The British Open Championship is the final golf major championship of the season. Read our preview and expert tips for the 150th Open to be held at the world famous Old Course at St Andrews. Includes the Golf Analyst’s best bets, best value bets and trading options.
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BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Open Championship returns to the Home of Golf for its 150th staging with the Old Course at St Andrews, arguably the most famous course on earth, playing host to the biggest event of 2022.
There is not a golf fan on earth not familiar with the Old Course, having hosted 29 Open Championships and regularly hosting the Open every five years, along with being the only Open course to be seen annually when it is one of the three courses used for the Alfred Dunhill Links.
Designed by Old Tom Morris, St Andrews is a short Par-72 course measuring just 7,313 yards. It has 14 Par-4s with just two Par-3s and two Par-5s. Fairways are predominantly bentgrass, with the large green complexes – including seven shared greens – a fescue/bentgrass/poa annua blend.
The defences of the course are the incredible undulations in both the greens and the fairways, as well as 112 bunkers – including Hell on 14 and the Road Hole on 17, and patches of deep gorse rough.
Weather, like with all links courses, is the primary defence, but it has meant little here, with the last four winners all shooting 14-under or lower. After a reasonably difficult start, scoring opportunities present on the fifth-to-tenth holes, before a difficult run from holes 11-17 – the Par-5 14th being the exception. The 18th has classically been the easiest hole on the course.
Six of the last seven winners at St Andrews have been 33 years old or younger, while all bar Louis Oosthuizen had a major on their resume before winning at the Old Lady.
The keys to success at St Andrews is quality driving, outstanding ball striking and top-notch lag putting.
That kind of profile throws up a few names who should be well suited. Jon Rahm is the obvious. He leads the PGA Tour in Total Driving and Ball Striking. Xander Schauffele comes off a win at the Travelers and ranks third in Ball Striking, fourth in Total Driving, eight in Strokes Gained: Approach and inside the Top 10 in Putting Average and Three-Putt Avoidance.
Defending champion Collin Morikawa ranks Top 10 in both Total Driving and Ball Striking, while Sungjae Im ranks Top 14 in both. Tyrell Hatton has a great record at the Alfred Dunhill Links and ranks Top 11 in Putting Average, Three-Putt Avoidance and Putts From Greater Than 25 Feet.
BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP – GOLF TIPS
Jon Rahm is the absolute stand out tip to win the British Open Championship. He leads the PGA Tour in Total Driving, Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and Ball Striking. He ranks Top 25 in Strokes Gained: Approach and Greens In Regulation and, despite his putting woes this season, he ranks Top 30 in Three-Putt Avoidance. He is a major winner, has won on Tour this year and ranks number 3 in the world. He is just 27 years old and has finished Top 11 at the last two British Open Championships. The Old Course at St Andrews is perfect for his game.
Next Best Bet
Will Zalatoris lacks the Open Championship experience typically required, but his record in golf majors is absolutely astonishing. He has finished in the top eight in six of eight majors as a pro golfer, including runner-up at the PGA Championship and US Open this year. Zalatoris leads the Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach, so has the ball striking chops to contend again.
Viktor Hovland is another that doesn’t fit the traditional profile, but his game tee-to-green puts him right in contention. Hovland ranks third in Total Driving and tenth in Strokes Gained: Approach. He also ranks 23rd in Putting Average. He has excellent form in Europe, including a T11 in his only British Open Championship appearance to date. Should be right in the mix.
Ryan Fox is playing outstanding golf with an incredible five straight Top 3 finishes on the European Tour and nine straight Top 15s. He has played in two golf majors intersecting that run, making the cut at the PGA Championship and missing the cut at the US Open. Fox ranks third in Putts Per GIR as well as Strokes Gained: Approach on the DP World Tour. He is tremendous value north of $51.
Keith Mitchell is a bruiser from the tee with a very good approach game. He ranks fifth in Total Driving and Strokes Gained: Off The Tee as well as 22nd in Ball Striking. Mitchell also ranks Top 40 in Strokes Gained: Putting. It would not surprise at all to see him feature in his third British Open Championship.
Best Lay Bet
Scottie Scheffler will become the first world number one this century (not named Tiger Woods) to win the Open Championship if he is to lift the Claret Jug. He has obviously enjoyed a stellar season, but since winning the Masters he has gone winless in his last seven starts. He is a Lay bet from the third line of betting and can be taken on up to $26.
Patrick Cantlay ranks fifth in opening round strokes gained this season, but does not have a solo victory this year, with no Top 10s in any of the three golf majors. He has opened this season’s calendar year shooting 67 or lower on six occasions and failed to win any of those tournaments – with no final round lower than 67. He projects to start fast, so there’s an opportunity to Back-to-Lay here for a profit.
Joaquin Niemann has been one of the fastest starters on Tour this year, ranking second in Strokes Gained: Round 1. The Chilean won the Genesis in February, but since has just one Top 10 finish, despite six opening rounds in the 60s in ten tournaments since. Niemann has not shot a weekend score in the 60s in his last seven weekend rounds.