As the world's best roll into the Home of Golf for this milestone occasion, Barry Plummer looks at four players he expects to contend for the Claret Jug
It’s major championship once again as, one year later than planned, the world of golf moves to St Andrews to celebrate the 150th playing of golf’s original tournament. After scouring the field, I have picked out four players I think can lift the Claret Jug and make history on this milestone occasion. But before I get to my Open betting tips, here’s what you need to know…
The Open details
Venue: The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland
Date: July 14-17, 2022
Course stats: Par 72; 7,536 yards
Course summary: This landmark venue is a traditional, exposed, seaside links – with wind conditions that can bring even the best to their knees on it’s day. Wide undulating fairways, and the full spectrum of rough, increases the premium on strong play from the tee. Deep, strategically placed pot bunkers lurk to punish wayward shots, so creativity and consistency from the sand will also be important this week.
Purse: $14 million
Defending champion: Collin Morikawa (-15)
The Open betting tips
I’ll start with a couple the outsiders and work my way up to my banker. First up, a bit of a surprise…
The Long Shot? Bryson DeChambeau @ 66/1 with Bet365
It seems bizarre to put the former US Open champion and World No 32 up as a long-shot selection, but when DeChambeau is available at this price on a course that rewards strong play off the tee, I’m taking it.
It would be a mistake to overanalyse his performance data, as he has had a substantial injury and a recent switch to LIV Golf which will skew the figures slightly. Having said that, he does rank 12th for SG: Off-the-Tee in the last 12 months, and if conditions are calm he has the length to turn this course into a much more manageable task.
A T33 finish in the Open last year is a good starting point, and while this could go either way, I fancy him as a small-stakes each way punt.
Another Long Shot: Sung-Jae Im @ 66/1 with Bet365
It’s major week, so let’s have a couple of outsiders, shall we?
Im has achieved a top-25 finish in three out of four majors this year, and this could be a great opportunity to complete the full set with a strong performance at St Andrews. Im has twice been in contention at the Masters, and is so dependable on the PGA Tour with four top-10 finishes this season.
In the last six months, Im ranks 14th for SG: Off-the-Tee and 18th for SG: Tee-to-Green, giving him plenty of opportunities to take on the Old Course.
Im also has a great short game, ranking 9th for SG: Around-the-Green, and providing the putter works its magic he could have a great chance at a big price.
The Each-Way Play: Joaquin Niemann @ 50/1 with Bet365
Niemann is the sort of exciting young golfer who could easily surprise a few, especially after a couple of impressive wins on the PGA Tour. Most recently, a win at the Genesis Invitational in strong company was an indicator he is still on the up, and with an impressive display in Scotland last week I really like his chances.
In the last six months, the Chilean ranks 5th for SG: Off-the-Tee and 8th for SG: Tee-to-Green. His accuracy and length will serve him well at the Old Course, and while he will need his short game to sparkle, he certainly has the ability to go low when hot.
So who will be lifting the Claret Jug at the end of such a monumental week? You’ll have to click the link below to find out…