The 2017 PGA Tour has arrived at The Open Championship as the best players in the world head to Royal Birkdale to fight it out for the Claret Jug and etch their name in the British Open record books! Continue reading as we offer our 2017 Open Championship betting tips!
Where: Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England
When: Thursday 20th July (First Tee 3:00pm AEST)
The golfing world heads over to the north-west coast of England for the running of the 146th British Open. The Royal Birkdale Golf Course will host 2017 Open Championship for the 10th time. This one is a very demanding links course that requires accuracy, length and all-round grit. The last two champions have won with scores of +3 and even par.
Other than the famous St Andrews, the Royal Birkdale should look familiar to golf fans as it has been the most regular venue for The Open. Past champions include big names like Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. Not to mention a couple of Aussies in Peter Thompson and Ian Baker Finch.
As you can see there’s no ‘real’ standout-style of golfer that wins at Birkdale. Every stat category including Driving Accuracy, Putting, Scrambling and Greens-in-Regulation are all equally important. It’s more important to concentrate on form leading into the Open - especially the last four European tour events from Germany, France, Ireland and Scotland. It would be very surprising if someone won the Open that did not play in at least one of these events.
Here are my top five selections for the 2017 Open Championship and a few fantasy golf selections.
Fresh off a top 10 finish at the Scottish Open, Ricky Fowler is primed for his first major victory. This golf course will suit him especially if the wind comes howling in off the Irish sea. His overall game is the best in the business. He’s ranked 3rd in total driving, 28th in Greens-In-Regulation, 1st in Scoring Average and 1st in Sand Saves. My tournament favourite and with such a wide-open affair he looks like great value.
The 2017 Masters winner has been knocking at the door in his past three Open Championships starts - he finished 5th in 2016, 6th in 2015 and 2nd in 2014. Less than a month ago Garcia finished 2nd place at the BMW international in Germany, so we know his game is sharp. Garcia has similar overall stats to Ricky Fowler. He's a great driver of the golf ball and hits 7/10 greens-in-regulation (ranked 6th). If the Spaniard gets the flat stick going, watch out.
Every man and his dog will be on the long-haired Englishman and rightfully so. Tommy is leading the Race to Dubai after winning the HNA Open de France three weeks ago. He grew up just around the corner from Southport and has played Royal Birkdale his whole life. Tommy Fleetwood is sneakily long off the tee averaging 300.6 yards and is also very accurate, hitting 75.5% of fairways (ranked 12th). The strongest part of his game is finding the green 79.8% of the time (ranked 2nd). The locals will also give him a big mental edge. Can’t leave him out of your selections, even though we are really paying a premium for him.
Flying under the radar is big hitting Kiwi Ryan Fox - a player I think is easily the best value pick of the tournament. He seems to play his best golf in July as this time last year he won the Northern Ireland Open. He is in great form with three top 10 finishes in his last three starts. Fox finished 4th in the Scottish Open, 4th in the Irish Open and 6th in the France Open. Fox is ranked 5th in Driving, averaging 319 yards off the tee and 12th in Greens-In-Regulation at 74.4%. I honestly can't believe the price you can get.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see the big Warrnambool lad holding up the Claret Jug. Leishman has a great Open Championship record where he finished 2nd in 2015 and 5th in 2014. He won the Arnold Palmer in March and always plays his best golf in the majors. If the wind is blowing hard, you should see Leishman’s name on the leader board.
Brandon Grace ($51 at Ladbrokes)
Thomas Pieters ($51 at Ladbrokes)
Soren Kjeldsen ($151 at Ladbrokes)
Russell Henley ($101 at Ladbrokes)
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