Last year, the 2019 British Open didn’t lack in drama and excitement, reminding us once again why Majors in golf are so special. The tournament had a slightly different format this year, offering fans and bettors alike a host of opportunities to watch and enjoy professional golf. Originally held in mid-July as the third big event of the year, the Open Championship has become the last major after the PGA Tour underwent several scheduling changes, moving the PGA Championship to May.
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For those of you keen to know more about the history of the event, you will be pleased to find out that the British Open is the oldest major golf competition and tradition is something that the event takes very seriously.
Today, we will cover the entire background of the event, talking about the venue, recent champions, and the players who have won the most titles. We will also help you catch up on the latest odds provided by sportsbooks and throw in a few predictions on who will most likely be the winner of the 2020 British Open.
The British Open: All You Need to Know About the Event
The next year’s British Open will kick off on July 16–19, 2020 in the United Kingdom, inviting golf aficionados to arrive and watch the game live at the Royal Portrush Golf Club Dunluce Course County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Sponsored by the R&A, this event is the 149th edition of the world’s oldest golf competition, one of the longest-standing events in the history of the game. With at least ten very strong competitors vying for the top spot and just as many promising underdogs, you will definitely want to know what your betting options are. But first, a quick summary of all we have said so far.
|Dates:||July 16–19, 2020|
|Location:||Royal Portrush Golf Club Dunluce Course County Antrim, Northern Ireland|
|No. of Golfers:||156|
|Favorites:||Brooks Koepka, Rory Mcllroy|
With these details established, it’s time to look at some of the most successful players the event has seen to date. Brooks Koepka will be the man to beat, but he will be facing a field of uncertainty.
A Brief History
On October 17, 1860, 74 years before the first Masters and six months before the beginning of the American Civil War, eight professional golfers got together at Prestwick to determine who would be the champion golfer. Willie Park Sr. won those three rounds of the 12-hole course that day and received a Challenge Belt made from red Moroccan leather.
The following year, the tournament started to accept amateurs from all across the world. In 1870 Tom Morris Jr. won the tournament for the third consecutive time, earning the right to permanently keep the Belt. In 1872, the organizers started awarding winners with the Golf Champion Trophy, nowadays known as Claret Jug.
In 1892, the tournament switched to a 72-hole format (four rounds of 18 holes), and in 1898 the cut was introduced for the first time in British Open history, reducing the field after two rounds of play.
The tournament was always dominated by professionals. Amateurs won only six times here, all before 1930.
In 1995, the British Open became a part of the official PGA schedule. John Daly, a US-native golfer, won the tournament that year, introducing a period of American supremacy which lasted for almost 15 years. In the last twenty years, many golfers captured their Majors maiden titles at the Open, including Paul Lawrie (1999), David Duval (2001), Ben Curtis (2003), Padraig Harrington (2007) and, of course, Shane Lowry in 2019.
Who’s Won the Most Open Championships?
An event such as the British Open gathers quite a bit of steam, but the big question remains — who has won the event the majority of times and are they in the field today? It’s a good question. For starters, Shane Lowry was the first golfer to win the British Open on his home island and, before him, no other home player has won the event on his home soil since 1999 when Paul Laurie managed to land the title and excite the home crowd.
Tiger Woods is definitely one of the bigger names as well. Woods has landed three separate titles in recent times, making him one of the most dangerous golfers on the green turf. The US also holds the record for the total number of wins, with 44 total victories going to the new world, 41 to Scottish players, and finally 22 ending up with British players. Woods hasn’t won since 2006, but he did a back-to-back victory in 2005 and 2006, which is still quite impressive. Meanwhile, McIlroy has one of the more recent victories. Let’s have a look at the exact stats.
Previous Winners: Know the Facts
It’s always a good idea to catch yourself up on all the facts. The British Open has had a diverse field of entrants these past 10 years and out of many champions who have come to conquer the summits of the game, no one was able to do it consecutively. Here’s a list of all the winners and the year they distinguished themselves in.
|2017||Jordan Spieth||United States|
|2015||Zack Johnson||United States|
|2014||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland|
|2013||Phil Mickelson||United States|
|2012||Ernie Els||South Africa|
|2011||Darren Clarke||North Ireland|
|2010||Louis Oosthuzien||South Africa|
|2009||Stewart Cink||United States|
The past ten years have been quite exciting, offering the upcoming stars of the sport opportunities of making a breakthrough into the top echelons of golfing. South Africa fielded two notable players who have won on two occasions, but they are far from being cited as favorites. Francesco Molinari, on the other hand, was among the top favorites; nevertheless, his win came as a huge surprise.
There haven’t been back-to-back winners in a while, but Koepka will be one of the most-watched players on July 16, 2020. In 2019, Koepka won the PGA Championship, defending his 2018 title, and made the cut in 92% of the Major championships he took part in.
What Do the Sportsbooks Say?
When looking for the future winner of the event, turning to the sportsbooks and checking up on what they think is always a great idea. After all, your profits depend on the fact of how gambling companies calculate the odds.
We pulled the odds for you so that you can have an estimate of who the most likely champions in 2020 are. Here is a sample of the betting odds (Intertops):
- Brooks Koepka – +1100
- Rory McIlroy – +1100
- Dustin Johnson – +1200
- Justin Rose – +1800
- John Rahm – +1800
- Tommy Fleetwood – +2200
- Rickie Fowler – +2500
- Justin Thomas – +2500
- Jordan Spieth – +2500
- Tiger Woods – +2500
All these names should sound rather familiar, all things considered. Most of these players have had success on multiple events in 2019, which is why betting operators are still uncertain as to who should get the lead in the 2020 British Open betting offer. Koepka leads the way at some betting sites, while others give the edge to Mcllroy.
Popular Betting Markets
The 149th edition of the Open Championship kicks off on July 16, 2020, and so it’s high time you started learning what you can expect from the bookmakers in terms of betting markets. As you are probably aware of, all Majors have a great range of sports betting markets available each day, and the British Open is not an exception. So, without further ado, let’s see which British Open markets attract the most attention among bettors.
This is the most straightforward bet you can make in any sports. Bookies have already put up the outright betting odds for the 2020 British Open, so you’ll have plenty of time to check for value. Defending champ Shane Lowry will have a tough time trying to defend the trophy. He’ll face major winners of the ilk of Brooks Koepka, Rory Mcllroy, and Dustin Johnson, to name but a few. It’s always challenging to predict the winner here, and the odds are a mere reflection of that. But with proper research, you just might stand a chance.
Apart from being able to bet on the winner of the British Open, you can also bet on a golfer to end up in a particular place in the final standings. Depending on bookmakers’ rules, you can bet on the player to finish in the top five or six. This type of bet is similar to backing player each-way, except you won’t be losing a part of your stake if the player finishes second, third, fourth, and so on. It’s always good to inform yourself about individual bookmakers’ market rules regarding this type of bet and to find out where your players need to finish in order for your bet to win.
First Round Leader Betting
Bettors can also bet on who will be the clubhouse leader of a certain day of the British Open. The Open Championship lasts for four days, so this bet gives you the opportunity to win. It’s always good to look for players who typically start tournaments well, but they are not the top favorites. In fact, you can get a better price backing some less fancied player, and considering that the pressure isn’t as great as it would be on the first day, it’s quite possible that a B-level golfer is going to have a really good first round.
Winning Nationality Betting
The British Open is one of the four most significant events in the golf calendar year, and bookmakers provide a host of different markets. Nationality betting has become popular in recent years. Home fans would love to see one of their own take the trophy, but the Americans from the PGA tour have been dominating the tour for quite a while now. Australians and South Africans are also a force to be reckoned with. Anyhow, nationally betting offers plenty of options — Top English Player, Top GB player, Top US Player, Top Rest of the World are only a few of them.
Three Ball Betting
The Three Ball Betting is one of the bigger markets at the British Open. It gives bettors a chance to place a bet on which player within a three-man group will score the lowest round on any given day. This market is usually announced a couple of days before the tournament begins, when the British Open Groupings are drawn. The Three Ball market offers fantastic value, granted you know where to look and what to look for.
Winning Margin Betting
One of the betting markets available for the British Open is the winning margin, or betting on what the winning margin will be. Sportsbooks will release odds for one stroke, two strokes, three strokes, and so on, or whether the winner of the tournament is decided through a play-off.
Why Back Certain Golfers?
We could talk about every individual golfer in the British Open Championship in detail, but we have decided to focus on several names that, in our estimation, have the biggest chance to win the upcoming event. With this said, these five golfers have a great shot at winning the 148th edition title, and here is why:
Brooks Koepka is definitely a good pick for the upcoming event. He’s got four wins out of ten majors, which puts him on the radar as one of the most winning players. Plus, his caddie, Ricky Elliott, knows the venue well, which means that Koepka will be fed some viable data. Koepka is capable of surprises, and that’s why sportsbooks back him up outright.
Rory McIlroy is a tough contender for anyone going up against the Irish. Native of Northern Ireland, McIlroy has been making headlines since he was 16, landing himself a status of a rising superstar. Years later, McIlroy is an accomplished professional who is still eyeing some of the most tempting trophies in the world. The Open Championship is really no exception.
Francesco Molinari has made a name for himself by overcoming the golf legend Tiger Woods. He faced off with the heavyweight at Carnoustie and managed to pull ahead of Woods, immortalizing his name as the 2018 winner. He also did well during the Masters in 2019, which has given many hopes that Molinari can now storm the title again. Yet, it’s worth noting that he didn’t do so well at Pebble Beach, which in a way simulates the conditions of the British Open.
Tiger Woods has had a good 2019 season. He won the Masters tournament, sealing his 15th Majors win, which is rather indicative of Mr. Woods’ talent. All this aside, though, Woods feels comfortable playing at Royal Portrush, as the course seems to be quite well-tailored to his specific skill set. He has been somewhat sporadic in his appearances in 2019, missing out on Bethpage Black. Some chalked it up to him taking some extra preparation time, but others were doubtful whether Woods’ motivation to win was strong enough.
Dustin Johnson may not have been drawing attention to himself, but his successes speak for themselves. Johnson is currently third in the world rank list and he made it as a runner-up in the two opening events in 2019. He did well during the WGC-Mexico Championship and for all intents and purposes, Johnson remains a danger to all participants in the event.
Xander Schauffele is a great talent and he has been playing remarkable since he debuted in the 2016/2017 season. Although he hasn’t won many titles, he still made it to the top on three separate occasions with several Top 10 placements, a clear indication that Schauffele is a golfer with a capital “g”. He was the runner up at the 2018 British Open and he managed to pull off a T-3 during the US Open in 2019. Want to bet your money on a very promising pick? Then Schauffele is your man.
Adam Scott may not be the prohibitive favorite when he steps on the field on July 16, but it would be a grave mistake not to consider him as a potential threat to the title. Scott hasn’t been able to clinch a title this year, but he’s made it to the top 10 at multiple events in the past several years. That’s not too bad for the Aussie who clearly loves his golfing and doesn’t mind working hard to improve. Scott is praised for his perfect swing and devilishly good aim, but as bad luck would have it, he’s always just a sliver short of sealing the deal completely in his favor.
Jason Day is an unforgettable name in modern golfing. He used to hold the world’s top spot, but has fallen off the radar since. Yet, Mr. Day doesn’t seem to care about titles much, unless it’s a matter of winning an individual race. This is what keeps his competitive spirit in check. His US Open performance was rather poor and, by the time he hit the Travelers Championship, he had picked up a bit, securing a Top 10 finish. Yet, Mr. Day has quite a few things to streamline still in his play. He hasn’t got a title this year which, while not indicative of a waning career, is certainly to be noted.
British Open Golf Courses
The inaugural British Open took place on October 17, 1860, at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The event is not significant only because of its tradition, but also because of the fact that this is the only major golf event to be played outside the United States these days.
|Location:||Dunluce Road, Portrush County, Antrim, BT56 8JQ|
|Designed by:||Harry Colt|
In a truly British tradition, the golf course reflects the country’s natural diversity. Today, the Royal Portrush venue is known as a “links course”, as it’s home to some of the most challenging golf links courses in the world. Players encounter many natural obstacles getting in the way, including pot bunkers, sand dunes and the occasional water pool that needs to be avoided.
Plus, these golf courses are often quite windy, which adds another level of challenge from interfering with a ball’s trajectory to making it more difficult to determine how to hit the golf ball. The field has been dominated by Americans, Scottish and Brits throughout the years, so it’s very likely to see another Briton or someone from the US capturing the title next year.
British Open Promises to Be a Golf Event to Remember
The Open Championship is an event that promises to gather some of the world’s premier names in golf. With the event running into its 148th edition, the British Open is indeed heavy with tradition. Woods, Molinari, Mcllroy and many others are all coming back to take their chances and see if they are up for the challenge.
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