2016 Australian Open: Favourites and outside bets

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Scott and Spieth are heavy favourites for the 2016 Australian Open, but who else is a chance to beat them?

The 2016 Emirates Australian Open tees off tomorrow at Royal Sydney with two very big headline acts who are clear favourites ahead of the rest of the field. It makes for an interesting discussion: if Adam Scott or Jordan Spieth don’t win this week, then who can?

A few of Australia’s older brigade have recently found some form who may surprise and a Venezuelan in the field who could make a run at the title. There is also a bunch of young guns who don’t look to be afraid of the big stage. We can easily see one of them upsetting the big boys, or at the very least making things interesting for them on Sunday.

THE FAVOURITES
Adam Scott 
shot a course record 62 on the opening day at Royal Sydney in 2013 only to be overrun by Rory McIlroy on the final hole. Apart from an odd missed cut in Japan, Scotty’s recent form has been very good. Seven top-20 finishes in his last eight starts includes five top-10’s – four of them were in the FedEx Cup Playoff tournaments. A victory looks close.

Few expected world number six Jordan Spieth to be back in Australia this year but he’s back to try and emulate the success he had after winning the 2014 Australian Open – winning the Masters and the US Open the following year. Spieth his here to win and build momentum and if his short game fires up, he’ll have his name on the Stonehaven Cup for a second time on Sunday.

Behind the two big headline acts sit a couple of Australia’s older brigade and two former Australian Open champions, Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden. Although we know golf doesn’t discriminate with age as Rod Pampling showed a few weeks ago and Peter Senior winning the Australian Open in 2012. Ogilvy has found some form on the greens again and Senden, who won at Royal Sydney in 2006 has had a decent run of late without any great results.

OUTSIDE BETS
Jhonattan Vegas has had a break out year on the PGA Tour in 2016 with five top-5 finishes including a victory at the Canadian Open in July. The big-hitting Venezuelan finishing in a tie for 10th at last week’s OHL Classic and should continue that form this week.

Rhein Gibson has had a few good results since losing his US PGA Tour card a few months ago. His fourth place finish at last week’s NSW Open should give him some confidence coming into this week at a venue where he earned himself a spot in The Open Championship with a fourth place finish in 2013.

At just 20-years-old, amateur Curtis Luck looks like someone right at home on the big stage. Luck’s year has already claimed victory at the  U.S. Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Eisenhower Trophy and won’t be overawed at the Australian Open this week.

Cameron Davis made the most of his professional debut with an incredible 15th place finish at the OHL Classic. The 2015 Australian Amateur champion  Flying back to Australia and replicating that form may be tricky but Davis can seriously smack a golf ball and is we can see him performing well despite only flying back to Australia in the last few days.