The Open Championship Betting Preview 2016

The Open Championship Betting Preview 2016 Royal TroonThe Old Course, Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Par 71, 7,064 yards

The Course

The Open Championship is the oldest of the four majors and always takes place on a tricky links style setup in the month of July. The last time Troon hosted the Open Todd Hamilton was the surprise winner beating Ernie Els in a playoff.

Royal Troon Golf Club is a links golf course located in Troon, South Ayrshire, southwest of Glasgow. The club was founded 138 years ago in 1878, initially with five holes. George Strath was appointed in 1881 as the club’s first golf professional. Adjacent to the Firth of Clyde, Troon was granted its “Royal” accolade in 1978, during its centennial.

Past Open champions at Royal Troon include Justin Leonard, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke, and Arthur Havers. The last six Opens at Troon have been won by Americans.

The course has 11 par 4’s, 3 par 5’s and 4 par 3’s. The toughest holes at the 2004 Open were the par 4 eleventh and the par 5 sixth which measures a daunting 601 yards.

The teeth of this course are the blind bunkers off the tee, some of which are deep pot bunkers, the prevailing wind howling in off the coast and the penal gorse. Royal Troon is home to both the longest and shortest holes in Open Championship golf. Regarded as one of the top holes in the world, the par-3 8th hole “Postage Stamp” measures a short 123 yards, but its diminutive green measures a mere 420 square feet and can be difficult to hit if the wind gets up. The main areas to look at here are GIR, driving distance/accuracy, strokes gained putting and above all else previous Open/links experience.

Usually players that have played well in previous Opens and contended in majors over the last few years are the guys to keep an eye on here. Have no doubt about it, experience will be key.

 

Dustin Johnson 9/1 Open Championship 2016Dustin Johnson 9/1

What an incredible few weeks it’s been for DJ. He has played superb golf this season and comes to Troon this week after back to back wins at The US Open and The WGC Bridgestone. I noticed on Twitter last week Johnson played a round in Portmarnock Links and St Annes in Dublin getting in some practice for Troon and played very well apparently. The American has been in superb form recently finishing fourth in Riviera, third in Houston, T4 in Augusta, T12 at The Byron Nelson, third in Memorial, fifth at the St. Jude and back to back wins in Oakmont and Firestone.

His Open Championship CV is also quite good with a T14 in 2010 at St Andrews, second in 2011 at Royal St Georges, ninth in 2012 at Lytham and T12 at Hoylake in 2014. He led after two rounds in St Andrews last year but fell behind after a couple of 75’s over the weekend to finish T49. Johnson ranks second in driving distance, 30th in GIR, 38th in strokes gained putting, second in proximity to the hole and leads par 4 scoring. After playing with such dominance over the last few weeks, Johnson has to be the man to beat here.

 

Adam Scott 25/1 Open Championship 2016 Royal Troon Adam Scott 25/1

After back to back wins at The WGC Cadillac and The Honda Classic earlier this season not to mention his good current form, Scott could be one to watch here this week. The Aussie has been playing well lately with four top 20’s in his last five starts. He had a good week at The Wells Fargo finishing T17 and followed that with a T12 at The Players, T18 at The US Open and a T10 at The WGC Bridgestone. He has been in Troon over the last week practicing and said on Sky Sports News his game “felt really good”.

Scott has a great Open Championship record finishing second in 2012 at Lytham & St Annes, third in 2013 in Muirfield, fifth in 2014 in Hoylake and T10 last year in St Andrews. He had a great chance to win in 2012 but his tee shot found a pot bunker just off the 18th fairway and Scott was left with no other option only to chip out sideways. This led to an unfortunate bogey and he ended up losing by one stroke to Ernie Els. He ticks a lot of boxes statswise here ranking first in SGTTG, 15th in driving distance, 23rd in GIR and sixth in proximity to the hole. With such a great record in The Open over the last few years Scott has a really good chance here.

 

Henrik Stenson 28/1 Open Championship 2016 Royal Troon Henrik Stenson 28/1

The Swede had a good week in Scotland finishing in a respectable T13 and recovered well after opening with a 76. Stenson has five top 25’s in his last eight starts and looks to have his game in great shape coming into this week. He played well in Houston finishing solo second and followed that with a T24 in Augusta, a T4 at The Nordea Masters, a win in Germany at The BMW International Open and a T13 last week in Castle Stuart.

He has a mixed bag of results at The Open over the last few years but most notably finished third in 2010 in St Andrews and second in 2013 in Muirfield. Statswise he ranks first in driving accuracy, second in GIR and seventh in SGTTG. In 2013 Stenson finished T3 in Castle Stuart at The Scottish Open and followed that up with a second place finish in Muirfield. Let’s hope history repeats itself here and Henrik goes one better this time around.

 

Branden Grace 30/1 Open Championship 2016 Royal Troon Branden Grace 30/1

Grace started well last week in Castle Stuart shooting 71,67 in the first two rounds but fell away over the weekend shooting a disappointing 74,71 to finish T29. However he has been in great form lately and had a great win at The RBC Heritage a few weeks ago. He followed that with a T5 in Oakmont at The US Open and a T10 in Firestone at The WGC Bridgestone. He won at the windy Doha Golf Club Qatar in 2014 and again earlier this year and is no stranger to windy conditions.

He has won on links style setups before winning the Alfred Dunhill Links in 2012, a second place finish in Castle Stuart at The Scottish Open in 2013 and a respectable T25 at The Alfred Dunhill Links 2014. He has played the Open four times in the past and his best finish was T20 last year in St Andrews but he could improve on that here in Troon. The South African ticks the boxes here ranking 20th in driving distance averaging just under 300 yards off the tee, 23rd in GIR and seventh in strokes gained putting. With a decent links CV and good current form Grace could be worth keeping on side here.

 

Martin Kaymer 45/1 The Open Championship 2016 Royal TroonMartin Kaymer 45/1

The German has been playing very well recently and looks to have his game in great shape with five top 15’s in his last six starts. His good run began in Valderrama where he finished T6 at The Open De Espana in wet and windy conditions. He followed that with a T5 in The Irish Open at another wet and windy venue The K Club in Co. Kildare negotiating the conditions superbly finishing with a final round 65. Kaymer had another good week in Wentworth finishing T7 and the BMW PGA and followed that with a T5 at The Open De France and a T13 last week in Castle Stuart.

He has a good Open Championship record finishing T12 in St Andrews last year, T12 at Royal St Georges in 2011 and T7 at St Andrews in 2010. Kaymer has a decent links record winning The Alfred Dunhill Links in 2010 and finishing T7 at the same tournament in 2013. With excellent current form and a decent links record, Kaymer could be another danger man here at a decent price.

 

Graeme McDowell 80/1 Open Championship 2016 Royal Troon Graeme McDowell 80/1

The Portrush man played well in Castle Stuart finishing T10 and didn’t shoot worse than a 71 to finish nine under for the week. He has been showing glimpses of decent form finishing T9 at The Players Championship which included two 69’s over the weekend. He then followed that with a T27 at The BMW PGA in Wentworth and a T18 at The US Open in Oakmont. He won The OHL Classic at Mayakoba earlier this season at the windy El Camaleon in Mexico. Gmac has a decent record at The Open over the last few years finishing T9 in Hoylake in 2014, T5 in Lytham and St Annes in 2012 and T23 in St Andrews in 2010. He is another player with decent Links credentials finishing T19 at The Alfred Dunhill Links in 2015 and T3 in 2011 and winning the US Open around the windy Pebble Beach in 2010. McDowell is an accomplished links player and looks great value here at 80/1.

 

Nicolas Colsaerts 125/1 The Open Championship 2016 Royal Troon Nicolas Colsaerts 125/1

The Belgian bomber looked really impressive last week in Scotland especially on the back 9 on Sunday. He had four birdies and an eagle to card an impressive 30 strokes on the way in to finish T3 for the tournament. He has been playing well lately with seven top 25’s in his last eight starts. He had a good week in China finishing T15 and then followed that with a T3 in Mauritius, T23 at The Irish Open, T22 at The BMW PGA, solo third at The Nordea Masters, T22 at The Open De France and a T3 last week in Castle Stuart.

Colsaerts was one of four players to claim a spot for the Open in Scotland and has only played in three Open Championships before. Despite missing the cut at both St Andrews last year and Muirfield in 2013, he did play well in Lytham and St Annes in 2012 finishing an impressive T7 which included two 65’s. He has played well on links setups in the past finishing T3 in 2011 and T8 in 2013 in Castle Stuart, T19 at The Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles in 2012 and T9 at The Alfred Dunhill Links in 2011. Statswise he ranks 12th in driving distance averaging 301 yards off the tee and seventh in GIR hitting 75% of greens on average. If the Belgian heats up and makes a few putts he could be a big contender at a huge price.

 

Final selections –

Dustin Johnson 2.5pts EW 9/1

Adam Scott 1pt EW 25/1

Henrik Stenson 1pt EW 28/1

Branden Grace 1pt EW 30/1

Martin Kaymer 1pt EW 45/1

Graeme McDowell 1pt EW 80/1

Nicholas Colsaerts 1pt EW 125/1

Total staked = 17 pts

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6

 

Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63

Like me Facebook www.facebook.com/doublebogey6

The Open Championship Betting Preview 2015

The Open Championship 2015 Betting Preview and Tips

The Old Course, St Andrews Links, Fife, Scotland

7,305 yards Par 72

The Open Championship takes place at The Old Course for the 28th time with the most recent editions taking place in 2005 and 2010. St Andrews is one of the oldest courses in the world and believed to be the home of golf because the game was first played there in the 15th century. It has two par 5’s, two par 3’s and 14 par 4’s. The par 5’s measure 568 yards (5th) and 618 yards (14th) and could be drivable in two depending on weather conditions. Some of the par 4’s could also be drivable namely the 352 yard 9th and the 348 yard 12th, which will also depend on wind and weather conditions.

This course also features a variety of typical links features with wide fairways, some of them are shared double fairways with plenty of deep grass and gorse bushes which run alongside them. Players that are long and straight off the tee will have a big advantage here.

One of the unique features of the Old Course is the large double greens. Seven greens are shared by two holes each, the 2nd paired with 16th, 3rd with 15th, all the way up to 8th and 10th. Only the 1st, 9th, 17th and 18th holes have their own greens. The Swilcan Bridge, spanning the first and 18th holes, has become a famous icon for golf around the world.

The Old Course has 112 bunkers, which will be its main defence and are all individually named and have their own unique story and history behind them. The two most famous are the 10 ft deep “Hell Bunker” on the 14th hole, and the “Road Hole Bunker” on the 17th hole. Countless professional golfers have seen their dreams of winning the Open Championship squandered by hitting their balls in those bunkers.

This course is favourable for punters having a bet on this tournament as there is plenty pf course history to work with. The Alfred Dunhill Links is played here every year on The European Tour so previous form at that event will be worth checking. Similar to The US Open at Chambers Bay, landing your ball in the right part of the greens will be important here as the greens are large, undulating and unpredictable in terms of bounces. Players that are good long distance putters should also have an advantage here.

The main areas of focus here are:

  • Previous form in 2005,2010, previous Open
  • Previous form at The Alfred Dunhill Links
  • Recent form and links form
  • Driving Distance/Accuracy
  • Strokes gained putting
  • Strokes gained tee to green
  • Approaches from 100-250 yards
  • Scrambling

 

Rickie Fowler 18/1 The Open Championship 2015 St Andrews

Rickie Fowler 18/1

Rickie was outstanding in Gullane last week at The Scottish Open. He played a fabulous approach shot into 18 and rolled in the birdie to clinch victory by one stroke over fellow American Matt Kuchar. Despite a poor performance in Chambers Bay, the young American has proven to be somewhat of a Links specialist over the last few years and has a solid Open Championship record.

His first appearance at The Open was here at St Andrews in 2010, where he finished in a respectable T14. He finished T5 in 2011 in Sandwich at a very tricky Royal St Georges and followed that with a respectable T31 at Lytham and St Annes. Last year in Hoylake, Fowler finished T2 with Sergio Garcia on 15 under in pretty tricky conditions in the final round, which didn’t seem to bother him. He also finished T8 last year in Royal Aberdeen at The Scottish Open.

Fowler also played well at The Irish Open recently, where he finished in a respectable T30. He started the tournament with two 71’s and had a poor third round 76 but bounced back with a 73 in round 4 in very tricky conditions. He has had a great season so far with a win at The Players, T9 at The WGC Matchplay and a respectable T12 at The Masters.

Statwise Rickie ranks 47th in driving distance, first in approaches from 200-225, fourth in approaches from 75-100 and second in approaches from 150-175. With a good record at The Open and a good performance here in the past, Rickie will be feeding off the good vibes from Gullane last week and should be right in the mix here at St Andrews.

 

Henrik Stenson 22/1 The Open Championship 2015 St Andrews

Henrik Stenson 22/1

After an impressive solo second in Germany recently, Henrik Stenson looks to be peaking just at the right time in terms of form. He has played well at The Old Course in the past finishing T3 at The Open in 2010 finishing on eight under par for the tournament. His record in The Open has been good over the last few years finishing T3 in Royal Birkdale in 2008, T13 in Turnberry in 2009, T3 in St Andrews in 2010 and solo second in Muirfield in 2013. He seems to have recovered from an illness he got just before The Masters and has signs of coming back into some good form.

As well as his solo second in Germany, he also had a good week at The Nordea Masters finishing T13 and was right in the mix after shooting an opening round 65 in Chambers Bay, but sadly fell off the pace and finished a respectable T27. He showed some great early season form finishing T4 at the WGC Cadillac, solo fourth at The Valspar and solo second at The Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Statswise, Stenson could be a good fit here ranking seventh in driving accuracy, first in GIR, seventh in strokes gained tee to green and 15th in strokes gained putting. He also ranks seventh in approaches from 125-150, 16th in approaches from 200 yards, second in approaches from 175-200 and 13th in par 4 scoring. With a great record at The Open over the years and decent current form, Henrik Stenson looks to be a good bet here at The Old Course.

 

Louis Oosthuizen 22/1 The Open Championship 2015 St Andrews

Louis Oosthuizen 22/1

Louis seems to be injury free and playing great golf at the moment. He started poorly in Chambers Bay shooting a disappointing 77 in round one but bounced back very well shooting 66,66,67 finishing T2 on four under for the tournament, which included five birdies in a row on the back nine on Sunday. Louis also played well at the WGC Matchplay finishing T5, T7 at The RBC Heritage and a T19 at The Masters.

He has a great record at St Andrews over the last few years. He won The Open here in 2010 by an impressive seven strokes over his nearest contender Lee Westwood and finished in a respectable T19 at Lytham and St Annes. He also has a great record at The Alfred Dunhill Links, which is also played at St Andrews, finishing T6 in 2014 and T5 in 2011.

Louis is averaging 295 yards off the tee ranking 41st in driving distance, 40th in GIR and 27th in strokes gained tee to green. He also ranks 19th in approaches from 175-200 yards, fifth in approaches from 200-225 and second in approaches from 50-75 yards. The South African has a lot of experience around this course and has already shown that he can contend in the majors so far this year.

 

Shane Lowry 45/1 The Open Championship 2015

 Shane Lowry 45/1

After a great start last week in Gullane, opening with rounds of 66,66 in rounds one and two, Lowry fell off the pace shooting 72,71 over the weekend to finish T31 for the tournament. Despite the average performance over the weekend, his game looks to be in great shape especially off the tee and around the greens. His first appearance in an Open Championship was here at St Andrews in 2010, where he finished in a respectable T37 for the tournament. Shane is no stranger to links golf and won The Irish Open in Baltray in 2009 as an amateur beating Robert Rock in a playoff. He has been improving steadily every year finishing T32nd in 2013 in Muirfield and recorded a top 10 at Hoylake last year finishing solo ninth. He also has great form at The Alfred Dunhill Links over the last few years finishing T6 last year and T3 in 2013 so he will be familiar with the layout of The Old Course.

Lowry has been showing some great form this season with a super performance at Chambers Bay at The US Open finishing T9 on level par for the tournament. He also had a good week at The BMW PGA in Wentworth finishing T6 on 11 under for the week. Shane has also played well on other links layouts over the last few years with three top 15’s in The Scottish Open since 2011 finishing T14 at Castle Stuart, T11 in 2012 again at Castle Stuart and T4 last year at Royal Aberdeen. Lowry also finished T10 at The Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles in 2013. With great form at St Andrews and great current form, Shane Lowry looks to be superb value at 45/1.

 

Branden Grace 45/1 The Open Championship 2015 St Andrews

Branden Grace 45/1

With the exception of one erratic tee shot, Branden Grace could have been hoisting the US Open trophy up in the air on Sunday and not Jordan Spieth. He played steadily all week long opening with a 69 and following that with a 67,70,71 to finish T4 and three under par in total. The South African has been showing some solid form over the last few months. He finished T11 at The BMW PGA at Wentworth, T9 at The WGC Matchplay and T7 at The RBC Heritage.

His best finish at The Open Championship was last year in Hoylake, where he finished a respectable T36. Although his Open form isn’t exactly jumping off the page, Grace is no stranger to links golf and has played well here at The Old Course in the past.

He won the Alfred Dunhill Links here in 2012 by two strokes over Thorbjorn Olesen on 22 under par and also finished T25 last year so he is very familiar with this course. He also nearly won the Scottish Open in Castle Stuart in 2013, but was beaten by Phil Mickelson in a playoff and finished second. Statswise he ranks 18th in driving distance hitting an average of 300 yards off the tee. He also ranks fifth in GIR, ninth in putts per GIR and 10th in approaches from 150-175. After a near miss at The US Open, returning to The Old Course could see Branden stir up some good memories and get right into contention again.

 

Tommy Fleetwood 80/1 The Open Championship 2015 St Andrews

Tommy Fleetwood 80/1

Tommy has been having a steady season so far with four top 11’s and two top 30’s in his last six starts. He was right in the mix last week at Gullane, but couldn’t quite get going in the final round shooting a final round 72 finishing T10 for the tournament. He also a good week at The BMW International in Germany recently finishing T11 and finished in a respectable T27 in Chambers Bay the week before. He also finished T21 at The Irish Open in Royal County Down, T6 at The BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth and T5 at The WGC Matchplay. Tommy has shown great form on links courses over the last few years, particularly at The Alfred Dunhill Links finishing T2 in 2014, solo fifth in 2013 and T5 in 2011. His only European Tour victory came at Gleneagles, where he won the Johnnie Walker Championship in a playoff against Stephen Gallacher and Ricardo Gonzalez.

Statswise Tommy is averaging just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 27th in driving distance. He also ranks fifth in GIR hitting 73% of greens in regulation on The European Tour so far this season. He has a proven track record at The Old Course at St Andrews and could be a big contender here at a very generous price.

 

Final selections –

Rickie Fowler 18/1 2pts EW

Henrik Stenson 22/1 2pts EW

Louis Oosthuizen 22/1 1.5 pts EW

Shane Lowry 45/1 1 pt EW

Branden Grace 45/1 1 pt EW

Tommy Fleetwood 80/1 1pt EW

Total staked = 17 pts

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

 

Doublebogey6

Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63

Like me on Facebook www.facebook.com/doublebogey6