Three of the world golf majors in 2019 have been played and now just one remains! This weekend, all eyes will be on the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland as the annual Open Championship (British Open) takes centre stage!
We take a look at the 2019 Open Championship and give our betting tips below!
The oldest championship in all of golf, The Open Championship, will take place outside of England and Scotland for just the second time in over 160 years this weekend as we head to Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
The reigning Open Champion, Francesco Molinari, will be back to defend his title alongside a star-studded field composed of the best players from both the PGA Tour and the European Tour!
When looking at the current golf world rankings, only the No.34 ranked player, Kevin Na, will be missing from the top 80 ranked players in the world, making the field one of the most talented we have seen all year. 47 of the top 50 players on the current Fed Ex Cup standings will also be in attendance, headlined by the leader Matt Kuchar, who will be looking for his third title of the year.
Brooks Koepka will be hoping for another strong finish in a major. The current worlc No.1 finished 2ndat Augusta in the first major of the year before winning the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May. He followed that up with another 2nd place finish at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach last month and can become the first player in golf history to finish top two in all four majors in a calendar year this weekend.
The other major winners in 2019, Masters Champion Tiger Woods and U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland will both be in attendance, while the 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari will be back to defend his title.
Top ranked players in the world in the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day headline the rest of the field.
Royal Portrush Golf Club is the only course outside of Scotland and England to host The Open Championship. It did so back in 1951 and will get another chance to host Europe’s biggest event this week. The course will play as a 7,317 yard, Par 72 this week, with many adjustments having to be made from the standard layout to cater for the modern golfing major.
The 27th and 18th holes were replaced by two new holes which will play as the 7th and 8th this week. As is custom in a Open Championship, strong winds will be a massive factor for golfers and another key challenge will be the 62 bunkers that are scattered throughout the course.
Ability to play into the wind will be key this week. Because of the conditions, greens in regulation will likely be tough to come across, so we’ll also be targeting strong scramblers and strong putters. Distance won’t be a massive problem this week with the course playing fairly short, although the ability to cut through the wind off the tee is crucial.
Players who have experience playing in these conditions usually fare the best at The Open Championship. So often we see the best players from the PGA Tour travel across the pond and start as strong favourites only to be taught a lesson by Mother Nature. Eight of the last 12 winners of The Open Championship have come from outside of the United States, with the likes of Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy the most recent European winners.
Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell was born in Portrush and is a local to the club while his countrymen Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington are all honorary members of the club. McIlroy still holds the course record of 61 on the Old Course, shot when he was just 16 years old.
While do fancy the chances of McIlroy this weekend, we are straying a little away from Northern Ireland for our top pick, but not too far. Justin Rose has been in some fantastic form of late, dating back to an impressive T3 finish at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach last month. The strong performance at Pebble Beach proved that he is highly capable in windy conditions and by all reports he has had a heap of experience at Royal Portrush over the past few weeks playing with the likes of locals in Darren Clarke and Shane Lowry.
Rose ranks highly in the key stats that we are targeting this week, including sand save percentage, scrambling and scrambling from the fringe and rough.
While many other PGA Tour professionals covet a Green Jacket more than anything else, an Open Championship title is no doubt on top of the to-do list for Rose, even if that means having to win one outside of his home nation England. He heartbreakingly finished 2nd behind Molinari last year and will be desperate to go one better this season. At $1.80, we think he is a lock to finish in the top 20 and he’s also great value at $21 to capture his second major victory.
Another who we really like for value this weekend is the American Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay has a record in 2019 that rivals anyone in golf and he captured his first win of the season last month as he took out the Memorial Tournament. He has finished inside the top 25 in 13 of the 16 PGA tour events he has played this year including a T9 at the Masters, a T3 at the PGA Championship and a T21 at the U.S. Open.
Cantlay also ranks highly in our key stats this week, currently sitting in the top 20 players on the PGA Tour in SG around the gree, scrambling from the rough and total scrambling, where he ranks first overall. He is also a strong putter, ranging 11th in putting average and 15th in one-putt percentage.
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