Starts: 14th July 2022
Course: Old Course, St Andrews
Length: 7,313 yards
Course Last Used: 2015
Type of Course: Links
Rough: Thick Fescue
Par 5's: 5th and 14th
Premium on: Links experience
The Open Championship 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 St Andrews, the Old Course having last hosted six years ago. It is a par 72 with only two par 5s (5th and 14th). Winning scores when the Open was last played here in 2015 and 2010 were -15 and -16. It is one of the lower scoring Open venues.
This is the 150th Open Championship.
We're in for a dry and warm week.
The wind will blow around 9mph in the morning and reach 16mph in the afternoon.
The wind will blow around 11mph in the morning and reach 17mph in the afternoon.
The wind will blow around 11mph in the morning and reach 19mph in the afternoon.
The wind will blow around 10mph in the morning and reach 17mph in the afternoon.
The last four Open Championships at the Old Course have had winning scores ranging from -14 to -19. The weather is the biggest factor in determining the winning score.
Links form is essential so consider form at other links events such as the Alfred Dunhill Links, Scottish Open and Irish Open (when a links course has been used).
Of the last 16 Open Champions, 14 had recorded at least a top-9 finish at a previous Open before winning. Furthermore, eight of the last ten champions had made at least 4 appearances at The Open prior to winning. Look for a player with proven Open experience.
Nine of the previous thirteen winners had recorded a top 20 in their previous two events.
An eclectic range of nationalities have won the Open in recent times.
Only four of the last 13 Open winners were below 30. Experience counts for a lot and patience is a key requirement.
Five of the last eleven Open winners were winning their first Major.
Only three players have won The Open on their debut in the last 46 years. None of those winners came at St Andrews. Ben Curtis and Collin Morikawa won at Royal St George's in 2003 and 2021. Tom Watson triumphed at Carnoustie in 1975 on his debut.
Prior Year Performance
Despite the strong trend for winners to have posted a top 10 at previous Opens, of the last twelve winners, seven missed the cut the previous year. In fact, no winner in the past 12 years has posted a top 25 at The Open the year before they won.
Current Year Momentum
Eight of the last 11 Open champions had won an event in their previous eight starts. Do not underestimate the importance of momentum.
In the last 21 years there have only been five winners of the Open Championship outside the world's top-50. Looking specifically at St Andrews, the last five winners have ranked 25-54-1-1-93 (most recent first).
We look at the stats for the last four winners of the Open at St Andrews.
60-4-1-1. Distance certainly helps around St Andrews but Zach Johnson showed in 2015 that it isn't essential, finishing 60th.
3-1-9-7. Driving Accuracy appears to be helpful, avoiding the bunkers and fescue will save the players shots this week.
Greens in Regulation
40-9-53-1. Not as essential as you would think, the large greens can mean greens in regulation can still lead to three putts.
2-15-10-7. We are looking for someone with a tidy short game this week.
Putts Per GIR
8-2-7-7. The putter is usually essential for success at St Andrews.
The 17th played as the hardest hole in 2015. The 16th and 13th were the next hardest holes.
The par 5 5th hole played as the easiest hole in 2015. The driveable par 4 18th and 10th ranked as 2nd and 3rd easiest.
The 18th ranked as the 2nd easiest hole in 2015 but 17 and 16 ranked as the two hardest holes.
Fast or Slow Start
Every Open champion in the past 21 years has been within 5 shots after the first round. When the Open was last played here in 2010 and 2015, eventual winners Louis Oosthuizen and Zach Johnson, were 2 shots (2nd) and 1 shot (2nd) 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 2010, Louis Oosthuizen led by five strokes after round 2. In 2015, Zach Johnson trailed by three shots (4th place).
Over 75% of winners in the past 20 years have been within 3 shots with one round to go.
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