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BlogOpen Championship Preview and Picks

Open Championship

July 15th – 18th, 2021

Royal St. George’s G.C.

Sandwich, England

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,189

Purse: $11.5 million

with $2,070,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Shane Lowry

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 90 of the top 100 and 46 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings. The only top-50 player not in the field is Kevin Na, who withdrew last week.  Of those in the top-100 that aren’t in the field are: $#18 Hideki Matsuyama, #27 Sungjae Im, #36 Kevin Na, #37 Matthew Wolff, #52 Si Woo Kim, #54 Bubba Watson, #64 Mackenzie Hughes, #67 Cameron Davis, #72 K.H. Lee and #99 Charl Schwartzel.

When the British Open was last played in 2019, 91 of the top-100 and 49 of the top 50 were in the field

The field includes 24 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2021.  Those players not in the field are #19 Hideki Matsuyama.

The field includes 15 past Open champions: Shane Lowry (2019), Francesco Molinari (2018),Jordan Spieth (2017), Henrik Stenson (2016), Rory McIlroy (2014), Phil Mickelson (2013), Ernie Els (2012 & ’02), Darren Clarke (2011),Louis Oosthuizen (2010), Stewart Cink (2009) and Padraig Harrington (2007 & ’08).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the U.S. Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the British Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the British Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Open Championship

Player John Deere Scottish Open Rocket Mortgage Irish Open Travelers Champ. BMW Champ. U.S. Open Palmetto Champ. Memorial Tourn. Wells Fargo Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson
Jon Rahm
(329 pts)
DNP 7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(66)
Win
(176)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T8
(33.33)
T34
(5.33)
Harris English
(295.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
T40
(5)
3
(120)
T14
(24)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP T64
(0)
T13
(12.33)
Lucas Herbert
(261 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP Win
(132)
T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(233.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
2
(133.33)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP
Collin Morikawa
(233.67 pts)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
T4
(106.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T14
(12)
T8
(33.33)
DNP
Brooks Koepka
(233.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP T4
(106.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Scottie Scheffler
(220.33 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
T20
(15)
T7
(73.33)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(33.33)
T47
(1)
Patrick Cantlay
(205.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
T12
(19)
T15
(46.67)
DNP Win
(88)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP
Joaquin Niemann
(202 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T36
(14)
T3
(45)
T31
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T18
(10.67)
T50
(0.33)
T30
(13.33)
DNP
Patrick Reed
(174.67 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP T25
(25)
T40
(5)
T19
(41.33)
DNP 5
(46.67)
T6
(20)
CUT
(-3.33)
T17
(22)
DNP
Min Woo Lee
(165 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Fitzpatrick
(164.67 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
T55
(0)
T10
(26.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T23
(18)
CUT
(-3.33)
Ian Poulter
(164 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T36
(14)
DNP T40
(13.33)
T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
T30
(13.33)
DNP
Guido Migliozzi
(158.67 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP T4
(106.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Paul Casey
(157.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(14)
T16
(17)
T7
(73.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Xander Schauffele
(157.17 pts)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T7
(73.33)
DNP T11
(26)
T14
(12)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Lucas Glover
(156.33 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T37
(8.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP
Abraham Ancer
(153.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 4
(80)
T33
(8.5)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
T14
(12)
T8
(33.33)
DNP
Rory McIlroy
(148.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T12
(19)
T7
(73.33)
DNP T18
(21.33)
Win
(44)
DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP
Daniel Berger
(141.83 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T7
(73.33)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
T75
(0)
T3
(30)
Brian Harman
(141 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(70)
T12
(19)
T19
(41.33)
DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Troy Merritt
(138 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP T50
(0.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
7
(18.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Dustin Johnson
(136.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(25)
2
(50)
T19
(41.33)
T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Branden Grace
(133 pts)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(73.33)
DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
T38
(8)
DNP
Johannes Veerman
(126.67 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Henley
(125.17 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(31)
T25
(12.5)
T13
(49.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T72
(0)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP
Jordan Spieth
(124.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(41.33)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP 2
(33.33)
T30
(13.33)
T9
(15)
Kevin Kisner
(122.5 pts)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T5
(70)
T25
(12.5)
T55
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T40
(3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Shane Lowry
(120.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP T6
(40)
T65
(0)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Richard Bland
(116.33 pts)
DNP T15
(35)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T50
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(113.83 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T19
(41.33)
DNP T42
(5.33)
T26
(8)
T40
(3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(110.33 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(17)
CUT
(-13.33)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP
Alex Noren
(102.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP T40
(5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP T55
(0)
T21
(9.67)
Kevin Streelman
(102.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T51
(0)
T15
(46.67)
DNP T13
(24.67)
T26
(8)
T20
(10)
T8
(33.33)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(99.33 pts)
DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP T6
(30)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
T49
(0.67)
DNP
Bryson DeChambeau
(97.83 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T19
(31)
50
(0.5)
T26
(32)
DNP T18
(21.33)
T9
(15)
DNP T38
(8)
T55
(0)
Sebastian Munoz
(95 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T8
(25)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(30)
CUT
(-6.67)
T55
(0)
Marc Leishman
(93 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(90)
69
(0)
64
(0)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T21
(9.67)
Rikard Karlberg
(90 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Burns
(86.33 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
2
(33.33)
Adam Scott
(85.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
T25
(12.5)
T35
(20)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(84.67 pts)
DNP DNP T74
(0)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Win
(88)
DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(82.67 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP T76
(0)
T10
(20)
T15
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
(80.33 pts)
DNP T44
(6)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP T31
(25.33)
DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP
Chez Reavie
(74.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP T40
(13.33)
T14
(24)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(73.67 pts)
DNP T26
(24)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T50
(1.33)
T35
(10)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Jason Day
(73.33 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP T10
(40)
64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T44
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
Ryan Palmer
(72 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T40
(5)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
CUT
(-6.67)
T47
(1)
Charley Hoffman
(72 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP T3
(30)
T17
(22)
DNP
Thomas Detry
(70 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Tony Finau
(63.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
5
(35)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T32
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
T20
(10)
T8
(33.33)
DNP
Garrick Higgo
(63.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T41
(9)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP
Joel Dahmen
(63.33 pts)
DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
T18
(10.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T55
(0)
DNP
Talor Gooch
(63 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(14)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
T26
(8)
T14
(12)
T44
(4)
T39
(3.67)
Rickie Fowler
(60.67 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T8
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Open Championship

Player John Deere Scottish Open Rocket Mortgage Irish Open Travelers Champ. BMW Champ. U.S. Open Palmetto Champ. Memorial Tourn. Wells Fargo Charles Schwab PGA Champ. Byron Nelson
Dylan Frittelli
(-32.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T33
(8.5)
T46
(5.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Haotong Li
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Henrik Stenson
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T64
(0)
DNP
Jazz Janewattananond
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Victor Perez
(-26.67 pts)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Cole Hammer
(-23.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Paul Waring
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jorge Campillo
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Joe Long
(-20 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kurt Kitayama
(-16.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Daniel Van Tonder
(-16 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T44
(4)
DNP
Sam Horsfield
(-14.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP
Matthias Schmid
(-13.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brad Kennedy
(-13.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(-12 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T50
(0.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(11)
John Catlin
(-11 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Webb Simpson
(-10 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP
Marcus Kinhult
(-10 pts)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Shaun Norris
(-10 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matthias Schwab
(-10 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

To think that this has always been my favorite major, one that I enjoyed attending for close to fifty years.  Since my first British Open in 1975, I’ve only missed three when ABC Sports got cheap and didn’t send me in 1983, ’85, and ’86.  So I had been to a lot, and it’s hard to believe that the 2019 British was the last I have been to.

So it’s been strange watching it on the Golf Channel and following the R&A media site.

The good news is that if there was a British Open to miss, this is the one.  From what I am hearing from people at Royal St. George’s, the rules and hassles from strict COVID rules have made it not very friendly.  On top of that, of all the courses this is the least favorite.  One of the reasons the R&A goes to it is because it’s the only one close to London, plus they can get more folks coming from France via the Chunnel, which has a stop in Dover, which is about 15 miles south of St. George’s.  So it’s a good one to miss, and hopefully, I will be back next year at St. Andrews.

With my time watching the British Open revolving from my recliner, I have been able to spend more time watching player interviews and reading what those at St. George’s are saying.  The number one thing I have realized the rough this year is ferocious, and for those that hit into it will not have any chance at a birdie and will have to struggle to make par. So off the bat, we can talk about Bryson DeChambeau and quickly dismiss him having any chance, and the critical bet will be to short him. In gambling, terms bet he will miss the cut.  In watching his interview, you could sense his game plan is flawed as he is hoping to hit it so far that even if he is in the rough, he can wedge it onto the green.  When ESPN’s Bob Harig asked him if there were any holes he would lay upon, he first started with the 14th but then added a few more holes.  Still, DeChambeau said that he had to putt perfectly and hit it straight, which after seeing him on Tuesday from Montana hitting it all over the place, don’t give DeChambeau much of a chance.

I do like the chances of Brooks Koepka, even though watching his press interview didn’t give me much confidence.  Koepka makes you feel like he is very inhumane, a sort of cyborg SC-FI character that makes everything seem bleak and dark.  When you’re thinking of backing a player, the last thing you want to hear is that he hasn’t played in two weeks and doesn’t like the golf course.  These two items don’t give you much confidence, first not touching a club in weeks makes you think he doesn’t care, and if he doesn’t like the course, will he not play well because of his dislike.  I also shake my head when I hear that he is disappointed that he couldn’t bring over his chef and his trainer because of COVID, but he has brought over his caddie, manager, and physio.  So they are forced to endure cooking from, I guess a local hire, that isn’t up to their standards.  But Koepka made sure to let everybody know that he will be close to the final group on Sunday, so he has confidence.  So I guess that reluctantly he will be one of my favorites.

I also like the chances of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy. Both interviews brought out the fact that both are confident in their chances.  It was brought out that McIlroy missing the cut in Scotland could help him because he could come down early to St. George’s and work on things that make him feel good.  The only problem with this, we have heard this before, like before the Masters a few months ago, and he missed the cut.  The one thing that Rory is having problems with is with the driver.  Poor driving at the Irish and Scottish Open the last two weeks has me worried, and if you look at Rory’s body of work the previous year and a half, McIlroy’s driving has been way off.  Even in his win at Wells Fargo, he ranked T-76th in driving accuracy.  But at the end of the day, he thinks that he is playing well and makes some good strides in practice before the event.

Jon Rahm is also looking good, he was confident in his interview, and I found it interesting that he was born with a club foot, which is why his swing is so short.  But he has, over the years, made one positive out of a negative and with his wrists, make up for any lack of stability in his legs.  The bottom line on Jon will be his putting. If that is going well, Rahm will be in the lead or close to it.  But if he can’t figure out St. George’s greens, he will struggle and find himself close but with no cigar.

As for St. George’s, I think the R&A will be lucky.  With all of the rain they have gotten, the fairways are very soft, so players won’t hit good drives and take bad bounces into the rough.  On top of that, the rough will be the story as players will have to hit fairways to survive.  Despite all this, you will still have many pros complaining about all the blind shots, which nobody likes.

Lastly this is not only a sad week for not being able to attend the British Open, but this is the first British Open in 71 years that my old friend Peter Alliss won’t be at.   Everyone knows Peter who in the states was an announcer for ABC Sports, but he has been a mainstay of the BBC since the late 60s.  Peter attended his first Open in 1951 and has been to everyone since.  For 50 years he has been the voice of the BBC and the thought of a British Open without him is sad.  Peter died in December and will always be on the minds of people who got the privilege to be in his circle.

Championship information:

The British Open traces its roots back to October 17, 1860, at the Links at Prestwick.  Hard to believe that the British Open was played 6 months before Abraham Lincoln was sworn into office on March 4th, 1861.

Eight professionals vied at the inaugural Open Championship, making three trips around the 12-hole golf course at Prestwick. Willie Park Sr.’s 174 gave him a two-shot win over Old Tom Morris. The original prize was the Challenge Belt. It’s interesting to note that a month later, on November 6th, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States.

In 1873, Tom Kidd’s victory at St. Andrews was monumental. It was the first-Open Championship held at St. Andrews, and with Kidd’s win, he took home the first-ever Claret Jug. The jug was manufactured at the cost of 30 pounds by Mackay Cunningham & Co. of Edinburgh. Now to put that in perspective, 30 pounds today would be worth about 50 dollars. Not much money in today’s world but here is a better view of it. In searching the value of the British pound in 1860, it had the purchasing power of about 63.10 today. So if you multiply 63.10 30 times, you get 1,893 pounds which means in today’s money, they paid about $3,000 to make up the original Claret Jug.

By 1892, The Open Championship had moved to a 72-hole format, 36-holes over two days. With the changes to the Open Championship format, play began to increase. As play increased, a cut was instituted, starting in 1898, to limit the number of competitors over the final 36 holes. The increase in competition led to a decrease in scoring. Jack White’s 296 in the 1904 Open Championship marked the first time a competitor shot an aggregate score under 300. His final round 68 also set a record for the lowest round by a golfer. The Open Championship went on a six-year hiatus beginning in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I. When the tournament resurfaced in 1920, it did so under new ownership. The R&A was entrusted with the task of managing the event. To this day, the R&A still administers the Championship.

The R&A quickly installed changes to The Open Championship. The event spanned three days, 18 holes on each of the first two days and 36 on the final day. Also, The R&A began charging admission to see the event. A year later, The R & R&A started to produce a replica Claret Jug awarded to each year’s champion. The original jug resides in the clubhouse of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. The suspension of the Open from 1939 to 1946 due to World War II represents the longest gap between Open Championships. Sam Snead won the 1946 U.S. Open at St. Andrews, defeating Bobby Locke.

The 1955 Open marked a new era for the event. BBC broadcasted the tournament on television for the first time. By 1966, the Open Championship was being played over four days, 18 holes each day. ABC, for the first time, broadcasted a live feed of the event in America in 1982. In 1977, Regional Qualifying around England and Scotland was introduced permanently to help organize qualifying in which there were two levels, first local qualifying and then moving on the week of the Championship. It had been an experiment at 1926 Open but abandoned after just one year. In 1980, the Open Championship was moved to its current format, 18 holes over four days, with the tournament concluding on Sunday. A decade later, in 1990, the event set an attendance record with over 208,000 spectators showing up to watch the tournament at St. Andrews. One more significant change in 2005 saw international qualifying, with different sites set up in Australia, South Africa, Asia, America, and for the European players to try and qualify in their country instead of having to fly off to England. Today things are a bit different; there are two ways you can get in. One is either winning a significant event, being high up the world rankings, being a top winner on either the PGA Tour, European Tour, South African Tour, Japan, and Asian Tour. Or you can get through in qualifying tournaments in which there are nine events in which the top players for that week can get into the Open and four qualifying sites around England that finished just two weeks ago.

The 2020 Open Championship will be the 149th installment of the tournament. It was supposed to be played last year but was canceled due to COVID-19.  So it will get its day of sunshine this week.

Course information:
  • Royal St. Georges GC
  • Sandwich, Kent, England
  • 7,189 yards     Par 35-35–70

The Royal St George’s Golf Club is located in Sandwich, Kent, England, only 67 miles from Big Ben in London. It is the only British Open rota golf course to be located in South East England. It had hosted 14 Open championships, the first in 1894 when it became the first club outside Scotland to host the championship. Past champions include Darren Clarke, Ben Curtis, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Bill Rogers, Bobby Locke, Reg Whitcombe, Henry Cotton, Walter Hagen (on two occasions), Harry Vardon (on two occasions), Jack White and John Henry Taylor. It has also hosted The Amateur Championship on 13 occasions.

The club was founded by the surgeon Laidlaw Purves in 1887 in a setting of wild duneland. Many holes feature blind or partially blind shots, although the unfairness element has been reduced somewhat after several 20th-century modifications. The course also possesses the deepest bunker in championship golf, located on its fourth hole.  It is the bunker made famous by James Bond and referred to locally as “the coffin.” Visitors label it “Himalaya.” At least, those are a couple of the more favorable terms used.

Talking about James Bond, Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond was a member at St. George’s since 1949. He was a great player with a handicap in the single figures and died of a heart attack just four days after being made the Captain of St. George’s in 1964.

The course reeks of history and a lot of fun facts  Here are a couple of these facts.
  • The 3rd at Royal St George’s is the only par 3 on today’s Open Championship rota that has no bunkers, although the hole once had two pot bunkers left of the green. These were filled in before The Open returned to Sandwich in 1981.
  • Walter Hagen’s victory in the 1922 British Open was the first by a US-born American. Jock Hutchison, who won the previous year at St Andrew’s, became an American citizen in 1920 but was born in Scotland.
  • St. George’s has only seen three American winners, Hagen (1922 & 1928), Bill Rogers (1981), and Ben Curtis (2003). Four Englishmen have won: JH Taylor (1894), Harry Vardon (1899 & 1911), Henry Cotton (1934), and Reg Whitcombe (1938). Two Scots have won: Jack White (1904) and Sandy Lyle (1985). The other winners have been South Africa’s Bobby Locke (1949) and Australian Greg Norman (1993)
  • The first sub-70 round (a 69) in British Open history was scored by James Braid in third round of the 1904 British Open. It was not enough to carry him to victory. He finished T-2nd, a shot behind Jack White, who himself shot a 69 in the final round to clinch the title. Tied with Braid for second was J.H.Taylor, who shot a 68 in the last round, making a trio of scores in the 60s on a single day.  Yet another record fell in 1904 when Jack White became the first man to win with a sub-300 total. His 296 beat runners-up JH Taylor and James Braid, who also broke the 300 barrier on 297.
  • In the 1904 British Open, Jack White became the first man to record four scores in descending order: 80-75-72-69. On three subsequent occasions, the feat had only been achieved by James Braid at Muirfield in 1906, Ben Hogan at Carnoustie in 1953, and Gary Player again at Muirfield in 1959.
  • Royal St. George’s saw the highest ever finishing round by a Champion in the 1934 Open when Henry Cotton shot 79 due to acute stomach cramps brought on by nerves. However, leading by 10 after three rounds, he could afford this luxury and still won by five shots.
  • Jack Nicklaus has never won as a professional at Roya St George’s. Indeed, his worst round as a professional (until he shot 85 in the 2003 Masters) came on this course when he shot 83 (13 over par) in the first round of the 1981 British Open, including a run of 6-5-6-5-7 from the 10th to the 14th. To be fair, he had just learned that his son had been charged with an offense after a car crash in Ohio. Whatever the cause, he came back the following day and shot 66, finishing T-23rd on 290, fourteen shots behind winner Bill Rogers.
  • However, Nicklaus did win the St George’s Grand Challenge Cup as an Amateur in 1959 with rounds of 73-76=149.
  • In the 1993 British Open at Sandwich, Ernie Els became the first man to shoot four rounds in the sixties (68-69-69-68) in the British Open but only finished in a tie for sixth. Shortly afterward, Greg Norman became the second to achieve the feat, winning with rounds of 66-68-69-64.
  • When Ben Curtis won the 2003 Open at St. George’s, it was only the 10th occasion that a player had claimed the title at his first attempt. The other nine on the list, Willie Park Sr. in 1860, Tom Kidd in 1873, Mungo Park in 1874, Jock Hutchison in 1921, Denny Shute in 1933, Ben Hogan in 1953, Tony Lema in 1964, and Tom Watson in 1975.

So there you have in a nutshell some things about Royal St. George’s, so let’s see how that determines a winner for this week.

Hard to believe we have another major coming up, the seventh major in the last eleven months. It’s the Open Championship and it’s being played at Royal St. George, which is a bit of an oddity on the British Open rota. It’s the only course within easy reach of London and is the only Open course on the English Channel. Of the ten courses on the rota, it’s considered the weakest of them all as many players don’t like its trickery of blind shots and golf historians don’t like the lack of marquee winners since the event returned to the rota in 1981. Yes Phil Rogers was the winner that year and Ben Curtis in 2003 was the most unlikely winner of a major since Orville Moody. Add Darren Clarke who was a popular winner but many never thought he could win a major it looks bleak for the quality of winners. Saving the course’s reputation Hall of Famers Sandy Lyle (1985) and Greg Norman (1993) also won leveling things out a bit.

The general knock on St. George is its quirkiness, something that was acceptable 70 years ago and frowned upon today. There are between half a dozen to 9 blind shots a round, depending on placements of some tee shots but the big knock on St. George is its slopping fairways in which a perfect tee shot could get a wicket bounce and despite landing in the middle of the fairway be in deep rough. An example of that was the 1st, 17th, and 18th holes in 2003, only one in four drives would find the fairways which didn’t settle well with players.

For some who say the course is too hard and unfair, you will have others like Greg Norman who would disagree. In 1993 he had rounds of 66-68-69-64 for a total of 267, the lowest 72 hole score in the British Open (the record was broken in 2016). Now to be fair to the course it was windless that week one of the reasons for low scores. Ten years later with some wind and a bit harder conditions, the winning score was 16 shots higher, as Ben Curtis had rounds of 72-72-70-69 for a 283 total. The last time the Open was held at St. George’s in 2011 Darren Clarke shot 275, 5 under par.

Technology has changed a bit since then along with the fitness of the players so what has the R&A done? They have lowered the yardage of the course for this year by 22 yards. In 2011 it played at 7,211 but for this year it comes down to 7.189. Indeed, the fact that only three of the past 14 Open winners have finished under par here may also explain why any tinkering has largely been limited to adding and moving a few bunkers to catch out the bigger hitters. So what is the R&A betting to make the course play tougher? A combination of rough and a pray that the weather will be windy. Members played their last round at St. George on June 28th and report that the rough is a healthy 3 to 5 inches. The growth was good in the spring and early summer and in the weeks before the Open the rough could get taller. June had an abundance of rain and more rain is predicted in the two weeks before the Open. The big question will be what the weather could be during Open week. Mid-July is the time in England that normally gets great weather, remember Royal St. George’s is way south and there could be a good chance that it looks like San Diego, with clear skies and no wind. That is what is forecasted for the four days of the tournament, no rain, gentle winds, and each day in the low 70s That is the way it was in 1993 when Greg Norman won. But if the weather gets nasty like in 2003 the scores will be higher.
Either way, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of weather. If it gets bone-dry and hard, the course will play tough because of the bounces making hitting fairways difficult. So in a way players will be looking for wet weather which will slow the bouncing of balls and make it more manageable.

So with that said, how can we judge this course? First, we are going to do something that worked during the 2019 British Open at Portrush in picking our four key stats. We are going to use strictly strokes gained stats. Our first is Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee because driving will be necessary. With thick rough it very important to get it in the fairway. We can see and hear the players talking about the fescue factor this week if you miss the fairway and in the wispy fescue, good luck in trying to make par.
Our next stat is Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green because hitting greens are essential and you have to make sure to hit the greens. Our third stat is Strokes Gained Around-the-Green because players will miss greens and win they will have to get it up and down. Last is Strokes Gained-Putting because that is going to be very important for players this week.

*Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee: The per round average of the number of strokes based on the number of fairways and distance hit

*Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green: Takes into account the number of greens and the proximity to the hole in the interest of saving shots.

*Strokes Gained Around-the-Green: Number of stokes gained from shots around the green, a lot of it is scrambling and bunker play.

*Strokes Gained Putting: The number of strokes gained in putting

The 84 of the 156 players from this year’s field with stats from 2021. Remember there are a lot of foreign players in the field:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to see all 84 stats for those in the British Open

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Jon Rahm – $11,300
  • Rory McIlroy – $10,900
  • Brooks Koepka – $10,700
  • Dustin Johnson – $10,400
  • Xander Schauffele – $10,000
  • Bryson DeChambeau – $9,900
  • Jordan Spieth – $9,700
  • Justin Thomas – $9,600
  • Louis Oosthuizen – $9,300
  • Collin Morikawa – $9,200
  • Viktor Hovland – $9,100
  • Tyrrell Hatton – $9,000

So does anyone we have any great insight on if Jon Rahm is worth the $11,300?  Feel that he is the best teeing up this week, think that if Jon Rahm at $11,300 makes some putts he will win.  He looked good tee to green in Scotland last week, but missed a lot of putts.  The only thing I worry about in picking a player at such a high price, if he finishes out of the top-five or six, your not going to make enough points to make the pick worthwhile.  So if you think he is going to win or be close pick him.  The same with Rory McIlroy at $10,900, the price is high.  I feel Rory will play well but in the last two years his driving has gone down and he isn’t hitting it as well with the driver as he use to.  Unfortunately if you are having a poor day with the driver, you will shot a high score like McIlroy did in the first round of the 2019 British Open when he shot 79.  Think Rory is good, just not good enough for $10,900.  Brooks Koepka at $10,700 scares me.  I know that he always gets things together for a major and told the media that he will be there on Sunday, but his dislike of the course and the fact that he didn’t touch a club for two weeks before Sunday scares me.  For me the decision is easy, the price is too high but yes Brooks could be the winner this week.  Dustin Johnson at $10,400 is a big no for me, sorry but I think he is still struggling on his game and won’t contend this year.  Xander Schauffele at $10,000 is a yes for me, first because his price is doable and second because he is playing well and it’s only a matter of time when he is in the right place at the right time.  Think of it this way, Schauffele played well at Torrey Pines, but he just wasn’t in the right place at the right time.  Bryson DeChambeau at $9,900 is a easy no.  I feel he won’t even make the cut, let alone be in contention.  Jordan Spieth at $9,700 is a yes for me, I can see him doing well this week especially if the weather is San Diego type.  Many will forget about Spieth, but you shouldn’t forget about him.  Justin Thomas at $9,600 is a no for me.  His game has been in flux since he won the Players Championship.  Matter of fact his game as been in flux since Kapalua in January, he just got lucky winning the Players.  Now the next four guys I am very high on, stariing with Louis Oosthuizen at $9,300.  He has played great for two months and been runner-up in the last two majors. Now this has happened more times than you think.  Dustin Johnson was runner-up in both the 2019 Masters and PGA Championship, then finished T-35th in the U.S. Open.  In 2015 Oosthuizen was runner-up in both the 2015 U.S. and British Open, but finished T-30th.  Even worst in 2014 Phil Mickelson ended the PGA Championship in 2nd and then in 2015 was 2nd at the Masters.  But at the U.S. Open Phil was T-64th.  Now in 2011 Jason Day was runner-up at the Masters and U.S. Open, but finished T-30th at the British Open.  Going further back in 2007 Tiger Woods was runner-up in both the Masters and U.S. Open but was T-12th at the British Open.  Even worst, Chris DiMarco was runner-up in the 2004 PGA Championship and the 2005 Masters but missed the cut at the U.S. Open.  Now to show on maybe this stat shows that you better say no to Oosthuizen, in 2000 Ernie Els was runner-up in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and then was T-34th in the PGA Championship.  Next you have Collin Morikawa at $9,200, along with Viktor Hovland at $9,100 but they both are playing in their first British Open.  Doesn’t matter, at the price they are good value.  Last is Tyrrell Hatton at $9,000, he is a good pick and should do well, was T-6th at the 2019 British Open and T-5th in 2016.  Course is right up his alley.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Many will feel that Patrick Cantlay will be a good pick at $8,900 but I am a bit hesitant  He hasn’t shown us much in his two British Open starts and were out of the top-ten at Torrey and Travelers.  But I like Scottie Scheffler at $8,200, the price is good and even though this is his first British think he will be fine.  Also like Tommy Fleetwood at $8,000 and Matthew Fitzpatrick at $7,900, both are ready to come to the front and St. George’s is perfect for them.  I also like Abraham Ancer at $7,600 even if he has missed the cut in his two British Open starts.  Also like Phil Mickelson at $7,500, the reason is because the weather will be good for him.  Now the strange thing is there aren’t that many folks in this price range, so we will have to find some real bargains.

Some of the “bargains” this week at the Royal Portrush

It’s time for Daniel Berger to step up at $7,400, I know he has missed two of three cuts, but see him playing well this week.  Rickie Fowler at $7,300 is very undervalued and we know how much his game is ready to play well.  Jason Kokrak is $7,200 and has played great in 2021.  We have to think that he will improve what is a poor British Open record.  Also have to think that Russell Henley is a good buy at $7,200.  He has played good of late.  Stewart Cink at $6,900 is a good buy, not because he can win, but because he will make the cut and find a way to a T-25th finish, which is good value.  the same with Lucas Glover at $6,600, he is playing well and I think make the cut so it’s worth the price.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the British Open:

In the past 29 years its been won by grinders like Shane Lowry, Henrik Stenson, Francesco Molinari, Zach Johnson, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Darren Clarke, and Stewart Cink, who may not look pretty but knows how to place shots in the right spots. There have also been superstars like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth, who were expected to win. And then you had your superstar that wasn’t supposed to win in Phil Mickelson, do the job. It’s been won by great tour players like Ernie Els, David Duval, and Justin Leonard, who capped off their PGA Tour careers with their first win in a major. But unfortunately, the British Open has been won by guys that fell out of the limelight right after their victories. Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara, Paul Lawrie, David Duval, Todd Hamilton, and Ben Curtis all come to mind. Since their win, they have fallen from grace and have struggled with their games.

The field has the best golf has to offer, 90 of the top-100 in the world rankings.  Just about every significant player in the world will be at St George’s this week, so many players could win it.  But here is a sobering fact that there are many good players in the field, but of the 156 in the field, 50 are playing for the first time, which will eliminate a lot of players.

The key stat for the winner:
  • The length and brute strength will play a significant role this week.  But at the same time, with the rough being as challenging as it is, nobody will hit 14 drivers around.  This course will demand accuracy off the tee.  The rough is tough if you go too far left or right, so you have to keep it on the short grass.
  • Putting is going to be a premium this week.  Everybody is making a big deal that an Englishman or Scot hasn’t won. Maybe that’s because the best putters in the world come outside of the United Kingdom.
  • If the wind blows, it will be survival of the fitness, a bit like a couple of years ago at Birkdale, Troon, and St. Andrews.
  • Be a good scrambler will do well this week. Greens are a bit small, and a player must have the skills to get it up and down from off the green or greenside bunkers.
  • A player that doesn’t hit it into bunkers.  One of the vital stats for Tiger Woods win in 2000 and Justin Leonard’s victory at Troon in 1997 is that they didn’t hit it in a bunker during the 72 holes.  If that gets repeated this week, that person will win the Claret Jug.
  • Now, what does all of this mean?  Look for a Rory McIlroy or John Rahm or Brooks Koepka to shine.  My first choice is Rory McIlroy. If he bombs it straight and long and putts halfway decent, he will be tough to beat.
  • Some other keys to playing well this week:
  • Good bunker play – yes, you want to avoid them, but for those that can escape and get it up and down, it will help.
  • Some will say that with the high rough and short distance, the short hitters will do well.  That’s how Todd Hamilton did it 17 years ago, or Ben Curtis at St. George’s 18 years ago, and Justin Leonard did it 24 years ago.  The longer you drive it, the more of an advantage you will have.  But with heavy rough long drivers will revert to fairway woods and irons to keep it straight, so a short driver that is accurate will be in play this week.
  • Putting is going to be a premium this week.  The greens are flat and slow under the standards of the top professionals, so look for lots of 7, 8, 9, and 10 footers to be made.
  • Last but not least, don’t listen to any of the experts that make picks, including me.  Golf has become close to impossible to gauge, and to pick a winner is almost impossible. How many people saw Shane Lowry win in 2019 or Francesco Molinari in 2018?  In 2003, after Ben Curtis finished T-13th at the Western Open, it gave him the last exemption to play in the British Open.  At that time, T-13th was his career-best finish, and I asked him his thoughts on going over.  He laughed and said how shocked he was and would enjoy the trip.  The Wednesday night before the 2003 British Open, I walked into a bookie shop in Sandwich and saw that Curtis was a 350 to 1 bet, and I remembering telling a friend how overpriced he was.  Gosh, to this day wish I could have put even a pound on him. The bookies probably did well because nobody bet on Curtis that week.
  • The game has gotten so refined with swing gurus, mind coaches, fitness coaches, and dietary experts that golfers can change from playing terribly to winning in a matter of a week. Yes, golf has gotten very complicated these days and very hard to predict.

Who to watch for at the Open Championship

Best Bets:

Jordan Spieth

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T20 T9 Win T30 T4 T36 T44

Win at Birkdale in 2017, that course is very similar to St. George’s. Also T-4th in 2015 and T-9th in 2018. His game has been really consisted since Phoenix, yes he was T-18th at Memorial and T-19th at U.S. Open but on courses that don’t favor him, St. George’s does favor him.

Jon Rahm

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11 CUT T44 T59

Has struggled a bit in his four Open starts, was T-11th at Portrush in 2019, has won twice on links courses in Ireland similar to St. George’s. Has played the most consistent of anyone in 2021 including 12 top-tens in 18 starts. Still after we saw his frustation last week at Scottish Open the key for this week is for him to putt well.

Viktor Hovland

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

He has not play in the British Open but that shouldn’t stop you from taking him. He has played great all year, he quietly won in Germany two weeks ago and I feel he is going to be ready to go.

Best of the rest:

Xander Schauffele

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T41 T2 T20

He was T-2nd at Carnoustie that makes you feel that he can win the British Open. He has played great this year, things just haven’t worked out but there is going to be a time real soon when he wins.

Rory McIlroy

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T2 T4 T5 Win CUT T60 T25 T3 T47

Winner in 2014, was runner-up in 2018 and T-4th in 2017. He is a great links player and look for him to contend. Game has been in flux for a year and a half, like that he is going under the radar this week after missing cut at Scottish Open. Last time he missed the cut he won in his next start at Wells Fargo.

Collin Morikawa

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Has never played in a British Open but think he can still adapt and do well. Been a consistent year with win at WGC-Concession and losing playoff at the Memorial

Tyrrell Hatton

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6 T51 CUT T5 CUT CUT CUT CUT

Was T-5th at Troon in 2016 and T-6th at Portrush in 2018, both courses similar to St. George’s. Game has been improving over the summer was T-2nd at Palmetto. He is the type of player that sneaks up and contends on the final day.

Solid contenders

Patrick Cantlay

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T41 T12

Played twice, T-41st in 2019 and T-12th in 2018. Still his game is good for St. George’s.Won Memorial, was T-15th at U.S. Open and T-13th at Travelers.

Louis Oosthuizen

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T20 T28 CUT CUT T2 T36 WD T19 T54 Win CUT

Record in the British Open shows that he can do well, won at St. Andrews in 2010 and runner-up in 2015. Has a great record in majors, has been on a tear since the Masters including runner-up at the PGA and U.S. Open.

Tommy Fleetwood

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
2 T12 T27 CUT CUT CUT

Runner-up in 2019 at Portrush and T-12th at Carnoustie in 2018. His game has been sub-par for 2021 with only two-top ten finishes. But that is the thing about him, we know he can do better and surprise us any week now.

Jason Kokrak

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T32 CUT

Only played twice missed cut in 2018 and T-32nd in 2019. Has been a great season as he is getting better from week to win. Won Charles Schwab last month and T-12th at Rocket Mortgage. If he keeps it on the fairway at St. George’s will do well.

Long shots that could come through:

Rickie Fowler

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6 T28 T22 T46 T30 T2 CUT T31 T5 T14

Good record in the British Open, was T-6th in 2019, T-2nd in 2014 and T-5th at Royal St. George’s in 2011. Showed us signs of breaking his slump with his T-8th finish at PGA Championship, T-11th at Memorial and T-32nd at Rocket Mortgage. Lots of people will be eerie of him because of his year-long slump, but he is bouncing back.

Lucas Glover

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T20 CUT CUT T12 T48 CUT

Has always struggled at the British, best finish was T-12th at Royal St. George’s in 2011 so there is hope for him. He has the best tee to green game of anyone on tour and worst putting of anyone on tour. When he putts well on slower greens he does well like winning at week at John Deere

Robert MacIntyre

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T6

Was T-6th in the British Open debut in 2019 at Portrush. Showed us signs of being able to play well in big events, was T-9th at the WGC-Match Play, T-12th at the Masters and T-18th last week in Scottish Open.

Just don’t like these players this week:

Dustin Johnson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T51 CUT T54 T9 T49 T12 T32 T9 T2 T14 CUT

Has been terrible in the Open Championship the last three years. Of all the majors he has the tougest time in this one, was runner-up to Darren Clarke at St. George’s in 2011. Has not been in contetion on Sunday since February, nobody can say what is wrong with him or his game. Expect more of the same this week, could be an early return home.

Bryson DeChambeau

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
CUT T51 CUT

Missed the cut twice and T-51st in 2018, dismal results in the British Open. His game has seemed to worsen as he tries to prove to the world that he is a great player. Missed the cut at Rocket Mortgage, in the Mickelson Capitol One match was all over that golf course, if he drives it that way at St. George’s he will shoot a lot over par. Trying out a new caddie this week, yes Bryson is a mess and shouldn’t be touch for any bet except for shortening him or betting he will miss the cut.

Justin Thomas

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11 CUT CUT T53

Has always struggled at the British Open, best finish in four starts was T-11th in 2019. Still looking for any kind of form, did finish T-8th in the Scottish Open his best finish since winning the Players.

Tony Finau

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
3 T9 T27 T18

His poor play is a big mystery. Was 3rd at the British Open in 2019, T-9th in 2018. When he lost the playoff at the Genesis, played well the next week at Concession but has been really bad and not getting any better. Missed the cut in his last two starts at U.S. Open and Travelers, nobody can’t put a finger on why he is playing so bad.

Comments

  1. My personal picks so far are Spieth, Louis, and Leishman but something keeps bringing me back to Reed… You didn’t him mentioned at all in your post. Any thoughts?

  2. James Gittleman says

    For what it’s worth. My betting top three are Speith, Schauffele and Cantlay. All have short games in the upper 25%.

  3. I am with you @Geoff, Reed, has the putting and scrambling. Personally I like Louis, Jordan, and Rahm. Also, I will be lighting a $100 bill on fire and throwing it out the window.

  4. James Gittleman says

    To expand…..all three have the talent to hit consistent quality approaches into the greens. The ability to get it up and down. The flaw with all three is their ability to hit a tee shot where it can never be found. Rahm is the only player with no holes if putting well. At less then 9/1 I’m not excited at his prospects after watching him putt the last two rounds in Scotland. Three under for the last 36 very mediocre.

  5. James Gittleman says

    Did Rahm finish 14 or 16 under in Scotland? If 16 under he played the last 36 in 5 under. Having the lead at 36 still not a robust finish.

  6. It still always amazes me that the British Open each year has a field in which 100 of the 156 players have no shot in hell, but at the end of the day the person you least expected to win does win.
    Lool at the list of winners and I would say that every one of them going back to Rory winning in 2014 was a surprise winner. Even in 2017 many didn’t think Jordan could win, even though he won the Travelers the month before.
    The point I am trying to make, look for that winner that is good enough to win, but will surprise you.
    Going down the list I am talking about guys like this:
    Daniel Berger
    Scottie Scheffler
    Matt Fitzpatrick
    Jason Kokrak
    Joaquin Niemann
    Cameron Smith
    Lee Westwood
    Marc Leishman
    Sam Burns
    Tommy Fleetwood
    Stewart Cink
    Adam Cink
    Brian Harman

    These dozen players are the type that seems to win the British Open, guys that are good but you can’t see winning this week.
    So I know that John Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, and Jordan Spieth are the choices of most of you, but the “smart” pick is one of these players above. Hey I have problems putting money on these players, guess that’s why they call it “gambling”

  7. I forgot to add Harris English to that list.
    Matter of fact I screwed up on my preview, should of included him.

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