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Best bets for the 143rd Open Championship

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HOYLAKE, England – Players had to sign anti-betting waivers this week at the Open Championship, but that doesn’t mean you have to.

For those inclined to throw down a few pounds on this week’s action, well, we’re here to help, free of charge. Here are one man’s eight best each-way bets (player must finish in top 6) at Royal Liverpool:

1. Henrik Stenson (16-1, according to Ladbrokes): Not the biggest reward, but if you’re looking for a near-lock you can’t go wrong with the world No. 2. He has five top-7s in his last six starts, and he has a hat trick of Open top-3s in the past five years.

2. Adam Scott (16-1): His Open record the past two years should be reason enough, but it’s also worth noting he’s missed just one cut in this event since 2004. There also is this: The world’s No. 1-ranked player has been at Hoylake since last Thursday, playing 120 holes in a six-day span. That can’t hurt.

3. Zach Johnson (50-1): A firm-and-fast layout favors this short-knocker, and he’s performed well each of the past three years, finishing in the top 10 in both 2012 and ’13. Granted, TPC Deere Run is nothing like Royal Liverpool, but ZJ is also coming off a runner-up in Illinois.

4. Danny Willett (100-1): He was 15th a year ago at Muirfield, and he’s in the midst of a run of three consecutive top-11 finishes. Gotta like those trends – and these odds.

5. Brooks Koepka (200-1): This rising star is more familiar with links golf than most Americans, having spent the past two years playing across the pond. OK, so he hasn’t done much of anything since a T-4 at the U.S. Open, but a long shot this tempting is worth at least a 1-pound bet.

6. Rickie Fowler (40-1): Truly relishes the challenge of links golf, which is more than you can say for a lot of U.S. players, and he’s fresh off a T-8 at Royal Aberdeen. This could be his week.

7. Martin Kaymer (25-1): How this guy is not one of the pre-tournament favorites is baffling. He already has wins at The Players and U.S. Open, he backed it up with a T-12 a few weeks ago in Paris, and he thrives on the biggest stages in the sport.  

8. Jimmy Walker (80-1): Has top-10s in the three biggest events of the year to date (Masters, Players, U.S. Open), and last week’s reps at the Scottish Open should serve him well on another proper links.