Starts: 15th July 2021
Course: Royal St Georges G.C.
Length: 7,206 yards
Overall Profit/Loss: +10.7pts
Pre-Event Bets: -10.6pts
0.75pts EW Adam Scott 70/1 Betfred (1/5 1-10)
0.75pts EW Justin Rose 66/1 @ Bet365 (1/5, 1-8)
0.75pts EW Ian Poulter 80/1 @ Marathon Bet (1/5, 1-8)
0.75pts EW Christiaan Bezuidenhout 90/1 @ Bet365 (1/5, 1-8)
0.75pts EW Jason Day 90/1 @ Bet365 (1/5, 1-8)
0.5pts EW Stewart Cink 140/1 @ Bet365 (1/5, 1-8)
0.5pts EW Kevin Kisner 150/1 @ Bet365 (1/5, 1-8)
0.5pts EW Aaron Rai 300/1 @ Skybet (1/5, 1-11)
0.5pts EW Rafa Cabrera Bello FIRST ROUND LEADER 125/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Ryan Palmer FIRST ROUND LEADER 80/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Alex Noren FIRST ROUND LEADER 80/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Lucas Glover FIRST ROUND LEADER 125/1 @ Boylesports (1/5 1-8)
3pts Ryan Fox to MAKE THE CUT 13/10 @ Betway
4pts Aaron Rai to MAKE THE CUT 5/4 @ Bet365
0.5pts EW Lucas Glover Top American 100/1 @ William Hill (1/5 1-5)
5pts Alex Noren Top Swedish Player 10/11 @ Unibet
1pt EW Ernie Els Top Former Winner 55/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-3)
2pts Justin Harding to beat Chan Kim and Haotong Li 6/4 @ Skybet
In-Play Bets: +21.3pts
16 July 2021(+9.3pts)
0.5pts EW Francesco Molinari 100/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
3pts Justin Harding to beat Chan Kim and Haotong Li 5/4 @ Skybet
2pts Johannes Veerman to beat Jason Day and Joost Luiten @ Skybet 15/8
1pt Ryan Fox to beat Patrick Cantlay and Matt Fitzpatrick 14/5 @ Bet365
17 July 2021 (+17.5pts)
4pts Collin Morikawa Win Only 9/2 @ Most Bookmakers
2pts Danny Willett to beat Brian Harman 5/4 @ Unibet
3pts Tommy Fleetwood to beat Webb Simpson Evens @ Bet365
18 July 2021 (-5.5pts)
1pt Win Only Jon Rahm 18/1 @ Bet365
2.5pts Mackenzie Hughes to beat Dylan Frittelli 11/10 @ Bet365
2pts Matthias Schmid to beat Lee Westwood 3/1 @ Unibet
Course Designer: William Laidlaw Purves
Course Last Used: 2011
Type of Course: Links
Rough: Thick Fescue
Water Hazards: None of note
Par 5's: 7th and 14th
Premium on: Ability to deal with wind
The Open Championship (incorrectly known as the British Open in the USA) is the only one of golf's Majors to be played outside the USA and is traditionally played on a links course. This year it returns to Royal St George's in England for the first time since 2011. It is a par 70 with only two par 5s (7th and 14th) and two very long par 3s (240+ yards). Winning scores when the Open was last played here in 2003 and 2011 were -1 and -5, so it's one of the harder venues.
"Royal St. George's is a different golf course. It is up-and-downey and it has some mounds in it and a lot of the fairways are mounded so it does repel golf shots. Tiger Woods"
Only four players broke par and fan favourite Darren Clarke prevailed. Three rounds under par and a closing 70 saw post a 5 under par total and win by three. Ominously for this year's field, Dustin Johnson finished 2nd.
Round one conditions were calm with joint leaders Thomas Bjorn and Tom Lewis coming from different halves of the draw to post -5. The second round saw the wind pick up in the afternoon. Wind and rain were present for the third round, with the morning starters getting the worst of it and unable to make up ground on the leaders.
Clarke led by a shot going into the final round and although Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson kept him on his toes, a Johnson double bogey on 14 meant Clarke had a four shot lead with four holes to play.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
We're in for a dry and warm week.
Thursday - The wind will consistently blow at 13mph+ throughout the day.
Friday - The wind will peak around lunchtime at 15mph.
Saturday - The leaders are likey to face the tougher conditions, with 16mph forecast from lunchtime onwards.
Sunday - 12-14mph throughout the day.
The last ten Open Championships have had winning scores ranging from -3 to -20. The weather plays a huge factor in determining the winning score.
Price of Winner
The last two winners at Royal St George's were in excess of 100/1
Links form is essential so consider form at other links events such as the Alfred Dunhill Links, Scottish Open and Irish Open.
Of the last 15 Open Champions, 14 had recorded at least a top-9 finish at a previous Open before winning. Furthermore, each of the last 9 champions had made at least 4 appearances at The Open prior to winning, and 8 of the 9 had made at least 6 appearances prior to winning. Look for a player with proven Open experience.
Eight of the previous twelve winners had recorded a top 20 in their previous two events and seven of the past ten champions had recorded a win in their previous seven starts.
An eclectic range of nationalities have won the Open in recent times.
Only three of the last 12 Open winners were below 30. Experience counts for a lot and patience is a key requirement.
Five of the last ten Open winners were winning their first Major.
Ben Curtis won here in 2003 on his Open debut. Curtis was one of only two winners in the past 45 years who won on their Open debut (Tom Watson in 1975 was the other). Whilst unlikely, don't rule out a debutant winning at this quirky venue.
Prior Year Performance
Despite the strong trend for winners to have posted a top 10 at previous Opens, of the last eleven winners, seven missed the cut the previous year. In fact, no winner in the past 11 years has posted a top 25 at The Open the year before they won.
Seven of the last 10 Open champions had won an event in their previous seven starts. Do not underestimate the importance of momentum.
In the last 20 years there have only been five winners outside the world top-50. However, the past two champions at Royal St George's (Ben Curtis in 2003 and Darren Clarke in 2011) were both outside the world's top 100. We know that the course offers a significant element of unpredictability as there are more mounds, bumps and hollows on Royal St George's than the other courses on the Open rota so it wouldn't be a surprise to see an unexpected name come away with the Claret Jug.
With the fairways at Royal St George's designed to funnel balls into the rough, driving accuracy is less important on this course than other Open venues. Looking at the last two Opens held here, Greens in Regulation have been the most important stat with each of the top-3 last time here in 2011 finishing in the top-6 for greens in regulation.
Shane Lowry ranked 52nd in 2019.
Lowry was 44th in 2019 and that's not a huge deviation from the average in previous years.
Greens In Regulation
Lowry ranked 1st in 2019.
Six of the past seven champions have ranked inside the top 10. (However, it was notable Darren Clarke ranked 61st in this category on his way to winning in 2011.) Ability to scramble well is key here.
Putts per GIR
Lowry ranked 39th in 2019.
Tiger Woods lost his ball from his opening tee shot in 2003 at Royal St George's so it's not a gentle opening hole. The 4th and 8th holes were the hardest in 2011.
The 7th hole was the only one that played under par in 2011. The 12th played to its par and it was the only other hole that didn't play over par.
The 18th ranked as the third hardest on the course in 2011, with 16 and 17 ranking as 14th and 10th hardest.
Fast or Slow Start
Every Open champion in the past 20 years has been within 5 shots after the first round. When the Open was last played here in 2003 and 2011, eventual winners Ben Curtis and Darren Clarke were 4 shots (13th) and 3 shots (6th) off the first round lead.
Just as it is important to be within touching distance after round 1, it is essential to keep pace at the Open as 80% of Open Champions in the past 50 years have been inside the top-10 at the halfway stage. When the Open was played here in 2003 Ben Curtis was 3 shots behind in 4th place after round 2. In 2011, Darren Clarke led after 36 holes.
75% of winners in the past 20 years have been within 3 shots with one round to go.
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The Open In-Play Blog
18th July 2021, 8am
Louis Oosthuizen’s lead is back to one shot over Morikawa and three shots over Jordan Spieth. Corey Conners has given himself a chance and is four back with Scottie Scheffler. Jon Rahm is one of three players five shots back and can’t be ruled out yet.
As we said yesterday in our blog, Louis has a lot of scar tissue in final rounds of majors despite being an Open champion. If the back nine was anything to go by, Louis will do well to hang on as he relied on a number of scrambles to keep his lead. He is still hitting plenty of fairways but 61.11% greens in regulation yesterday highlights some sloppy iron play and you would imagine he will have to improve on that to get the job done today.
Also going against Oosty’s chances is that Morikawa is his closest challenger. The young American has been fearless in contention in majors and WGC’s since his arrival on tour and he was slightly unfortunate not to be a shot or two better on his back nine after a sluggish start. We advised Morikawa yesterday at 9/2 and he still looks the value to us at 2/1 if you’re not already on.
Jordan Spieth finished terribly with a couple of sloppy bogeys to fall from joint leader to three shots back and we can’t help thing he’s lost too much momentum. A missed two foot putt on the 18th was a real shock and he'll have been berating himself all evening. Odds of 11/2 appear extremely short and we would happily swerve that given who he has to catch.
Only Robert MacIntyre was able to better Corey Conners round of 66 yesterday and he’s now in a position where he can have a go with the pressure off. The Canadian led both greens in regulation and fairways hit yesterday so has to be respected. Scheffler will also have a ‘free hit’ tomorrow and both may just be at their most dangerous four back with no expectations. Conners at 28/1 would be preferred over the 20/1 of Scheffler if you want a bit of outside interest.
Jon Rahm finished five back and commented he wouldn’t like to be any more than five shots behind as catch up is hard with the current conditions. Our player profile of Rahm highlights how well he performs from off the pace, which led us to 11/1 final round success with him at The US Open, this would be the best of them all though. He will need help from the leaders but if he gets that he simply has to be respected.
We’re set for another hot day with temperatures reaching 26 degrees when the leaders tee off. The wind shouldn’t exceed 10mph and we should expect firm conditions once more to make for an exciting finale.
Round 4 Bets
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16th July 2021, 11.05pm
Louis Oosthuizen is at the top of the leaderboard for the second consecutive day and has increased his lead to two shots. His fine 65 today has seen his odds come into 5/2 and he's now in prime position to lift the claret jug for a 2nd time.
Oosty has been near flawless so far, with only one dropped shot in his opening two rounds. The South African has broken the 36 hole scoring record for the Open Championship and he's rightly the favourite to win from this position.
However, there remain nagging doubts about his ability to convert winning opportunities. He hasn't won anywhere since 2018 and he's made errors when coming down the clsong stretch in each of the last two majors.
A pulled drive into the penalty area on the 17th hole at Torrey Pines cost him a playoff for the US Open. Equally, an errant drive on the 13th at the US PGA cost him a double bogey and the chance to put pressure on Phil Mickelson. It may well be 3rd time lucky for the South African but we're happy to leave him out the staking plan for the time being.
One of the reasons we're happy to pass Louis over is the quality of players behind him. Collin Morikawa (9/2), Jordan Spieth (5/1) and Dustin Johnson (8/1) are all lurking and one or more of those three will likely apply pressure to Oosty over the weekend.
Morikawa is the only player in the top six who played late-early, his iron play particularly impressive as he whizzed round in 64. We should remember the young American is making his Open debut this week and it's certainly been a proficient start. A tweak to his irons and a return to a conventional putting stroke has seen him figure out links golf and he's a definite danger this weekend.
Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are two experienced campaigners who should also be respected. Spieth tees it up with college teammate, Dylan Frittelli, and that comfortable pairing may inspire him. Johnson was 2nd here in 2011, shooting a final round 72 when only one stroke back going into the final round. A more experienced campaigner now, he obviously enjoys the course and should go well with the forecast dry and relatively calm conditions.
The winner of The Open generally comes from those inside the top 10 at the halfway stage (over 80% in the last 50 years) and the last two Opens at this venue have proved no exception to that. Ben Curtis was 4th in 2003 and Darren Clarke led in 2011. With that in mind it may be wise to focus on those nearer the top.
The current forecast for tomorrow is consistent 12mph winds and sunshine.
Round 3 Bets
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15th July 2021, 8.05pm
|Five players tied||-4|
Mr Majors, Louis Oosthuizen, leads after the opening round of the 149th Open Championship. Oosthuizen has been a model of consistency in majors of late having been runner up in his past two majors and only finished outside the top 25 once in his past seven major appearances.
Oosthuizen has already lifted the claret jug, having won at St Andrews in 2010. He's certainly due another win given his near misses and the quality of his play. He finds himself second in the betting at 9/2 and although we'd love to see him win a second major, we're not interested in taking the 9/2 at this stage of the tournament.
The bookies make Jordan Spieth the 4/1 favourite and he looked in good shape over the opening 18 holes. He too hasn't had success in a major since lifting the Claret Jug and his comeback from a downturn in form would certainly be complete if he were to win on Sunday. Again, odds of 4/1 aren't enough to get us sufficiently interested and we'll overlook him for the time being.
With the rest of the field 18/1 and above, there's certainly in-play opportunities to be had if you look past the favourites.
Our preview highlighted the fact the last two winners here came from three and four shots back in 2011 and 2003. With that in mind, there is probbaly some value to be had looking at the players in the group at -2 or -3.
The leaderboard is dominated with players who played early this morning and tv commentators suggested morning players benefited to the tune of 2 shots. With similar conditions forecast tomorrow, we'll be looking to focus on players out in the morning.
The current forecast for tomorrow is consistent 14mph winds and sunshine.
Round 2 Bets
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