It’s time for the final major of the year. When a tournament can merely be referred to as The Open then you know that its pretty much the grand daddy of the golfing world. The big one, the real deal. The only major championship to be hosted outside the United States (which makes it special in its own right – and also much more watchable in terms of viewing times for South Africans) and it’s also the oldest of the four.
In its current guise The Open rotates between different venues in the United Kingdom but is always held on a links style course. In 2019 the tournament moves to Northern Ireland as the Royal Portrush Golf Club plays host. Despite this major being the big opportunity for the Europeans to take on the mighty Americans on their own turf the men for the USA have managed to win on eight occasions since 2000 (Tiger doing it on three occasions). Expect a bit of a breeze at times and the rough to be penal when you err off the straight and narrow.
Let’s take a look at a few of the betting options from BETOLIMP for this big event to be played on the fairways of the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush.
TOP OF THE BOARDS
The great home hope, Rory McIlroy is the favourite. Back in good form, back at home and oh by the way playing on a course where he has the course record! (It no longer counts since the course has been significantly remodelled). UK conditions clearly suit McIlroy since he has fared no worse than tied for fifth in the Open Championship since 2014.
Verdict: Despite his undeniable talent the Irish lad hasn’t won a major since 2014. He has become more consistent in 2019 but one can’t help but feel the weight of expectation might just prove too much for him this week.
Brooks Koepka doesn’t bother appearing in too many other outings apart from these big ones that matter. Clearly this strategy has held him in good stead - thus far Koepka hasn’t finished outside the top 2 in the three majors of 2019. His caddie is also from this area and should be of great help to the American.
Verdict: Brooks finished in the top 10 in two of his last three Open appearances yet clearly the trip across the pond to play on links has proven the toughest challenge for him. I reckon he will have to wait a while longer for his first Open Championship.
Tiger Woods is near the top of the boards yet again. Being named Champion Golfer of the year on previous occasions it should come as no surprise to see his name mentioned quite loudly.
Verdict: Yes he won at the Masters but at this price there are just too many question marks around his limited recent form and game time.
Another short-priced favourite is big-hitting American Dustin Johnson. Johnson finished second in both the Master and the PGA Championships earlier in the year.
Verdict: Despite often being a strong favourite, Johnson, only has one major championship to his name. He has three Open top 10’s but has only once been able to finish in the top five of this major. Not the greatest form at present and not his best terrain either – I’ll pass.
Justin Rose pretty much popped up out of nowhere to contend for the US Open a month ago. The Englishman is the sixth player under 20/1 in the betting. The return to Britton should suit Rose.
Verdict: Taken a long break since the US Open and apart from that performance he wasn’t in the best of form before that. I will give him a pass.
IF NOT THEM THEN WHO??
I’ve made it clear that five strong favourites won’t be seeing my money this week. So who are the potential contenders that have caught my eye to potentially have a chance of walking away with the winner’s medal?
Jon Rahm – Rahm stormed home to win the Irish Open (for the second time) a fortnight ago. The Spaniard hasn’t found the British Open to his liking thus far but since 2018 he has returned four top 10 results (three of those Top5’s) from seven major outings. I’m expecting him to make it eight in a country where he clearly enjoys playing and if the luck of the Irish smiles on him a touch, he could just go all the way on Sunday.
Henrik Stenson – Stenson won the Open Championship in 2016 and in his past ten outings finished third or better on four occasions. The Swede has slowly started to get his game back into top shape in 2019 and I reckon he is primed to perform at Royal Portrush.
Louis Oosthuizen – The past champion hasn’t been in vintage form this year but on the Pebble Beach Links he showed how good he could be on these types of courses. The South African should enjoy the testy Irish conditions and I’m expecting Louis to give it a proper go in Northern Ireland this weekend.
Adam Scott – Scott has endured some tough times with his game but has eased himself back into something resembling top form having secured a top 20 in four straight majors (three of those top 10 finishes). When the going gets tough this Aussie usually rises to the occasion.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello – No one comes into the Open in better form than Rafa. Top 5 in the Irish Open and Top 10 in the Scottish. I’m not leaving Cabrera-Bello out at a tasty looking price.
MY BEST BETS WITH BETOLIMP
Top Ten Finish:
First Round Leader: