Golf enthusiasts and punters alike will be glued to their televisions this weekend, as the 150th Open Championship takes place at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. The oldest golf tournament in the world, the “British Open,” as it’s commonly referred to, remains one of the most revered on the pro circuit. The Open also marks the fourth and final major tournament of the year, so it’s no surprise to see such a loaded odds board.
Reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa of the United States shot a -15 at Royal St. George’s in 2021. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but six different nations were represented among the eight previous winners of the Claret Jug. That includes Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, the odds-on favourite to win this year’s event at $10.00.
McIlroy won the Open at Royal Liverpool in England back in 2014, but he never got the chance to defend his championship at St. Andrews in ‘15 due to a soccer injury. The No. 2 OWGR golfer, McIlroy has finished in the top 10 of each of the first three major tournaments this year. He will look to become just the 19th player in history to pull off top-10 finishes in all four majors in the same season, but he’ll mostly be looking to win his third tournament of the season and fifth major of his career.
Let’s review the design and layout of the Old Course at St. Andrews, then look over the weather forecast for the weekend. We’ll then evaluate the Open Championship odds boards and pick our best bets to join the prestigious group of winners from this historic major tournament.
2022 Open Championship Course: History, design, and layout of Old Course at St. Andrews
The Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland stands as the oldest golf course on the planet. Champions from all over the world have crossed over the iconic 700-year-old Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course, one of the most lauded rites of passage in the sport. This will mark the 30th time TOC at St. Andrews has hosted the Open Championship, the most common host since the event’s inception in 1860.
The beautiful 7,305-yard course has plenty of features that can be ugly for players’ games, including a whopping 112 bunkers and countless hills and hollows that have sabotaged even the most distinguished golfers’ scorecards throughout time.
The pesky little brook known as the “Swilcan Burn,” which flows along the first and 18th holes of TOC, has reared its ugly head for many entrants through the generations. The “Sutherland Bunker” looms over strikers on the fourth and 15th. The “Strath Bunker” and “Road Bunker” haunt the greens’ surroundings on the 11th and 17th. Four pot bunkers called “The Beardies” litter the fairways like minefields on the 14th, the same hole that houses the 6,500-square foot, 10-feet deep “Hell Bunker.” “Miss Grainger's Bosoms” are essentially mounds on the 15th, while “Principal's Nose” is a triple-bunker smack-dab in the middle of the 16th fairway.
So, no shortage of hazards on golf’s most prestigious course. The harder they come, the harder they fall at the Old Course. The best golfers in the world usually have the sharpest games, best approaches, and strongest mental fortitude, and TOC winners typically fall within that group.
2022 Open Championship weather forecast
The Open Championship begins on Thursday and will likely see some rainfall and heavy wind gusts throughout Round 1. Thursday and Friday should be relatively comfortable temperatures, with highs touching the low-to-mid 70s Fahrenheit. Friday will be breezy in the morning with scattered showers but clearer in the afternoon.
After the cut, the Saturday weather could play a major part in the later stages of the tournament. Fife will see heavy wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour and cloud cover could turn to rain at certain points in the afternoon. Gusts will remain Sunday — although much less strong — but the final round should offer the sunniest and most pleasant weather of the tournament.
2022 Open Championship betting odds
Odds courtesy of TAB. Last updated July 12.
|Min Woo Lee||$101|
*Other competitors priced at $101+
2022 Open Championship: Best bets
Rory McIlroy @ $10.00
We can’t get away from McIlroy here as the best bet, as boring as that sounds. The No. 2 ranked golfer and four-time major champion has been a model of consistent greatness once again this season, with seven top-10 finishes and over US$7.3 million in prize money. He finished second at the Masters, tied for fifth at the U.S. Open, and placed eighth at the PGA Championship.
McIlroy’s across-the-board skills and resilient demeanor make him a deserving favoUrite to win this event at a course he used to hate (and now calls his favorite in the world) and hasn’t competed on since 2010. That Open saw the 33-year-old, then 21, tie for third thanks in large part to his then-historic 63 in the opening round (at the time, that tied a record low for any round of any major championship).
The UK native was supposed to defend his 2014 Open Championship at TOC in 2015, but an injury sustained while playing soccer derailed those plans. In many ways, this event will feel like a long time coming for McIlroy, especially if he’s able to hoist his first major win since that 2014 Open title.
Justin Thomas @ $21.00
Thomas has put together a solid season, with nine top-10 finishes, including a win at the PGA Championship in May. He shot a 63 and 64 in the final rounds to finish third in the RBC Canadian Open, driven by a flurry of birdies. Thomas ranks first on tour in birdie average with 4.7 per round, and fourth overall in total scoring average.
Tiger Woods recently gave JT a playful jab about the No. 7 OWGR golfer having never won the Open — while Tiger has won it three times — so there will be plenty of motivation for the 29-year-old throughout the weekend. Johnson’s only flaw this season has been on the green, and the Old Course favors players who don’t leave themselves a lot of green anyway. His driving, approach, and around-the-green skills give him a great chance to come away with his first non-PGA Championship major victory.
Tiger very subtly reminding JT he’s never won an Open with a not all that great joke, but it’s Tiger, so it’s cool. pic.twitter.com/xbvNs0D23m— Mark Harris (@itismarkharris) July 11, 2022
Dustin Johnson @ $41.00
Another strong value bet, Johnson also has strong off-the-tee and approach shot skills. The LIV golf member would certainly send shockwaves into the PGA Tour if he won the Open, and it stands to reason that he has a chance. The protests will surely be less intense in Scotland than DJ and fellow LIV golfers have felt within the United States. Don’t be surprised to see Johnson win — he drove his way to an opening-round 65 the last time this event was held at the Old Course.
Sleepers to win 2022 Open Championship
Sam Burns @ $51.00, Louis Oosthuizen @ $41.00, Justin Rose @ $81.00
Burns has quietly been a top-10 talent this season, putting together three wins and eight top-ten finishes. He’s as good as any bet at this level to hoist his first major championship trophy. Oosthuizen and Rose finished T2 and T6 at the Open in 2015, the last time TOC hosted the storied event. They have the skills profiles and mental compositions to emerge victorious at golf’s Mecca.
Open Championship past winners
Here is a look at every winner of The Open Championship since World War II. Collin Morikawa is the most recent winner of the major, prevailing at -15 last year. The 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|2021||Collin Morikawa||Royal St. George's||-15|
|2019||Shane Lowry||Royal Portrush||-15|
|2017||Jordan Spieth||Royal Birkdale||-12|
|2016||Henrik Stenson||Royal Troon||-20|
|2015||Zach Johnson||St Andrews||-15|
|2012||Ernie Els||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-7|
|2011||Darren Clarke||Royal St George's||-5|
|2010||Louis Oosthuizen||St Andrews||-16|
|2008||Padraig Harrington||Royal Birkdale||+3|
|2006||Tiger Woods||Royal Liverpool||-18|
|2005||Tiger Woods||St Andrews||-14|
|2001||David Duval||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-10|
|2000||Tiger Woods||St Andrews||-19|
|1998||Mark O'Meara||Royal Birkdale||E|
|1997||Justin Leonard||Royal Troon||-12|
|1996||Tom Lehman||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-13|
|1995||John Daly||St Andrews||-6|
|1993||Greg Norman||Royal St Georges, Sandwich||-13|
|1991||Ian Baker-Finch||Royal Birkdale||-8|
|1990||Nick Faldo||St Andrews||-18|
|1989||Mark Calcavecchia||Royal Troon||-13|
|1988||Seve Ballesteros||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-11|
|1985||Sandy Lyle||Royal St Georges, Sandwich||+2|
|1984||Seve Ballesteros||St Andrews||-12|
|1983||Tom Watson||Royal Birkdale||-9|
|1982||Tom Watson||Royal Troon||-4|
|1981||Bill Rogers||Royal St Georges, Sandwich||-4|
|1979||Seve Ballesteros||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-1|
|1978||Jack Nicklaus||St Andrews||-7|
|1976||Johnny Miller||Royal Birkdale||-9|
|1974||Gary Player||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-2|
|1973||Tom Weiskopf||Royal Troon||-12|
|1971||Lee Trevino||Royal Birkdale||-10|
|1970||Jack Nicklaus||St Andrews||283|
|1969||Tony Jacklin||Royal Lytham & St Annes||280|
|1967||Roberto de Vicenzo||Hoylake||278|
|1965||Peter Thomson||Royal Birkdale||285|
|1964||Tony Lema||St Andrews||279|
|1963||Bob Charles||Royal Lytham & St Annes||277|
|1960||Kel Nagle||St Andrews||278|
|1958||Peter Thomson||Royal Lytham & St Annes||278|
|1957||Bobby Locke||St Andrews||279|
|1955||Peter Thomson||St Andrews||281|
|1952||Bobby Locke||Royal Lytham & St Annes||287|
|1951||Max Faulkner||Royal Portrush||285|
|1946||Sam Snead||St Andrews||290|