The summer of sport keeps offering us up plenty of excitement. The Copa America and European Championships are now over, but there’s still plenty of great action to enjoy with the World Matchplay Darts tournament taking place this weekend, the Olympic Games on the horizon and from Thursday, we have the fourth golf major of the year, the British Open.

Shane Lowry won the famous claret jug when the tournament was last held back in 2019 and this year, the field will return to the famous links at Royal St George’s Golf Course. It will be the 15th time the Sandwich course has held the tournament, the last occasion being back in 2011 when Darren Clarke lifted the trophy.

With a stellar field of talent from all over the world, it promises to be an excellent tournament and with bet365 Sport offering great odds on the outright winner market, and paying out the top eight in each way bets, it is also a very attractive one for punters too.

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Of course, with US Golfers likely to feature prominently in Sunday afternoon’s late action when the destination of the trophy will become known, interest across the country will be huge, especially with the Ryder Cup on the horizon too.

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Let’s now preview the tournament in a bit more detail, talking a look at the course itself, the players who should be in contention for the final Major of the year, as well as the players we think you should back either to win, or as an each way bet to finish inside the top eight.

The Majors 2021

The first Major of the year was won back in April at The Masters where Japanese star HidekiGolf Course BetStars Matsuyama landed the victory, although the Japanese star will miss the tournament after a positive Covid-19 test in his camp.

A month later it was Phil Mickelson celebrating after a sensational win at the USPGA Championship, becoming the oldest golfer ever to win a Major Championship at Kiawah Island at age 50.

Then last month Jon Rahm ended his wait for a Major title with a one-shot victory at Torrey Pines to land the US Open title. Rahm became the second first-time Major winner this year with that victory that earned him $2.25 million dollars as well as the coveted trophy.

With the Ryder Cup coming up in September, the British Open offers players from Europe and the United States a chance to play themselves into contention for that massive showdown, as well as the opportunity to lift one of the most coveted titles in the world of golf.

British Open – Royal St Georges – Sandwich

Based in Sandwich in Kent, Royal St Georges is the most southerly of all the British Open links venues by a considerable margin. The course first held the tournament in 1894 and it has been the venue for the tournament on 14 occasions prior to this year’s event.

The record score for the winner at Royal St Georges was -13 (267) which was shot by Greg Norman in 1993, with the help of a final round 64, which saw him edge out Nick Faldo to lift the title.

Last time the tournament was held at the course, Darren Clarke proved to be a popular winner as he fended off challenges from Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to win the tournament by two shots. Prior to Clarke’s win, American Ben Curtis landed a rare Open win on a first attempt back in 2003.

The par 70 course isn’t unduly long at 7204 yards, but as with all links, it has plenty of defence against very low scoring in the shape of changing winds, occasional wild weather and of course, clever course design.

With just two par 5 holes on the course, players are going to need excellent iron play and hit greens in regulation if they are to score well on the course and with the weather forecast looking set for settled, dry and warm weather for the tournament, that does mean we could have dry greens, which will make putting somewhat trickier.

Royal St Georges Factfile

  • The course provided the inspiration for Ian Fleming in his novel Goldfinger, in which it is referred to as Royal St Marks. It is where James Bond and Goldfinger play a round of golf against each other. Creator Ian Fleming was the captain elect at the club.
  • A bunker on the fourth hole is the deepest bunker in Championship golf. It is nicknamed the “Himalaya” bunker due to its depth. It is 40 feet deep, 25 feet wide and is lined on three sides with railway sleepers.
  • The clubs own Challenge Cup is one of the oldest amateur events in golf and was first contested in 1888, one year after the course opened. Jack Nicklaus was arguably the most famous winner of the tournament landing his victory in 1959.


A number of players have had to withdraw for the tournament for a variety of reasons. This includes the Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama as well as Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, K.H. Lee, Danny Lee, Kevin Na, Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim.

Tiger Woods will also be absent as he recovers from his injuries.

Who Will Be In Contention This Weekend At The British Open?

Despite the players missing from the event, it is still an extraordinarily strong field for the tournament. All of the top 15 players in the world rankings are expected to compete and it should be an exciting tournament.

Bet365 have the US Open Champion Jon Rahm as their short-price 8/1 favourite to win the trophy, with the odds increasing sharply after that to 18/1 for five golfers, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. World Number 1 Dustin Johnson is 20/1 and there is then another gap to Viktor Hovland at 30/1.

Big hitting Bryson DeChambeau is rated as a 33/1 chance on a course that doesn’t appear to be that well suited to his style of play alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Tyrell Hatton.

Alongside Hatton, other European stars rated in with a chance include Matt Fitzpatrick, defending champion Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood who are all 40/1 shots, with Paul Casey 45/1, Justin Rose 55/1 alongside Lee Westwood, while Sergio Garcia is rated a 66/1 chance.

Who Are Our Tips To Back For The British Open?

I’m going to give you two tips for this event, one for the winners market and one for the each way and I’ll start with the latter. Ian Poulter (75/1) is one that catches the eye here as he has had a very good fourth placed finish at the Scottish Open this past weekend and will take inspiration that this is a Ryder Cup year and the crowds that will line the fairways.

He is due a good Open Championship too and at 75/1, I think he is excellent as an each way bet.

An outright winner is trickier to predict and with the weather set to be very good for the weekend, with not too much in the way of wind, plenty of sunshine and relatively firm conditions underfoot, that tends to make me think American players stand a better chance.

Of those competing, Brooks Koepka’s (18/1) consistency is the player I’d back from the pack to win an event as he has been competitive despite not being 100% fit and as his fitness improves, I’d expect that first win back to come sooner rather than later.