The Open Championship, which is also known as the British Open, is one of the oldest and most prestigious championships in the world of golf. It was first held in 1860 and it is the only major that is conducted outside the United States. It ranks third in the list of majors in the golf calendar. The prize money of just over $10 million makes it one of the richest golf events in the world.
This Golf Open predominantly takes place in the north-west and south-east of England. Scotland is also a quite frequent destination, but Northern Ireland is rarely involved as a host. The Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport will be playing host to the 2017 edition, which will be held from July 20-23. This marks a return to the course which last hosted the event in 2008. The course features towering dunes and high fescue. More importantly, there will be a lot of wind to join in the action.
Harry Vardon is the most successful when it comes to the British Open leaderboard, as he has managed six wins. His domination came during the turn of the 19th century, but golfers have struggled to dominate the event in recent times. Padraig Harrington is the last golfer to win British Open titles back-to-back and he achieved this feat in 2007 and 2008. Jack Nicklaus has had plenty of heartbreak in this tournament after finishing as the second best on seven occasions.
The Open Championship 2017 will witness far greater competition among the contestants and the event is likely to be significantly tougher. Henrik Stenson is the defending champion coming into the British Open 2017. He managed to win the event in 2016 at Royal Troon by beating Phil Mickelson by a three stroke margin. His victory marked the first time that a Swede had been successful in this event.
Dustin Johnson is a favourite to win the title while Jordan Spieth comes a close second. Surprisingly, Rory McIlroy is not a strong candidate for the title.
According to CBSSports.com, SportsLine simulated the British Open 10,000 times and the results were quite surprising. The prediction model was actually built by a DFS professional (Mike McClure) and so far, it nailed the U.S. Open with Brooks Koepka winning it as well as the Masters, calling Sergio Garcia's big win entering the weekend. The shocker is that Dustin Johnson, the Vegas favourite, does not even make the top five. According to the computer, Tommy Fleetwood and Hideki Matsuyama are the favourites. They both finished in the top 5 in the U.S. Open.
This year's third golf open is definitely going to be unique. Stay tuned at OddsDigger.com for more information on the event starting Thursday!
Henrik Stenson for Top 5 @ 8/1 - Bet365 - The Open Champion and 7 of his 8 top fives at this level came in the final two majors of the yar. Royal Birkdale was one of them when T3 in 2008 and the course has not changed. Although Stenson did not have his best stuff at the Scottish Open in mid-July, he closed with an incredible 68 for T26 and his best Open results came when he warmed up on the links. Stenson actually admits he has not playing as consistently as he was in the past but that was the case in 2016 and, with all those feelings coming back, we'll back him for Top 5 at 8/1.
Sergio Garcia to be Runner-up @ 16/1 – Winner - Sergio Garcia saw a huge weight lifted when he won the Masters in April, fulfilling his potential and actually winning his first major. He's got all the weapons needed to tame the incredible 7,155-yerd, par-70 course. Garcia earned about $3 million this year and has made the cut in all 11 tournaments, finishing in top 25 in eight of those events. With an average of 69.359/round, he ranks 3rd on the PGA Tour. His accuracy is amazing and adding the 70.41% of greens in regulation, that ranks 6th on the Tour and adds to our decision. We believe he will be a runner-up at the British Open.
Dustin Johnson for Top 3 @ 14/1 – Dafabet - Dustin Johnson remains a hot favourite of many punters for the Masters and has done well in the Open Championship over the years. He missed the cut in the U.S. Open and with his big hitting quite compromised (he expects 4 drivers per round), Dustin Johnson will need to reign it in and be ultra-sharp in all aspects of the game.
Hideki Matsuyama to Win @ 11/1 – Unibet - The runner-up in the US Open can give you a headache because this is a very specific bet. The current No. 2 can overtake Garcia & Koepe if he plays his cards well. With Johnson struggling, Matsuyama can do a lot here. He practiced with T14 in Ireland about two weeks ago, preparing to take over the British Open leaderboard.