The Open Championship: Betting Tips

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Betting Tips for the 2018 Open: Who should you be backing at Carnoustie? 

A run down of the bookies favourites and who we think you should be backing this week - PLUS find out who three BBC pundits think have a good chance to lift the Claret Jug on Sunday. 

The Open: Betting Tips

Dustin Johnson: 12/1
2017 Open result: T54
2007 Open result: DNP
Last Five Results: 3-1-T8-T17-T16

The bookies favourite. DJ has two top 10s and a victory in his last three starts, and hasn't finished worse than T16 since a top 10 at The Masters. Looking for his second major title at a course he has experience at - having played in the Dunhill Links a couple of times. Has three top 10s at The Open in his last seven appearances, the last of which came in 2016 at Royal Troon. Ranks 1st for SG: Off the tee, SG: Tee to green, birdie average, scoring average and 2nd for putting average. 

Justin Rose: 14/1
2017 Open result: T54
2007 Open result: T12
Last Five Results: T9-T10-T6-1-T23

The current World No.3 has two top 10s in 16 starts at The Open, with his most recent coming in 2015 when he finished tied 6th. Rose has been incredibly consistent this year, with six top 10s and a victory in his last 12 starts – which includes a T9 in the Scottish Open last week – his fourth straight top 10. Ranks 7th SG Putting, 11th SG: Tee to Green, 2nd Scoring Average, 3rdBirdie Average 

Rory McIlroy: 16/1
2017 Open result: T4
2007 Open result: T42 (LA)
Last five starts: T28-T12-MC-T8-2

The last time Rory played in the Open at Carnoustie, he finished as leading amateur (2007). Since then, he’s played in eight Open Championships and had three top 5s and a victory in 2014 – finishing T4 and T5 the past two years. He’s had a bit of a mixed season, with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, four other top 10s and four missed-cuts. Ranks 10th SG Tee to Green, 11th SG: Off the Tee, 12th Scoring Average, 19th SG: Around The Green and 29th for overall putting average on PGA Tour

Rickie Fowler: 16/1
2017 Open result: T22
2007 Open result: DNP
Last five starts: T6-12-T20-T8-T14 

Still searching for his maiden major title, Fowler comes in to The Open with a run of good form that includes two top 10s and no worse finish than 20th in his last five starts. Heads to Carnoustie having finished T6 at the Scottish Open in similar conditions, and has two top 10s in eight starts in this championship. Ranks 10th scoring average, 5th par-four scoring average and 5th for scrambling.

Jon Rahm: 18/1
2017 Open Result: T44
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: T4-T5-MC-T5-T63

Three top 5s in his last five starts and a victory at the Open de Espana, Rahm comes to Carnoustie in good form. Has finished T59-T44 in his first two Open performances so hasn’t been overly successful yet, but recent form indicates he has the potential to have a good week. Ranks 2nd birdie average and SG: Off the tee, 9th putting average, 10th for scoring average (actual) and 17th for GIR on the PGA Tour. 

Tommy Fleetwood: 18/1
2017 Open Result: T27
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: MC-T59-2-T23-T20

Tommy Fleetwood set the Carnoustie course record during the Dunhill Links last year and has long been pegged as a favourite for this year’s Open title, even despite his most two recent results on Tour. Finished T27 last year and has had a victory and four other top 10s in 2018. Ranks 7th Scoring Average, 9th SG: Off the tee, 12th Birdie Average, 13th SG: Tee to green and 12th for Overall putting average on the PGA Tour.

Jordan Spieth: 20/1
2017 Open Result: WIN
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: T42-MC-MC-T32-T21

Doesn’t have the same form coming in to this tournament as he did before his impressive victory last year, but seems positive after a few weeks off, and we certainly wouldn’t be ruling him out. Has gone 1-T30-T4 in his last three Open Championship starts, and has had four top 10s this year – which translates into impressive stats despite recent results. Ranks 14th SG Tee to Green, 4th in GIR, 8TH Birdie Average, 19th SG: Around the green and 4th for Scoring Average (actual).

Brooks Koepka: 22/1
2017 Open Result: T6
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: T19-1-T30-2-T11

Koepka has finished T6-T10 in his last two Open appearances, and given his present form will be hoping to make it back-to-back major title wins. Missed a big part of the early season with a wrist injury but has since won the US Open and finished second in the Fort Worth Invitational. Ranks 2nd for overall putting average, 7th birdie average and 8th scoring average.

Tiger Woods: 25/1
2017 Open Result: DNP
2007 Open Result: T12

Woods is a three-time Open Champion (also has six top 10s in 19 appearances), and finished T12 the last time he played at Carnoustie in 2007, although hasn’t teed up since a MC in the Open at St Andrews in 2015. Since returning this year post back-fusion surgery has had three top 5s and two top 12s in 11 starts. Ranks 3rd SG: Approach The Green, SG: 4th Around The Green, 6th SG: Tee To Green, 14th in Scoring Average and 32nd overall putting average. 

Justin Thomas: 25/1
2017 Open Result: CUT
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: T8-T56-T25-T8-T11 

With five top 10s and a victory in his last 14 starts, Thomas has a worst result of T56 all year and hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Open Championship. He’s a definite favourite this week, despite going MC-T53 in his two Open starts. Ranks 4th Scoring Average, SG: Tee of the green, 6th for both Birdie Average and putting average, and 7th SG: Approach the green.

Alex Noren: 28/1
2017 Open Result: T6
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: 1-T25-T23-T3-T17 

Noren came from behind to win the Open De France two weeks ago and will head to The Open with a lot of confidence, especially given he finished T6 at Royal Birkdale in 2017. Has one other top 10 in seven starts in the Open, and four top 3s as well as his victory this year already. Ranks 9th SG Putting, 16th Scoring Average, 14th SG: Approach the green on the PGA Tour.

Sergio Garcia: 28/1
2017 Open Result: T37
2007 Open Result: 2
Last five starts: T8-T12-MC-MC-70

Agonisingly close to a first major victory at Carnoustie last time around, losing out to Padraig Harrington in a playoff. Has a great record at The Open, with 10 top 10s in his last 17 appearances, which includes a run of T2-T6-T5 between 2014 and 2016. A victory earlier in the year was followed by a spell of MC’s, but Garcia seems to have regained form in his last two outings and given his record could be a real challenger this week.

Henrik Stenson: 28/1
2017 Open Result: T11
2007 Open Result: CUT
Last five starts: T6-T26-T13-T25-T5

Originally a doubt after pulling out of the Scottish Open last week with an elbow injury, Stenson is seeking his second major title after winning the 2016 edition of The Open at Royal Troon. He’s had three further top 3s in his last nine starts at The Open, and given he has finished in the top 5 of both The Masters and the US Open this year already, we reckon he has a good chance. He ranks 1st for SG: Approach the green, driving accuracy and greens in regulation and 3rd for both SG: Tee to green and scoring average.

Francesco Molinari: 28/1
2017 Open Result: CUT
2007 Open Result: CUT
Last five starts: T2-1-T25-2-1

Arguably the most in-form player at The Open, Francesco Molinari has won on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in his last five starts as well as finishing runner-up at last week’s John Deere Classic. Hasn’t historically been very successful at The Open, with four MC’s, a top 10 and two top 15s in ten starts – but there’s no denying he’s playing well. Ranks 2nd SG: Tee to green, 4th SG: Off the tee, 14th GIR and 17th SG: Approach the green.

Jason Day: 30/1
2017 Open Result: T27
2007 Open Result: DNP
Last five starts: T12-MC-T44-T5-1 

Day has had a couple of weeks off, and comes in with a mixed bag of recent results – but strong stats throughout the season indicate he could have a strong performance this week. In seven Open appearances Day hasn’t missed a cut and has a best result of T4 in 2015. He ranks 1st SG Putting and SG: Around the green, 2nd for Scrambling, 5th for Birdie Average, 9th for Scoring Average.


Three of the BBC’s finest give us their thoughts on the course... and the winner

With the 147th Open Championship just around the corner, we asked the BBC's Andrew Cotter, Peter Allis and Iain Carter all about their picks, dark horses and what sort of game is need to do well at Carnoustie. 

The Panel

Andrew Cotter Peter Allis Iain Carter
BBC Television Commentator Voice of Golf BBC Golf Correspondent
cotter allis carter

What attributes do you need to tame Carnoustie?

AC: No different attributes to other Majors – accuracy off the tee to avoid the sand and a great putting week. Perhaps above all patience, as it is the kind of course which will certainly bite even the best at some point.

PA: Skill, nerve and temperament. Attack and defend and keep a clear head. You need that to win any of the Majors.

IC: Ball striking is the key component, but so is a strategic mind and patience. Carnoustie poses questions; there are times to go for it and there are times when players need to play for position. Get those processes wrong and scorecards can be wrecked very quickly.

Why is Carnoustie such a special Open venue? 

AC: It is probably the toughest course on the rota, but it's a fair one. And though it hasn't held many Opens they've all been memorable: Hogan's greatest year to Watson's first, the demise of Van de Velde and Harrington v Garcia in 2007.

PA: You can compare Carnoustie with Muirfield for difficulty. At both you can see all the trouble - there are no hidden traps. Very dangerous OB and water hazards, plus very punishing bunkers. Allied to wind it adds up to a monster.

IC: It is such a demanding course, arguably the toughest on the rota. The weather will determine just how difficult it plays, but whatever the conditions, the closing stretch of holes always generate memorable moments. The 18th is the Open's most dramatic finishing hole.

Who are the main contenders?

AC: People who've played well on links courses in the past. I would always look at Jordan Spieth in an Open and Jason Day is coming back to his best. I'd be interested to see how Jon Rahm gets on as well given his win at Portstewart in the Irish Open last year.

PA: Usually the bookmakers are right. You can bet in their top 15 more than likely you'll find the winner (see below for the bookmakers current top 15). 

IC: Sergio Garcia came desperately close in 2007 and is now better equipped to close out a Major; Justin Rose has the mental fortitude; Jordan Spieth is capable of a successful title defence and Justin Thomas is ready to challenge for his first Open title.

Who are your dark horses? 

AC: No idea! What about a good run from Paul Dunne again after his efforts at St Andrews in 2015? Decent finish at the Dunhill last year and showing some pretty useful form recently. Feels at home on a links.

PA: South Africa has produced some great players over the years and continues to do so. Tiger Woods - does he have another Major in him? Worth an each-way bet.

ICTommy Fleetwood set the course record at last year's Dunhill Links Championship, and has the game for a windy links. I also like Branden Grace and Xander Schauffele.

Finally, who's your money on? 

AC: Might as well stick a pin in the starting sheet as listen to me. Let's go with Spieth to defend. Hitting the ball well enough and may welcome the change of slower links greens.

PA: I'm trying to find another surprise winner, another Paul Lawrie or Louis Oosthuizen...

ICSergio Garcia. He has unfinished business with Carnoustie and a game made for the Open.

Who are the bookies favourites? Current Top 15...

Dustin Johnson: 12/1

Justin Rose: 14/1

Rickie Fowler: 16/1

Rory McIlroy: 16/1

Jon Rahm: 18/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 18/1

Jordan Spieth: 201

Brooks Koepka: 22/1

Justin Thomas: 25/1

Tiger Woods: 25/1

Alex Noren: 28/1

Francesco Molinari 28/1

Henrik Stenson: 28/1

Sergio Garcia: 28/1

Jason Day: 30/1

1

Others Cotter, Allis and Carter suggested...

Branden Grace: 40/1
Paul Dunne: 100/1
Xander Schauffele: 100/1