It’s finally here. The Open takes place this weekend at the iconic home of Golf, St. Andrews in Scotland. It will be the 150th occasion that the event has taken place.
The Old Course at St. Andrews is a unique beast. The course only has two par fives and two par threes. The rest are par fours and many are now within driving range for many of the big hitters on tour. However, it features humungous greens, some of which even share land with other holes, and a whopping 112 bunkers.
The bunkers are especially tricky. They’re not like the flat bunkers we’re used to seeing on tour. The Scottish Open acted as a perfect precursor for these pot bunkers that will require plenty of conviction and creativity.
Speaking of which, this course may have the widest fairways on the planet (potentially), but with such huge greens and such devastating undulation and sand traps, it’s going to require golfers to show plenty of flair on approach, as well as some gutsy putting.
It’s always hard to predict majors, but there are some interesting trends to note.
- Nine of the last 10 winners were ranked inside the top-40 going into the event.
- Every single one of the past 10 winners has had a P2 or better at a major prior to the win, three of which did so at the Masters.
There’s also a trend of mid-tier players in terms of betting odds winning the event.
2021 Collin Morikawa (30-1)
2019 Shawn Lowry (80-1)
2018 Francesco Molinari (25-1)
2017 Jordan Spieth (12-1)
2016 Henrik Stenson (25-1)
Despite Xander Schauffele’s hot run of form, he isn’t the favorite, nor is world #1 Scottie Scheffler (+1400). That honor goes to Rory McIlroy, who has looked primed for a Major win all season long but fell short of the mark on each attempt so far. He’s priced at +900 but for good reason. He’s has 7 consecutive top-20’s and three top-10’s in his last 5 Open tournaments. Oh, and he won it back in 2014.
If you want to play the hometown hero angle at The Open, then Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1800) and Tommy Fleetwood (+3500) are the obvious plays here, with Fitzpatrick having just won his first major by pipping Will Zalatoris to the post in the 2022 US Open.
The Field is filled with potential
It’s hard to look past names like Tony Finau. Finau (+5000) has been piping hot over the last few months, and he’s had four top-20 finishes in his five British Open appearances. He’s absolutely worth a look here.
Max Homa (+4000) feels like a golfer primed to breakout. He already has a win on tour this year and played fantastically at the Scottish Open.
Henrik Stenson (+30000) previously won this event, and you could even turn to Will Zalatoris (+3000), whose run at Majors has been nothing short of impressive (and a little gut-wrenching).
Liv, Lov, Laugh
There are certainly some interesting names to note in the heart of the field at The Open this year. The LIV Golf crew are invading the links, which means we’ll see Bryson DeChambeau (+11000), who could lap up the open fairways here, Dustin Johnson (+3500), and former winner, Louis Oosthuizen (+4000). An argument can absolutely made about the lack of real competitive golf the group has played in recent months, with their pay already guaranteed, but at the same time, these are still some of the best golfers in the world, all of whom have won on the biggest stages.
It could be a good time to buy the dip on Robert Macintyre (+7000). He’s finished inside the top-10 on both performances at the Open Championship. He did miss the cut at the Genesis Scottish Open, however, which has pushed his price down along with a run of performances inside the top-50, but none good enough to break into the top-10. If he can position himself inside the top 30 on Sunday, however, who knows what can happen?
You can get access to Our ‘The Open’ Custom Model with all stats included AND $7000 worth of RISK-FREE betting offers by joining the Philly Sports Network discord server here.
David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire