11 January 2019
Golf’s historic open championship returns to Scotland and to one of the most demanding layouts in world golf. Often referred to in golfing circles as Car-nasty for the way it sucks a player in and swallows up their golf ball in many of the burns that interweave the course.
Nobody can ever forget the famous event that took place here in 1999 when Frenchman Jean Van De Velde had the tournament at his mercy only for the course to bite in the most ferocious of ways.
Van De Velde stood on the last tee with the Claret Jug not only with one hand on, but seemingly tucked away in his back pocket. It was a situation which will never be forgotten and as the championship heads back to Carnoustie many golf pros and fans will have Van De Velde in their hearts and minds.
This year sees an amazing tournament in prospect with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler and….not forgetting one Tiger Woods who will be playing on UK soil for the first time in ages and going for his 15th Major.
Of course Woods would be the story of the week, he certainly is not the force of old but we have seen in the last couple of months that the fire and competitive spirit still burns brightly.
Will it be enough for Woods to lift another Claret Jug? It would be a brave man not to admit that it is possible. Could that famous Sunday red shirt be on the leaderboard come the latter part of Sunday afternoon? I think all golf fans would love to see it.
2018 Open Championship – Form Analysis
Dustin Johnson sits at the top the leaderboard in the World Golf rankings and could not really be in better form. After a tied 10th in the Masters earlier this year, the American has had a win and another top 10 major finish (3rd in the US Open) Johnson comes here in scintillating form and is a worthy favorite.
Justin Rose will be relishing the return to a tournament that holds so many good memories and looks sure to play a major part. Rose sits at 3rd in the world rankings and his last four tournaments have yielded 4 top 10 finishes, including a win at the Fort Worth International as well as a tie for tenth spot in the US Open. Another top player at the top of his game and on home soil it seems impossible for him not to notch another top 10 finish.
Tommy Fleetwood, the likeable Brit has been growing in stature and performance over the last two years and now sits inside the Top 10 in the World after a top class 2nd place finish at the US Open. His two recent performances have not been so good with a missed cut last time out at the French Open and it is likely he was mentally tired after such an effort in the US Open. We can expect him to be on top form in front of a likely partisan home crowd.
Jordan Spieth sits at number 6 in the world and it would have been a brave man to back against him winning a tournament in 2018, but that is where we sit right now and it has not been a good season for the young American. There is no doubt that Spieth has the class to go out and tear up this season’s stats, however, 4 missed cuts have to be taken into consideration and he will need to be on his metal this week. There is no better putter under pressure and it is either going to be guts or glory for Spieth this week.
Zach Johnson is one player who sits outside the top 50 in the world, but the former winner of this tournament has just started to click at the right time with three very solid top 20 finishes. Johnson won this in 2015 at St Andrews so we know he likes Scotland and of course he has the game for links style golf. Johnson is one of those players who has the skill to hit those low runners that can set him apart from the field. He has no pressure heading in and can be one of the top Americans this week.
Tiger Woods, it would be rude not to mention Woods. Having returned this year after a long time out with various injuries, we have seen some of the old sparks whilst still being wayward off the tee at times. Woods started the season at 539th in the world rankings so it says a lot to his credit that he has been able to climb up to 67th after climbing another 12 places for his recent tied fourth at the Quicken Loans National. There is no doubt that a win for Woods would probably go down as his greatest achievement.
2018 Open Championship – Betting Tips and Analysis
The Open Championship always throws up a unique mix of betting opportunities and in the outright market it is key to point out that a number of the top bookmakers are offering 10 places to each way punters.
They include: SkyBet, Paddy Power, Coral and Betbright with all offering 1/5th the odds for a top ten finish. So with that in mind we need to look at form, both current and past course form and at 14/1 then Justin Rose has to look a good each way bet having finished in the Top 10 in his last four tournaments and has a solid record in the event.
Our second selection in the outright betting market has to be Zach Johnson at 66/1. Three Top 20 finishes in his last three events tell us he is in great shape and coming back to links golf and tournament he has already won must give him every chance of reaching the top 10.
First Round Leader
This is an interesting market as stats can play a major part in this, especially on outsiders for the actual tournament with no pressure early on. One such player is Beau Hossler who sits No 1 in the first round average scoring after 23 rounds. He is priced up at 125/1 with Paddy Power and they are offering 8 places on this market. This looks too big a price and worth an each way interest.
The other player of interest in this market is Ryan Armour, seventh in this stat and can be backed at 250/1 (7 places each way with Boylesports)
Shoot the Lowest Round
With conditions still dry in the UK the course is going to play a lot shorter than normal. Their is some rain forecast this week and that may just take the sting out of the greens and make them that little bit more receptive.
This will mean a low score looks likely and 6/5 being available for a round of 63 or lower, then that looks amazing value with such a talented field assembled.
It looks all set for a fantastic tournament and although the DJ is favorite it could just be that the “English Rose” will turn up the heat and will “Shock the DJ” or fellow namesake of Dustin will prove triumphant again.
Enjoy the four days and make sure to check out our Top 5 Bookmakers for Golf Betting.