Rob Taylor (@RobTaylorSport) previews The Open Championship and provides us with his best bets for this week’s major championship in Northern Ireland.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: +38.2pts

2019 The Open Championship Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 18/07/19
  • Time: 06.36am first tee
  • Venue: Royal Portrush Golf Club, Dunluce Links, Portrush, Northern Ireland
  • Channel: Sky Sports Golf

Last week’s Scottish Open was a tough pill to swallow. Headline tip Erik Van Rooyen (45/1) was in cracking form for the first three days and 2nd going into the final day. Poised to challenge for the win or at least a place, he unfortunately capitulated on a couple of holes early on, and was then out of contention.

We move onto this week, and the biggest golf event in the calendar, The Open Championship. The 148th renewal comes from the stunning Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. The local fans will be delighted to finally see the game’s biggest prize here, especially with home favourites Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke all trying to take home the Claret Jug.

As I’ve mentioned in recent event previews, links golf is a very different style of golf compared to what the players typically face, with the ability to control the ball in the air and around the greens imperative for success.

Whilst the course may be a bit more receptive than expected due to recent rain, the challenge awaiting the players this week should not be underestimated, especially if the wind gets up, as it so often does here at Portrush and other links courses.

The top 50 in the world all compete here this week in what should be yet another scintillating major championship. Francesco Molinari is the defending champion after his win last year at Carnoustie.

Recent winners of The Open Championship

  • 2018 – Francesco Molinari 33/1
  • 2017 – Jordan Spieth 16/1
  • 2016 – Henrik Stenson 33/1
  • 2015 – Zach Johnson 110/1
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy 18/1
  • 2013 – Phil Mickelson 20/1
  • 2012 – Ernie Els 45/1

Key Stats & Facts

Portrush is an absolutely beautiful golf course and it’s easy to see why players have petitioned so strongly for The Open to be held here. A 7,337 yard par 71 course designed by Harry Colt, the coastal location is set to provide us with one of the most breathtaking backdrops to a major championship in many years.

With the course not having the usual high number of bunkers on the course, the players will find the greens the most challenging aspect this week. The ability to find the right portion of the greens will be important to posting a competitive score, and whilst the wind is not currently expected to be too strong during the championship, do not be surprised if that forecast changes come the start of the event and provides a sterner test for the players.

Whilst Portrush held the Irish Open back in 2012, which was won by Jamie Donaldson, numerous tweaks have been made since then, so players with a strong links pedigree have to be considered this week.

As always with links golf, bogey avoidance and patience on all areas of the course will be important, as players with a sharp and creative short game, should prosper. The ability to shape the ball into these greens, whilst not always needing driver off the tee, does bring a longer list of players into contention this week.

Betting Odds – Top 10

  • Rory McIlroy 8/1
  • Brooks Koepka 10/1
  • Dustin Johnson 14/1
  • Jon Rahm 14/1
  • Tiger Woods 18/1
  • Justin Rose 22.1
  • Xander Schauffele 22/1
  • Francesco Molinari 22/1
  • Henrik Stenson 25/1
  • Patrick Cantlay 25/1

The Verdict

As always at a major championship, strong arguments can be made for nearly all at the top of the market, but as usual, backing someone at less than 16/1 doesn’t fill me with much excitement, although I do expect Rory and Jon Rahm to go very well this week. For me, it’s about the ability to compete at the very pinnacle of the game, under the toughest pressure. Therefore my team of players have all experienced the thrust of a major championship back 9, have played well previously at The Open and are in cracking recent form.

  • Xander Schauffele – 2pts Each Way, 22/1, Sky Bet

Schauffele is a major champion in waiting; I have absolutely no doubt about that. Runner up at last year’s Open Championship, the American has also had three other top 6 finishes in majors over the past 18 months. He was 2nd at the Masters for me and this preview in April and 3rd at last month’s US Open. Already a winner on the PGA Tour twice this season he has backed that up with a whole host of impressive finishes, and looks destined to take his career to the next level. His all-around game is perfectly suited for the challenge ahead this week, ranking highly in all of the key stats this year. Xander has demonstrated on numerous occasions now that he belongs at the top of the game, and I fancy him to contend once again here at Portrush.

  • Patrick Cantlay – 2pts Each Way, 25/1, Sky Bet

Cantlay is another player who deserves high praise this season. He has shown a new level of consistency, picking up his maiden win at the Memorial, and delivering 8 further top 10’s, including 9th at the Masters and 3rd at the PGA Championship. 12th at last year’s Open Championship illustrates his ability on the links, and he is another leading American poised to get over the line at a major championship. Cantlay has been posting some incredible numbers this season, and lies highly in all the relevant stats so far this season, including; 10th off the tee, 12th in approach, 4th tee to green, 13th around the green, 25th putting and 2nd overall.

  • Jordan Spieth – 1pt Each Way, 40/1, Paddy Power

Whilst many may see this as a risky one, I just can’t leave Spieth off my team this week. There has been much commentary around the state of his game and mindset in recent months, but there have been strong signs recently that he is getting back to his best. 3rd at the PGA Championship, 8th at the Charles Schwaab and 7th at Memorial all show me that his game is trending the right way. On a course where driver won’t always be needed, the 2017 Open champion comes in this week at a very appealing each way price. He also finished in the top 10 of last year’s championship, whilst challenging for the title on the final day. His putting remains strong and that will be a crucial asset this week and with the need for driver diminished, if he can keep his iron play and approach game strong, I can certainly see him challenge the top of the leaderboard.

  • Erik Van Rooyen – 1pt Each Way, 100/1, Sky Bet

Whilst disappointed that Van Rooyen couldn’t close out the job in Scotland last week, and the early 150/1 has gone, I cannot neglect that all I wrote last week about the quality of his game this season, and his liking for links golf, all remains true. With 10 places on offer, Van Rooyen is a cracking each way prospect this week. His strong all-round game should be well suited to the challenge at Portrush this week, and after a very encouraging 17th at Carnousite last year, he can clearly get to grips with the pressure of a major championship.

Recommended Bets

  • 2pts Each Way – Xander Schauffele @ 22/1 (Sky Bet)
  • 2pts Each Way – Patrick Cantlay @ 25/1 (Sky Bet)
  • 1pt Each Way – Jordan Spieth – @ 40/1 (Paddy Power)
  • 1pt Each Way – Erik Van Rooyen @ 100/1 (Sky Bet)