Woods said balls are often repelled from the greens.

Reed has a T12, a T20 and a T28 in his last four Opens and was second after day one at Royal Troon after a first-round 66.

He was fourth after the opening lap when he won the green jacket and has been third and seventh respectively after 18 holes at the 2015 and 2017 US Opens.

In short, he has a history of starting fast in majors.

He's 60/1 for FRL this week and that looks worth a play - especially if that forecast plays out.

Score with Keegan

The last six first-round leaders at the Open were all American so I'm happy to throw in another United States player in the form of 2011 PGA winner Keegan Bradley.

He has a 2:59pm tee-time so just about what we want but the big attraction is his recent habit of flying out of the gate.

Bradley ranks 9th in Round One scoring average on the PGA Tour this year and in recent months we've seen him hold a piece of the first-day lead at the Players Championship and the Canadian Open.

Dating back to February, he's sat in the top seven after day one no less than six times and in two of those events he's opened with 63 and 65 respectively.

Bradley has a sneaky-strong record in the Open with three top 20s in his last five starts and at Troon he opened with a 67 to sit in the top four after day one.

He certainly looks interesting at 110/1.

Kuchar can make another flyer

Matt Kuchar ranks No.1 in first-round scoring on the PGA Tour this season, his 68.13 over a half-a-stroke better than anyone else.

He brought those fast-starting skills over to Scotland last week and ended Thursday on top of the leaderboard with a 63.

A 65 in Canada two starts earlier was another recent example while, in the majors, he was second after R1 of the 2018 Masters and in the top seven after 18 holes in three years out of four at the U.S. Open.

USPGA? He boasts day one positions of first, third and fifth.

Put that strong combination of history and current form together and he goes in at 40/1.

Dave's 2019 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)

Staked: £810
Returned: £1004.59
P/L: +£194.59

Dave Tindall,

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