Golf tips: This 40/1 play can lead the way on the first day at the Open Championship

Top tipster Martin Mathews fancies Tommy Fleetwood to get off to a flying start in one of Paddy's Specials market.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

St Andrews hosts the 150th Open on Thursday, as the world’s best players descend on Scotland for the 2022 Open Championship.


With our main team bets in place for the Open Championship, it is time to turn our attention to the raft of speciality markets that Paddy have priced up for us and we’ll begin by taking a look at the First Round Leader market.

In the Open Championship, more than in any Major, the weather forecast is key, specifically the wind and with strong breezes forecast to increase slightly as the opening day progresses I will take two players from the morning side of the draw for First Round Leader.

Tommy Fleetwood

One on many peoples’ lips this week as a potential winner, Tommy Fleetwood tees off at 8.14am and is a master of links golf. Having finished strongly for fourth place last weekend in Scotland he appears to have timed his run perfectly.

Heavily backed this week in the outright market as a result of that performance in Scotland, with Fleetwood not having won on the world stage since 2019, I was not keen jump on board now.

However, I expect him to go well and the first round leader market seems a perfect opportunity to side with him. The Englishman has started his last two Open’s with rounds of 67 and 68 and on a course he knows well, I expect another quick start. 

Kurt Kitayama

Kurt Kitayama goes out at 7.30AM and earned his place in this week’s field courtesy of a superb runner up finish in last week’s Scottish Open. He should certainly be teeing off in great spirits.

The fact that Kitayama performed so well at the Renaissance Club should not have come as huge surprise as he showed when winning in Oman in 2019 that he is comfortable on a windy, coastal track.

Kitayama produced one of his best efforts on the PGA Tour this season in another coastal event, the Honda Classic, when finishing third, which has always been a domain for strong links performers.

However, the 29 year-old can blow hot and cold, something demonstrated by his 11 missed cuts this season. It is noticeable when he does go well he starts quickly and opened with a 64 at the Honda, another 64 in Mexico when he went on to finish second and a 66 last week. With confidence high then, let’s chance him to start quickly on a course that should suit.

Top US Player: Tony Finau

I will take my chances on Tony Finau in the Top US Player MarketThose who saw my main outright preview will know that I am keen on the chances of Jordan Spieth to lift the Claret Jug, however beyond that of the big name Americans, Finau was the one who I came closest to backing.

A proven performer in The Open who has also been a visitor to St Andrews for the Dunhill Links over the years there is a lot to like about ‘Big Tony’ this week. As we know though he is prone to come up just short more often than not.

In this market though we can still get a 5 places each-way safety net and a potential 20/1 winner even if he runs second or third to one or two of the big non US players.

To Miss The Cut: Cameron Young

Paddy have once again done us proud with their variety of ‘specials’ markets and in their to miss the cut selections one player who leaps out to me at odds against to get a weekend off is Cameron Young.

The American has been a sensation in his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour, however he can blow hot and cold and it has very much been the latter of late as a missed cut at the US Open was followed by a two round 13 over at the Scottish Open, where he also missed the cut.

Young, you would have to think, is still finding his feet with links golf and with a confidence sapping performance like we saw last week there is nothing to make me think he will turn that around in a few days.

Top-40 Finish: Matthew Jordan

Finally, I am keen to support young Englishman Matthew Jordan in some way based on the fact that he won an Amateur event here and has a top five finish in the Dunhill Links on his CV.

Based in the Hoylake area, where next year’s Open Championship will be held, Jordan is something of a links specialist and the 5/2 for him to finish in the Top 40 makes plenty of appeal.

Open Championship betting tips:

First Round Leader: Kurt Kitayama & Tommy Fleetwood
Top US Player: Tony Finau
To Miss The Cut: Cameron Young
Top-40 Finish: Matthew Jordan

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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