The Open Golf 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

We have reached the week where the final major of the year will take place when the best that the game of golf has to offer heads to Liverpool for The Open, where the battle for the Claret Jug will intensify over four days of competition.

Cameron Smith struck on the final day at St Andrews last year and he will head to Liverpool to attempt to make a successful defence of the title. A stacked field will all have the ambitions of getting their hands on the famous trophy.

Recent Winners

2022 – Cameron Smith

2021 – Collin Morikawa

2019 – Shane Lowry

2018 – Francesco Molinari

2017 – Jordan Spieth

2016 – Henrik Stenson

2015 – Zach Johnson

2014 – Rory McIlroy

2013 – Phil Mickelson

2012 – Ernie Els

The Course

We return to Royal Liverpool, often referred to as Hoylake, for the tournament this week. This will be the first time that this part of the country has hosted the event since 2014 when Rory McIlroy battled the wind and rain to triumph in a wire-to-wire success. The course has changed in those nine years with a new par 3 at 17 which means that we now have a par 71 where the total yardage is 7,383 yards. There are two par fives in the last four holes and that iconic short hole so late drama looks nailed on.

Historically length has not been a factor on this course even though Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are the last two winners here. Ball strikers tend to come to the fore here over good putters which isn’t always the case with links golf. While Woods won in 2006, shorter hitters or poor putters such as Chris DiMarco, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott all made the top 10 while in 2014 Furyk, Scott and Garcia made the frame again as did Edoardo Molinari. I don’t think anything will have changed so keep ball strikers on side but the rain is likely to impact the event on Saturday and the winds kick up at various times throughout the week.

The Field

At the minute we are reliant on the four majors for producing the best fields of the year as they are the only events where everyone remains eligible. All four current major champions are in the field this week. We have The Masters winner Jon Rahm, USPGA champion Brooks Koepka, US Open winner Wyndham Clark and the defending champion Cameron Smith all teeing it up, as is the winner of the Scottish Open last week in Rory McIlroy.

There are huge names everywhere you look this week with the likes of Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry, Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson all recent winners of this tournament looking to get their hands back on the Claret Jug while players such as Patrick Cantlay, the world number one Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood will all be looking to get their hands on this famous trophy for the first time.

Market Leaders

We have 8/1 joint favourites on the best prices this week with the Scottish Open champion Rory McIlroy and the world number one Scottie Scheffler both slated at that price. McIlroy is effectively the defending champion around here but has history firmly against him with just one player having won the Scottish Open the week before winning The Open. I wouldn’t rule him out but 8/1 the week after the emotions of winning isn’t for me. Scheffler finished third in Scotland last week which feels like the ideal tune up for this but given the variation in conditions this week even he is too short for me.

The Masters champion Jon Rahm is a 12/1 third favourite to emulate Seve Ballesteros and be a Spanish winner of The Open. He doesn’t have a great record in this tournament it must be said. In six previous attempts he only has one top 10 finish which I suspect is down to the courses not really suiting length and bombers. The Spaniard has won four times this year though so if he gets into contention it wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets it done but he skipped the warm up event in Scotland last week which feels like a negative to me.

Cameron Smith is 18/1 with the firms who have the better each way terms. The defending champion on the face of it would have a good chance here as the driver isn’t pulled out of the bag very often but as the course softens up over the weekend that might all change which could go against him. Defending champions have plenty of scrutiny on their time in the lead up to big events hence why I never take them but those who don’t adopt that strategy will be pleased to know that Smith won in London earlier this month so he is in decent form.

The USPGA champion Brooks Koepka is 20/1 to win the tournament with the better of the each way terms. This is one of the two majors that Koepka hasn’t got his hands on so that in itself will act as motivation for the week. We know that he targets these big events and we have already seen that this year. Koepka hasn’t won this tournament but he does have four top 10 finishes in eight starts in it but was only T67 when the event was last here and if length is negated he might be vulnerable.

Main Bets

Tommy Fleetwood looks a standout main bet to me this week. He ticks near enough every box I want ticking. He is local to this course and will know it like the back of his hand, he has a good record in The Open having chased home Shane Lowry at Portrush four years ago and then finishing fourth last year. He also had a decent spin in the Scottish Open last week where he would have finished in the top five but for a poor final hole. He was in the final group out there on Sunday so that is encouraging. We know he can handle the different conditions and we also know that he is a beast from tee to green. He so nearly won in Canada not so long ago and I think he can make up for that on home soil here.

The other main bet I like this week is Collin Morikawa. I won’t hide the fact that I would have liked his chances even more had he played in Scotland last week but the fact that he didn’t would suggest to me that he is happy with his preparations. We know he is returning to form after he finished second at the Rocket Mortgage Classic recently. Morikawa sits in the top five in fairways hit and greens in regulation on the PGA Tour and when he is on it there are few more accurate from tee to green and on a course with narrow fairways that is a massive thing this week. His putter looked to be finding some form in Detroit and if it is as warm here then the 2021 champion could very much add another jug to his collection here.


Adam Scott has a fine record around this golf course and if anything the changes and things will suit him. We know he is a wonderful driver of the golf ball and fires into greens relentlessly but what might separate the field this week is patience and course management and he is extremely good in those departments. He has gone T8 and T5 here and they have formed two of the six top 10 finishes he has had in this tournament. We all know he should have won it in 2012 but he has won a major since then and certainly hasn’t lost any of his class. Scott was fifth at Quail Hollow and ninth at The Memorial in elite fields and although he missed the cut last week in Scotland he did shoot 67 on Friday and missing the worst of the conditions might not have been a bad thing. I think he’s a live outsider here.

Branden Grace has kind of fallen out of the golf picture with him having joined the LIV Tour but he won on that tour in Portland last year and lost to Dustin Johnson in a playoff this year. He was also second in Washington too so while his achievements might not be quite as prominent in the public domain in terms of lack of TV exposure and everything, he certainly isn’t playing bad golf. We’ve already seen Brooks Koepka come from the LIV Tour and win a major this year while Koepka also nearly won The Masters with Cameron Smith landing a top five in the US Open. LIV players can compete in majors so a player who has three top two finishes and who finished T8 at the Nedbank where only a poor final round cost him a shot at the title, has to have a chance here. Grace has twice won in Qatar which is often a good sign for this event and he’s won the Dunhill Links. He drives the ball very well and I think he’s hugely overpriced here.

My final bet is an even bigger price in the form of David Lingmerth, a player who shone in Scotland last week to book his spot in this tournament and for whom everything from here on in could be seen as a bonus. Lingmerth sits inside the top 20 for fairways hit on the PGA Tour this season and for putts per round so if he can get some irons dialled in, and in the main he’ll be firing scoring irons into these greens, then he could be a very live dark horse. His third place in Scotland where he was out in the worst of the conditions was his fifth top 10 finish on the season with two others being at The Honda Classic and The Players Championship where accuracy and ball striking are basically the entire test. T11 in Bermuda and T8 in Mexico tells us he can handle the breeze so at a monster price I’ll pay to see what sort of run we get for our money.


Back T.Fleetwood to win The Open (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 23.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)

Back A.Scott to win The Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 71.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)

Back D.Lingmerth to win The Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 401.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)

Back them here:

Back C.Morikawa to win The Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 31.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back B.Grace to win The Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

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