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The 150th Open Championship – Overview

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Event Overview:

The 150th Open Championship fittingly takes place at the home of golf St. Andrews this week. The players each compete for the most famous and sort after trophy in golf, the Claret Jug, and the right to be crowned “champion golfer of the year”.

When looking to fine tune your betting portfolio, remember to look for players who have good recent form. Each winner since 2013 has had a top 3 finish in one of their last five events. Nine of the last eleven Open Champions had all previously secured at least a top-10 in this event in their careers – the exceptions to that rule being Louis Oosthuizen and last year’s winner Collin Morikawa.

It’s extremely unlikely you will find your game in a tough Open Championship, so look at players who arrive with their swing dialled in and with some historic form at The Open.

Without a doubt, Augusta National is the only place in the world where the Old Course is comparable in terms of popularity. The most famous closing holes in the world are the 17th Road Hole, with its infamous bunker, and the closing 18th, with the Swilcan Bridge and the Valley of Sin.

Will there be drama down those final holes this week? Not long until we find out!

The par-72, 7,313-yard course has massive shared fairways and seven shared green complexes. The course at St. Andrews is a flat area of links land with minimal rough in between its several double fairways. Green complexes are vast and, as with most UK venues, slower than the players face in the USA. A strong contingent of Americans came over earlier this year. Will that give them a better chance?

 There are 112 bunkers total, and deep natural grasses and gorse bushes that flank many of the fairways serve as the Old Course’s main line of defence. However, the biggest defence would be the weather, and if the wind picks up, we will see a very different test from those we will see in calmer conditions.

Rory shot a 63 here in 2010 in the opening round. St Andrews is one course on The Open rota that is there for the taking if the elements are in players’ favour. Winning totals of -19 Tiger Woods, 2000, -14 Tiger 2005, -16 Louis, 2010 and -15 Zach Johnson, since 2000 highlight how easy this course can play compared with others on the Open rota. I expect the winning score to be better 10 under par this week.

Three short facts to help you with your final picks;

  1. In terms of recent winning form, 15 Open Champions from the last 21 renewals, 71% had won a tournament in the same season prior to triumph at The Open.
  2. 9 of the last 11 winners all previously have a Top 10 at The Open Championship, with Collin last year and Louis over ten years back being the exceptions.
  3. The last five winners had all registered a Top 3 finish in one of their last five events worldwide. Arriving in form is key to success at The Open Championship.

Event & Course Details:

Course:St Andrews Old Course
Date: 14th – 17th July 2022
Purse:$10 Million / Winner $2.1
Fairways/Rough: Fescue/Bentgrass
Defending Champion:Collin Morikawa 2021

Key Skill Sets Required:

01. Current Form/Open Form

Looking back at results, since 2013 the winner of this event has had a top three finish in one of their last five events. Five of the last eight winner arrived with a win under their belt in their last five starts. Arriving at The Open in good form is a necessity if you wish to lift the Claret Jug. 9 of the last 11 Open Champions had all previously secured at least a top-10 in this event in their careers – the exception to that rule being Louis in 2010 & Collin last year.

02. SG Off The Tee

St Andrews certainly favours players who are long and accurate off the tee box. The winner this week will most definitely gain strokes off the tee. A combination of length and missing the fairways in the right play will be required. Tiger, Louis and Zach all ranked in the Top 10 for driving accuracy on the week so it’s not all about power – precision is certainly beneficial.

03. Par 4 Scoring

14 Par 4’s for the players each day, not the standard on a Par 72 layout. Players will have to dominate the par 4’s for the right to be crowned “Champion Golfer Of The Year”. Some of the leading players on tour for par 4 scoring are; Rory, JT, Fitzpatrick, Lowry, Scottie, FInau, Cam Smith and Xander.

04. SG Approach Play

Winning a Major Championship demands elite level iron play throughout the bag. This is one of, if not the easiest Major Championship course on The Open circuit. With a winning score closer to 10 under par expected players will be to be hitting their 2nd shots close on the pins that are there to attack and creating plenty of birdie looks.

I expect this major to favour player who are more aggressive with iron in hand than those that hit plenty of greens. The greens here are HUGE and therefore GIR Gained is not so important.

05. SG Scrambling

Large green complexes which are surrounded by well position bunkers make scrambling here at St Andrews one of the hardest places on the Open rota. Looking back at 2000, 2005, 2010 & 2015 it’s apparent how important scrambling will be this week. Look for players are comfortable playing a variety of shots around the greens and have good feel around the greens.

06. Putt Avoidance

Larger than normal greens are what the players face this week and more often than not player will be putting from distance. With that in mind we want to look for good lag putters with exceptional pace control. Hitting GIR here at St Andrews doesn’t mean an auto two putt like it does many places in the world.

The 150th Open Championship – Best Outsiders to consider:

1. Joaquin Nieman: 50/1🇬🇧 Hills | 50/1 +5000 BetMGM🇺🇸

  • Arrives off a solid showing at the Scottish Open where he finished top 20
  • He ranks highly for SG Off The Tee, he was accurate and long over the 4 days
  • Has a top 3 finish in his last 5 starts with another top 10, fitting the profile of the last 5 winners
  • Has the ability to go low where required if the wind stays down, and if the wind picks up can hit a low penetrating ball flights
  • His price seems fair while other have contracted around him

2. Max Homa: 70/1🇬🇧 Unibet | 80/1 +8000 BetMGM🇺🇸

  • Arrives in fine form after a solid showing at the Scottish Open finishing
  • He ranked 1st in SG Off the Tee & 4th in Driving accuracy, if he can continue that momentum it’s will set him up nicely this week
  • Ranked 4th in SG Approach play over the past 24 rounds on tour
  • His overall game is dialled in right now, he lacks the links experience but he has the game and confidence to make a bold bid 80/1 is way too big

3. Harris English: 175/1🇬🇧 Hills | 175/1 +17500 BetMGM🇺🇸

  • Best placed 15th at The Open previously
  • Arrives injury free for the first time in many month and played steady at the Scottish Open, drove the ball beautifully ranked 12th for accuracy, and top 20 for putting
  • He has the ball flight to be successful if the wind picks up and prior to injury was on a upward trajectory toward the top of Major leaderboards
  • Ranked 1st in long range putting over the past 24 rounds on tour
  • Ranked 5th for SG scrambling over the past 24 rounds on tour

The 150th Open Championship – Best Outright Picks:

1. Rory McIlroy 11/1🇬🇧 Hills | 10/1 +1000 BetMGM🇺🇸

  • An Open winner already and arrives in super form 5 top 10’s in his last seven starts.
  • Ranked 6th SG Off The Tee over the past 24 rounds.
  • Ranked 2nd GIR gained over the past 24 rounds.
  • Ranked 1st SG Approach play over the past 24 rounds.
  • Ranked 7th Bogey Avoidance over the past 24 rounds.
  • In form, high on confidence on a course that should suit his style, the man to beat.

2. Shane Lowry  25/1🇬🇧 Hills

  • An Open Championship to his name already.
  • A better golfer now than at any point in his career. An extremely underrated iron game.
  • A elite level short game ranked in the top 10 on PGA Tour.
  • Ranked 1st in SG Scrambling over the past 24 rounds on PGA Tour.
  • Ranked 3rd in Bogey Avoidance on the PGA Tour.
  • Ranked 7th SG Approach play over the past 24 rounds on Tour.
  • Shane will have his eyes on the prize this week, he will believe he can win and so do I.

3. Cam Smith   28/1🇬🇧

  • Best Placed finish of 20th at The Open
  • Arrives off the back off a Top 5 finish at the Scottish Open, where he drove the ball superbly ranked 5th for Driving Accuracy on the week, often a weak part of his game.
  • Ranked 2nd for Birdies made over the last 24 rounds on tour, shows his iron game is dialled in.
  • Ranked in the Top 5 for Proximity to the hole from 75-125 yards, wedge play will be critical this week with 7 par 4’s under 400 yards in length.
  • One of the best putters in the world and ranked 6th for 3 Putt Avoidance over the past 24 rounds on tour.
  • If he continues his momentum of last week and drives it well i expect him to be close the the top of this leaderboard

4. Tony Finau 50/1🇬🇧 Hills | 50/1 +5500 BetMGM🇺🇸

  • 2 top 10 finishes at The Open previously, shows his liking or the test ahead.
  • 2 top 10 finishes in his last 4 starts, showing his game isn’t far from fully clicking.
  • Ranked 2ND in 3 putt avoidance & 3rd in long range putting over his last 24 rounds on Tour.
  • Ranked 4th for Bogey Avoidance over the past 24 rounds on Tour.
  • Ranked 9th for GIR Gained over the past 24 rounds, could Tony be sliding in under the radar, he would be a popular winner of any major championship and this course should be right up his street.

5. Tommy Fleetwood 50/1🇬🇧 Bet365

  • A best of 2nd at The Open in 2019.
  • Also 4th at Erin Hills in 2017.  Which is very links like course in the US.
  • Arrives off the back of a top 5 finish at the Scottish Open last week.
  • A superb wind player if the wind does pick up however has already proven he can dominate Major venues shooting a low round of 63 at the US open just 3 years back.
  • Putting exceptionally well off late gaining over 1/2 a stroke per round on the field, if he continues to putt well this week he has an outstanding chance and will be inspired by Matt Fitzpatrick doing the job last month.

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