Cheltenham Festival 2023 Betting Preview & Tips
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There is nowhere better for the 150th Open Championship to take place than the Old Course, St Andrews. Known the world over as the home of golf, St Andrews is where the sport was born in the 1500s and it remains the heart and spirit of golf to this day.
Foremost of the many storylines ahead of this year’s Open is Tiger Woods’ return to St Andrews. He calls this his favourite golf course in the world and planned his entire summer around ensuring he is as prepared as possible for the 2022 Open.
This could well be Woods’ final competitive appearance at St Andrews and while he is highly unlikely to win a fourth Claret Jug, he has the game to make the cut at the least and give the thousands of fans a real thrill this week.
Rory McIlroy 10/1 (bet365)
Xander Schauffele 16/1 (Coral)
Scottie Scheffler 16/1 (Betfred)
Jon Rahm 16/1 (bet365)
Jordan Spieth 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
Matt Fitzpatrick 18/1 (bet365)
Justin Thomas 20/1 (bet365)
Shane Lowry 25/1 (888sport)
As you would expect, you can make a strong case for each of the eight players at the top of the outright betting market for the 2022 Open but for different reasons.
Rory McIlroy tops the betting largely based on his previous form at St Andrews whereas Xander Schauffele’s lofty position is due to his phenomenal run of form which includes a win at last week’s Scottish Open. Of the two, it’s McIlroy who makes the most appeal as Open experience, especially at St Andrews, trumps incoming form every time.
Collin Morikawa sensationally won the Open on debut last year but you have to go back to Tony Lema in 1964 for the last time somebody did that at St Andrews.
McIlroy’s first Open at the St Andrews saw him open with a round of -9. He was unable to hold on and Louis Oosthuizen won by seven shots and that lack of consistency remains a worry 12 years on. McIlroy has the game to tear up the Old Course at his best and he may be worth backing outright to win at 10/1.
Others with ample Open experience among the favourites include Jordan Spieth and Shane Lowry. Both are previous Open champions and both make the trip to Fife with high hopes of challenging once again.
Spieth is the shorter of the two in the betting but his game was erratic during the Scottish Open. At times he was brilliant but at others he sprayed it all over the Renaissance and any repeat of those sort of mistakes will see him in some very tricky spots at the Old Course.
Lowry, on the other hand, got his competitive juices flowing at the Irish Open following a short break after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open. He then played some friendly matches on Irish links courses before arriving at the Old Course and he is very much one to watch at 25/1.
Matt Fitzpatrick is the talk of golf currently after he broke his major duck at the U.S. Open. With six previous Open starts and experience of St Andrews via the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Fitzpatrick cannot be written off at 18/1 but his chances would be better on a tougher test and he might not be able to keep up with the scoring of the leaders especially if the forecasted rain comes on Friday and Saturday and softens the Old Course turf.
Tommy Fleetwood 35/1 (Betfred)
Tyrrell Hatton 35/1 (bet365)
Joaquin Niemann 50/1 (Betfred)
Justin Rose 66/1 (888sport)
Max Homa 55/1 (Betfred)
Tiger Woods 80/1 (bet365)
Adam Scott 80/1 (Coral)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 125/1 (Betfred)
Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton both found themselves in contention at the Scottish Open coming into last weekend. From there their tournaments went in very different directions with Fleetwood kicking on to finish in a share of fourth and Hatton dropping away tamely.
Both have a chance of winning their first major championship at St Andrews but preference goes to Hatton who has incredible course form including back to back Alfred Dunhill Links Championship wins.
If you’re looking for a player who can go against the grain in terms of previous Open experience back the in form Max Homa at 55/1 with Betfred.
Homa has already won twice on the PGA Tour this season and clearly loves links golf. He shot off after his Friday round at the Scottish Open to play a quick 18 holes at North Berwick to get some more links experience. Homa can keep himself in contention at the Old Course and looks good value at 55/1 with Betfred who are paying out to six places.
Finally, two time Open competitor Christian Bezuidenhout has the right profile for the Old Course and looks to have had his chances underestimated by Betfred who are offering 125/1 about his chances.
Rory McIlroy to win at 10/1 with bet365
Shane Lowry each way at 25/1 with 888sport
Tyrrell Hatton each way at 35/1 with bet365
Max Homa each way at 55/1 with Betfred
Christiaan Bezuidenhout each way at 125/1 with Betfred