Golf tips: Here’s 5 that may thrive at this week’s Open Championship

The 150th Open Championship tees off on Thursday and Martin Mathews picks out his best bets for the final Major of the season.

Open Championship St Andrews

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*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

The final Major of the calendar, the 150th playing of the Open Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews tees off on Thursday and the venue known as the ‘home of golf’ last played host to it in 2015 when Zach Johnson lifted the Claret Jug.

Paddy’s paying to 12 places before Thursday’s tee off and while market leader Rory McIlroy has clearly found a strong groove of form of late posting a win and five top ten’s in his past seven starts, it is now eight years since he bagged a Major.

His odds offer little appeal to me and neither do Jon Rahm’s, who cut a frustrated figure in Scotland last week.

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The course is a true links test meaning the wind is its main defence. A par 72 measuring 7,300 yards  featuring 14 par fours, several of which are driveable to the modern player, and only two par fives and two par threes. If the wind doesn’t blow the Old Course could be taken apart by the game’s elite.

Fortunately though at the time of writing, there is enough wind in the forecast coupled with anticipated firm, dry conditions that should make it a decent test.

Here’s 5 I hope can thrive at St Andrew’s.

1. Jordan Spieth

With Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas labouring to missed cuts in Scotland and Matt Fitzpatrick trying to win back-to-back Majors, the two who appeal to me most at the top of the market are last weekend’s Scottish Open winner, Xander Schauffele and compatriot Jordan Spieth.

All eyes will be on Schauffele to win three on the spin (if you include the JP McManus pro-Am it will be four!), but the  juice is now long gone from his price.

I will instead turn to former winner Spieth to lead our team off.

The 2017 Open Champion is something of a links specialist with great feel around the greens. I expect the anticipated firm conditions to play right in to his hands.

Spieth finished fourth here in 2015 just missing out on the play-off and a runner-up finish at Royal St George’s last year showed again how much he loves this format.

A top 10 last week in the Scottish Open should serve as the ideal warm up and I am happy to jump on board.

Cameron Smith

2. Cameron Smith

Next up is another player known for his magnificent short game skills Cameron Smith. Brought up in Brisbane, Australia, Smith should absolutely relish the combination of firm conditions and some breeze.

After a stellar start to the year, which saw him bag two trophies including the coveted Players’ Championship, the Aussie appeared to have gone off the boil recently however an eye-catching 10th  place finish last week saw him get back on track. He looks primed for a big run.

Joaquin-Niemann-Chile

3. Joaquin Niemann

I will give another chance to Joaquin Niemann who disappointed when we had him onside at Brookline. Niemann’s low-ball flight has put him on many a radar as someone who could flourish in an Open Championship and last week’s 16th place was a perfect warm up. This year the young Chilean has already delivered an inspired performance to win in stellar company at Riviera and I am keen to have him on side.

thomas-pieters

4. Thomas Pieters

Next up for me is big hitting Thomas Pieters. The Belgian is enjoying a really strong 2022 with one win to his name at the Abu Dhabi Championship, an event, which is certainly a pointer to strong links form. Long off the tee, the former leading rookie at the Ryder Cup will be able to take advantage of the shorter par fours. If his putter co-operates, I can see him out-running his odds.

Wyndham Clark

5. Wyndham Clark

Finally in an event, which Paddy are paying to 12 places each way before tee-off, I will roll the dice at huge odds on Wyndham Clark. The American is another self-professed lover of links golf and on the back of a strong showing at the Renaissance Club, his combination of big hitting and a great short game could just see him bag a place at huge odds.

Martin Matthews’ 2022 Open Tips

Jordan Spieth
Cameron Smith
Joaquin Niemann
Thomas Pieters
Wyndham Clark

*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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