PGA Tour players will pack their bags and head to Europe this weekend for the annual Open Championship, better known as the British Open. The Open Championship is the third major on the PGA Tour after Patrick Reed won the Masters in April followed by Brooks Koepka winning his second straight US Open in June. We preview the 2018 British Open which gets underway Thursday and give our betting tips below.
Carnoustie Golf Links will play host to the 2018 Open Championship and it will be the eighth time it has done so. The last Open that was held at Carnoustie was the 2007 British Open, which was won by Padraig Harrington with a final score of seven under par.
The Course was opened in 1842, making it the oldest course to host a PGA Tour event in 2018. It has the reputation of being one of the toughest links courses in all of golf and to make it even tougher, the R&A, who are the governing body over the Open Championship, allow mother nature to predominantly shape their courses all season. This means that the extremely hot and extremely dry Scottish Summer has the Carnoustie fairways looking hard and fast leading into the event on the weekend.
Just hit one 427 on 18 @TheOpen .. Guys would be hitting it in the burn in front of green 450+.. Carnoustie is baked out but greens are pure.. Never seen an Open this firm.. Will be an awesome week if it stays like this.. pic.twitter.com/AUXyPGF4iu
— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) July 14, 2018
While the greens are watered and kept in pristine condition, the state of the fairways could have a big impact on deciding the winners this weekend. Players who can control their distance will be kings at the Open, as no one really knows how far the ball will continue to roll on tee shots.
As we mentioned above, we think the top drivers in accuracy and length should fair well at Carnoustie this weekend. This still leaves a lot of options on the table in terms of tipping winners, however, I think it rules out a few guys that are good value to miss the cut.
Phil Mickelson has had a disappointing 2018 in Majors so far. He finished tied for 36th in the Masters in April before finishing 48th in the US Open last month. He has played just one event since the US Open in which he just managed to make the cut, finishing 65th at the Greenbrier Classic. He is currently ranked 197th on the tour in driving accuracy, hitting the fairway on just 51.94% of his drives this season. He is a British Open winner but he has also missed the cut on five different occasions, which is by far the most of any major and missed the cut last year. We are also just not sure if he’s in the right head space at the moment…
Justin Rose is one of the most in form players in the world at the moment. He finished 10th in the US Open back in June and already has eight top 10 finishes this season already. He is just a few months removed from a win at the Fort Worth Invitational and while he hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since the US Open, he will be in good links form after finishing 9th in the recent Scottish Open with a -13 score in the European Tour.
Another player we really like coming into the tournament is Henrik Stenson. Stenson suffered an injury in the US Open to his elbow and hasn’t played a PGA Tour tournament since then. However, he is the most accurate driver on tour this season and already has five top 10 finishes from 11 tournaments. He was fantastic at the US Open, finishing 6th and also record a 5th place finish at the Masters earlier in the year. Is fantastic value for a top 20 finish.
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