The Open Championship 2022 Overview
The 150th Open Championship fittingly takes place at the home of golf St. Andrews this week. The players each compete for the most famous and sort after trophy in golf, the Claret Jug, and the right to be crowned “champion golfer of the year”.
When looking to fine tune your betting portfolio, remember to look for players who have good recent form. Each winner since 2013 has had a top 3 finish in one of their last five events. Nine of the last eleven Open Champions had all previously secured at least a top-10 in this event in their careers – the exceptions to that rule being Louis Oosthuizen and last year’s winner Collin Morikawa. It’s extremely unlikely you will find your game a tough Open Championship, so look at players who arrive with their swing dialled in and with some historic form at The Open.
Without a doubt, Augusta National is the only place in the world where the Old Course is comparable in terms of popularity. The most famous closing holes in the world are the 17th Road Hole, with its infamous bunker, and the closing 18th, with the Swilcan Bridge and the Valley of Sin. Will there be drama down those final holes this week, not long until we find out?
The par-72, 7,313-yard course has massive shared fairways and seven shared green complexes. The course at St. Andrews is a flat area of links land with minimal rough in between its several double fairways. Green complexes are vast and, as with most UK venues, slower than the players face in the USA. A strong contingent of Americans came over earlier this year. Will that give them a better chance?
There are 112 bunkers total, and deep natural grasses and gorse bushes that flank many of the fairways serve as the Old Course’s main line of defence. However, the biggest defences would be the weather, and if the wind picks up, we will see a very different test from those we will see in calmer conditions.
Rory shot a 63 here in 2010 in the opening round. St Andrews is one course on The Open rota that is there for the taking if the elements are in players’ favor. Winning totals of -19 Tiger Woods, 2000, -14 Tiger 2005, -16 Louis, 2010 and -15 Zach Johnson, since 2000 highlight how easy this course can play compared with others on the Open rota. I expect the winning score to be better 10 under par this week.
Three short facts to help you with your final picks;
- In terms of recent winning form, 15 Open Champions from the last 21 renewals, 71% had won a tournament in the same season prior to triumph at The Open.
- 9 of the last 11 winners all previously have a Top 10 at The Open Championship, with Collin last year and Louis over ten years back being the exceptions.
- The last five winners had all registered a Top 3 finish in one of their last five events worldwide. Arriving in form is key to success at The Open Championship.
Let’s break down the key skill sets required this week.
Key Skill Sets Required
- Current Form/Open Form – Looking back at results, since 2013 the winner of this event has had a top three finish in one of their last five events. Five of the last eight winner arrived with a win under their belt in their last five starts. Arriving at The Open in good form is a necessity if you wish to lift the Claret Jug. 9 of the last 11 Open Champions had all previously secured at least a top-10 in this event in their careers – the exception to that rule being Louis in 2010 & Collin last year.
- SG Off The Tee – St Andrews certainly favors players who are long and accurate off the tee box. The winner this week will most definitely gain strokes off the tee. A combination of length and missing the fairways in the right play will be required. Tiger, Louis and Zach all ranked in the Top 10 for driving accuracy on the week so it’s not all about power, precision is certainly beneficial.
- Par 4 Scoring – 14 Par 4’s for the players each day, not the standard on a Par 72 layout. Players will have to dominate the par 4’s for the right to be crowned “Champion Golfer Of The Year”. Some of the leading player on tour for par 4 scoring are ; Rory, JT, Fitzpatrick, Lowry, Scottie, FInau, Cam Smith and Xander.
- SG Approach Play – Winning a Major Championship demands elite level iron play throughout the bag. This is one of, if not the easiest Major Championship course on The Open circuit. With a winning score closer to 10 under par expected player will be to be hitting their 2nd shots close on the pins that are there to attack and creating plenty of birdie looks. I expect this major to favor player who are more aggressive with iron in hand than those that hit plenty of greens. The greens here are HUGE and therefore GIR Gained is not so important.
- SG Scrambling – Large green complexes which are surrounded by well position bunkers make scrambling here at St Andrews one of the hardest places on the Open rota. Looking back at 2000, 2005, 2010 & 2015 it’s apparent how important scrambling will be this week. Look for players are comfortable playing a variety of shots around the greens and have good feel around the greens.
- 3 Putt Avoidance – Larger than normal greens are what the players face this week and more often than not player will be putting from distance. With that in mind we want to look for good lag putters with exceptional pace control. Hitting GIR here at St Andrews doesn’t mean an auto two putt like it does many places in the world.