The Open Championship Golf 2022 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

It is an historic week of golf as the stars of the game head to the home of the sport, St Andrews, for the 150th running of The Open Championship, the most famous tournament the sport has to offer as the year of majors draws to a close.

Collin Morikawa defied those who thought his short game wasn’t up to it to win this tournament at Royal St Georges a year ago and the American will attempt to make a successful defence of the title but he’ll do so on a different course and against a top class field.

Recent Winners

2021 – Collin Morikawa

2019 – Shane Lowry

2018 – Francesco Molinari

2017 – Jordan Spieth

2016 – Henrik Stenson

2015 – Zach Johnson

2014 – Rory McIlroy

2013 – Phil Mickelson

2012 – Ernie Els

2011 – Darren Clarke

The Course

We are back at the iconic St Andrews this week. Although this course only stages The Open every five seasons it does host the Dunhill Links each year so the DP World Tour players in particular will have good knowledge of the track, albeit not the way it will play this week. The course itself is a par 72 which stretches 7,313 yards. The features of it are the huge number of bunkers, most of which have to be avoided, the large shared double greens and the Road hole, the penultimate hole on the course which runs alongside a road.

This will be a true Open Championship because the course is firm and fast and temperatures are expected to stay high throughout the tournament. There isn’t going to be much wind so expect some very tight and tough pin placements to protect the scoring. The winner this week will drive the ball straight, not necessarily long as the longer you drive the more you bring bunkers into play, and will have a brilliant short game on and around the greens.

The Field

Pretty much anyone who is anyone in the game of golf is here this week. Whether this will be the final major the LIV golfers are allowed into remains to be seen but those who qualified are here. Also in the field this week is a certain Tiger Woods, the man who has won twice around here and will go in search of a historic hat trick of titles. He joins the defending champion Collin Morikawa and the three major winners of 2022 – Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Matthew Fitzpatrick – in the field.

Plenty of other stars are in the field this week including European stars Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy while Shane Lowry goes in search of a second Claret Jug. Others to note who tee it up are the Scottish Open champion from last week in Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Sam Burns. The likes of Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen will head the international challenge.

Market Leaders

Rory McIlroy is the favourite to win the tournament this week. He’ll find much different conditions to the ones he encountered when he won this tournament in 2014 and doesn’t tend to win on firm and fast golf courses so that is a concern for those who are backing him at 10/1. The flip side to that is he has been in the top 10 in all three majors this year so he’s been knocking on the door. A lack of a spin in the Scottish Open is often seen as a negative though so he isn’t for me.

Xander Schauffele not only had a spin in Scotland last week but he won the tournament so he’ll be feeling very good about his chances here. He is an 18/1 second favourite alongside the 2017 winner Jordan Spieth. Schauffele was the runner up to Francesco Molinari at Carnoustie in 2018 so he can’t be ruled out but others faded while he held himself together last week. I think this will need to be won. Spieth is very much a runner if his driver keeps him in play.

Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas come next in the betting at 20/1. Scheffler would normally be expected to go ok around here but a dismal missed cut last week tempers enthusiasm a little with the same applying to Thomas. Rahm missed the cut last week but was seventh in the Scottish Open last year however he missed the cut in the Dunhill Links in 2019 and hasn’t really fired on all cylinders since he won in Mexico so he isn’t for me either.

Shane Lowry, the well backed Cameron Smith and US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick all come next in the betting at 22/1. Lowry won this on a famous day at Portrush three years ago and is always for consideration in these conditions. Lowry has three top 10s in the Dunhill Links which is good course form but didn’t play last week which is a negative. Smith finished well last week to finish just outside the top 10 and he definitely has the short game and shot making abilities to win around here but his driver would need to keep him in play. I’ll come onto Fitzpatrick below. It is 30/1 bar.

Main Bets

My first main bet is the US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick. It is rare for a player to win two majors in succession but Fitzpatrick has an ideal chance of doing it here. He knows the course well having played a number of Dunhill Links here and it was clear in Scotland last week that his new status isn’t a burden as he was in the top 10 there. Fitzpatrick is a strategist who will know all his numbers so he can take the danger out of play off the tee and he is also incredibly creative so the tricky pins won’t hurt him. He has a smart caddy on the bag and is a very good long range putter which is essential this week. Add in that he is good in the wind and is clearly striking the ball well and he is a standout bet here.

Tommy Fleetwood is my second main bet this week. He was on Twitter earlier in the week saying he was playing his favourite golf tournament at his favourite golf course so that an immediate positive. One of the reasons why it is his favourite course is because he’s had a lot of good rounds here in the Dunhill Links with five top five finishes and a top 10 on top. Nobody finished better in the Scottish Open last weekend than Fleetwood and the test is a good one for him. He drives the ball so well and can plot his way around the place but the typical links shots needed at this time of the year come natural to him as well. There is a suggestion that Fleetwood hasn’t been in brilliant form this season but top 15s at the opening two majors of the year negate that view and in conditions he’ll relish he’s a leading runner here.

Outsiders

I’m intrigued to see how the bombers will go around this place this week and the one I will take to see if smacking the driver up greenside on as many holes as possible is the right play is Ryan Fox. I’ve picked Fox for a couple of reasons, firstly it is generally the style he adopts so he isn’t changing his ways this week but the second one is his form. In his last 11 starts he has a win, four other top three finishes and a couple more top 10s so he’s in great touch and full of confidence. He has played around here loads in the Dunhill Links and his last three strokes gained around the green rankings have been 1-5-9 so if he is larruping it greenside on a number of holes here he is going to get up and down fairly often. He feels like a sleeper at a big price here.

Haotong Li was third in this tournament behind Jordan Spieth five years ago and he has a cracking record around St Andrews, largely in the Dunhill Links so when he won earlier in the season to book his spot here he was immediately on the shortlist, particularly as I was backing him prior to that win (although not when he won annoyingly!). Nobody played the iron shots better than him in Scotland last week and if this does turn into a wedge-a-thon then that is very much a positive statistic. The only thing which held him back last week was the inability to get anything into the hole. Generally he isn’t a bad putter though and has gone well on these greens in the past. He’s a dangerous outsider this week.

My last two bets this week are very big prices with the first of them coming in the form of Adri Arnaus who is a winner on the DP World Tour this season and who has shot 64 here in the Dunhill Links as recently as 10 months ago. He has gone quiet since he won but you often see players just hold up a touch after a breakthrough in their career. It isn’t like he’s been in easy tournaments since then. Of the six starts since he won two were majors, one was at a tight Belfry and another at a fairly tight Mount Juliet. This is nothing of the sort and his length off the tee should set him up around a lot of greens. He was in the top 10 around the greens at Renaissance last week and although he holed nothing he has been putting well in recent times. If that stick comes good on a course he’s gone well on before he can seriously outrun his odds.

I took Matt Fitzpatrick to win the US Open last month because he had won as an amateur on the course and I’ll try the same trick this week with Matthew Jordan, a player who won the St Andrews Links Trophy in his unpaid days. Since then he has finished fifth in the Dunhill Links three years ago when he opened with a 64 around this course so clearly there is something about the Old Course which gets his juices flowing. To be fair his form has been largely ordinary since he was fifth in Qatar back in March but many a golfer has come alive at a favourite venue in the past. I’ll pay to see if he does the same here.

Tips

Back M.Fitzpatrick to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 23.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-9)

Back R.Fox to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at William Hill (1/5 1-9)

Back H.Li to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-9)

Back them here:

Back T.Fleetwood to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 29.00 with Betway (1/5 1-12)

Back A.Arnaus to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Betway (1/5 1-12)

Back M.Jordan to win The Open Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 501.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

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Author: Martha Chavez