The British Open Championship – Preview And Betting Tips

The fourth and final golf major of the season, the British Open Championship, or just The Open, gets underway this weekend.

Hosting the tournament is the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, situated close to the River Dee and Irish Sea in Hoylake on the Wirral.

There is a whole week of golf-themed events to enjoy across this north-western part of the Wirral peninsula, with the arrival of the players on Monday.

During the day current champion Cameron Smith will hold a press conference before he returns the famous Claret Jug to the tournament organisers.

So just what is so special about The Open? What particular challenges await them at Royal Liverpool and who do we think will eventually triumph?

Later, we will take a look at the odds of the main competitors with bet365 Sport, but for now, let’s consider the equally important tournament as a whole.

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The British Open – Factfile

  • This is the 151st Open Championship.
  • The Open is the oldest of the four modern Major tournaments with it first being competed for in 1860.
  • The record winning margin at the Open is 13 strokes, achieved in 1862 to Tom Morris Sr.
  • Harry Vardon has won The Open most often with six wins.
  • There are just ten courses on the current Open Rotation. 5 in Scotland, 4 in England and one in Northern Ireland.
  • The lowest round ever shot at The Open was 62 by South African Branden Grace in 2017. This is a record low score for all Major Championships.
  • The lowest score in relation to par to win The Open is – 20, achieved by Henrik Stenson in 2016 and Cam Smith in 2022.

Royal Liverpool Golf Club – Factfile

After being a regular Open venue, Royal Liverpool had to wait almost 40 years from 1967 to 2006 to host the tournament again.

But now, it appears to be a regular back on the schedule.

Located on the northwest corner of the Wirral peninsula, close to the towns of Hoylake and West Kirby, Royal Liverpool is one of a trio of Open Championship venues in the North West of England.

Others being Royal Birkdale and Lytham St Annes. Together they make up what is nicknamed “The Golf Coast”.

The course is a typical links venue. Open to the elements on two sides, which means that the wind is often the best protection the course has against low scores.

The fairways and greens drain well and are generally fast and narrow.

Royal Liverpool – Previous Open Winners

Royal Liverpool has hosted The Open 12 times previously and has produced the following winners:

  • 1897 – Harold Hilton (England)
  • 1902 – Sandy Herd (Scotland)
  • 1907 – Arnaud Massy (France)
  • 1913 – John Henry Taylor (England)
  • 1924 – Walter Hagen (USA)
  • 1930 – Bobby Jones (USA)
  • 1936 – Alf Padgham (England)
  • 1947 – Fred Daly (Northern Ireland)
  • 1956 – Peter Thomson (Australia)
  • 1967 – Roberto De Vicenzo (Argentina)
  • 2006 – Tiger Woods (USA)
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)

Therefore, the 2023 tournament will be the 13th time the course has held The Open.

Royal Liverpool – Course Preview

Since last hosting the tournament in 2014, Royal Liverpool has seen a number of tweaks across the course including more bunkers, more difficult run off areas, new tees and even a brand new hole (the 6th).

The course guide is as follows:

  • Hole 1 – Royal (Par 4) 459 yards
  • Hole 2 – Stand (Par 4) 453 yards
  • Hole 3 – Course (Par 4) 426 yards
  • Hole 4 – Road (Par 4) 367 yards
  • Hole 5 – Long (Par 5) 520 yards
  • Hole 6 – New (Par 3) 201 yards
  • Hole 7 – Telegraph (Par 4) 481 yards
  • Hole 8 – Briars (Par 4) 436 yards
  • Hole 9 – Dowie (Par 3) 218 yards – Out – 35
  • Hole 10 – Far (Par 4) 507 yards
  • Hole 11 – Punch Bowl (Par 4) 392 yards
  • Hole 12 – Dee (Par 4) 449 yards
  • Hole 13 – Alps (Par 3) 194 yards
  • Hole 14 – Hilbre (Par 4) 454 yards
  • Hole 15 – Field (Par 5) 620 yards
  • Hole 16 – Lake (Par 4) 461 yards
  • Hole 17 – Little Eye (Par 3) 136 yards
  • Hole 18 – Dun (Par 5) 609 yards – In – 36 – Par – 71

What Is The Weather Forecast for The Open?

The forecast for The Open this week is somewhat unsettled.

Temperatures will be around 18-20 degrees and while Thursday looks to be the best day in terms of sunshine, the remainder of the tournament is likely to be more overcast with showers.

In the run up to the tournament, it has been somewhat wet on the Wirral and as such, I’d expect the course to start the tournament somewhat damp and the greens should be relatively easy to hit and keep the ball on the putting surface.

However, the wet weather will have made the rough particularly treacherous and I think that players inaccurate with their tee shots or approaches, could find themselves in real trouble.

Bet365 Sport – Latest Open Betting Odds

Bet365 Sport is offering the following odds on the top players in the tournament:

  • Rory McIlroy – 7/1 (Odds Boost Available to 8/1)
  • Scottie Scheffler – 8/1
  • Jon Rahm – 11/1
  • Cameron Smith – 14/1
  • Brooks Koepka – 18/1
  • Viktor Hovlund, Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood – 20/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton – 22/1
  • Xander Schauffele – 25/1
  • Shane Lowry – 28/1 (Odds Boost Available to 33/1)
  • Patrick Cantlay – 28/1
  • Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa – 33/1
  • Dustin Johnson – 35/1
  • Matt Fitzpatrick – 40/1
  • Tom Kim, Justin Rose – 45/1
  • Wyndham Clark – 50/1
  • 55/1 bar

Former Open Champions Odds

Outlined below are the odds for golfers that have previously won The Open Championship. Any highlighted in bold have won the tournament at Royal Liverpool previously.

  • Rory McIlroy – 7/1
  • Cameron Smith – 14/1
  • Shane Lowry – 28/1
  • Collin Morikawa – 33/1
  • Jordan Spieth – 33/1
  • Louis Oosthuizen – 110/1
  • Padraig Harrington – 125/1
  • Phil Mickelson – 225/1
  • Henrik Stenson – 400/1
  • Francesco Molinari – 400/1
  • Zach Johnson – 750/1
  • Stewart Cink – 750/1
  • Ernie Els – 1000/1
  • Darren Clarke – 2000/1
  • John Daly – 4000/1

Who are the golfers to back to win The Open, or as an each way bet?

  • To Win

Having just won the Scottish Open last week, Rory McIlroy is in great shape to land another win here. He is the only golfer in the field to have won an Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and his form is excellent.

At the time of writing, McIlroy is available at a boosted price of 8/1 with bet365 Sport and I feel they are good odds.

Others to consider for an outright bet are Tommy Fleetwood (20/1), Tyrrell Hatton (22/1) and Jordan Spieth (33/1).

  • Each Way

With the weather conditions set to be somewhat changeable, a player that can adapt to changing conditions is key. Especially one that has solid links course experience and form.

Shane Lowry is an obvious pick here at 28/1, but I also like the look of Keegan Bradley at 110/1 and even Matt Wallace who is a 400/1 outsider.  

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