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Pittsburgh Golf Now’s Betting Picks for the Open Championship



Here we are the final major of the year, the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. It doesn’t seem that long ago, when Rory McIlroy hoisted the Claret Jug the last time the event was hosted here in 2014. Before Rory won it here it was Tiger Woods winning here in 2006. Both times the course played completely different, just like it will this week. 

As we know links golf can be unpredictable with weather and course conditions, but as of Tuesday night it looks like Royal Liverpool might not be as challenging as people expected. It has been raining consistently all week for the players practice rounds. The course looks like it wont be able to dry up quick enough for the players to experience the firm and fast fairways we are used to seeing for The Open Championship. Without the weather being a factor I think the scores will be lower than we are used to, but this course still has its challenges that all players will have to endure. 

The first thing that stands out to me at Royal Liverpool is how penal it is to miss fairways. The rough is long and out of bounds is in play on almost every single hole. If the players keep it in bounds they will have to look out for the numerous amount of fairway bunkers placed tactically throughout the course. It sounds like most of the fairway bunkers will make players pitch out of them, and have almost no chance of attacking the green from them. Most players will have the dilemma do I try to carry the bunker, or do I lay up and hit a long iron into the green?

I think there will be a clear advantage for the guys that can bomb the ball, but hit it fairly straight. That sounds like basis of golf, I know, but these fairways are tight and driving accuracy will be huge. A lot of pros can bomb it, but can they bomb it with tight fairways and penal rough staring at them?

Second, the greens are small and they play even smaller than they look. There’s tons of runoffs on the greens, and players are going to have to be able to hit the middle of the green or else they will probably be chipping their next shot, and if they aren’t chipping and end up in a pot bunker around the green … good luck!

Lastly, I think it will be very interesting who putts well here. There isn’t a ton of break on these greens and they will be running pretty slow because of the wet and cold weather. 

With all that being said to factor into my bets this week these are the statistics and ideas I’m using the most to combat the conditions at Royal Liverpool and how the course will play:

  • Driving Distance
  • Strokes Gained Off The Tee
  • Strokes Gained Approach 
  • Fairways Hit 
  • Recent Form and playing history at Links Golf courses


Brooks Koepka 18/1

Is it even a major if you aren’t betting Brooks? Some call him the big game hunter and honestly he lives up to the name. Brooks is the best player in Majors the last 5 seasons gaining 153.4 strokes! He is also the best player in majors this season gaining 39.04 strokes. And without even looking at stats we know Brooks always shows up for majors he has 5 major wins and he’s only 33 years old. Other reasons I’m playing Brooks are he fits what we are looking for he can bomb the ball averaging 308 yards a drive and he hits 62% of fairways. His recent form has also bee great since April he has 2 wins, 6 top 5s, and hasn’t finished outside the top 17. I think Brooks’ floor this week is very high. He will not be missing fairways badly enough the extra long rough or out of bounds boundaries will affect. He’s going to be fine around the green as well if he does miss a couple greens. He’s first in the field in his last 24 rounds for strokes gained around the green. And again people it’s a major…. Brooks always shows up! 

Cameron Smith 20/1

Can he go back to back years winning The Open? I think there’s a good chance he can do it. Cam Smith is in great form going into The Open Championship. He won last week in London in LIVs tune up event before The Open Championship. He finished 12th in the event before that, and before that event he finished 4th at the US Open. In his last 7 starts on the LIV Tour his worst finish is 12th. In every other event he has finished in the top 7! Now there is some concerns with Cam this week he can spray the ball off the tee and he’s not the longest hitter, but I think he’s worth a bet. He’s arguably the best player in the world right now. Yes I said that even with Jon Raymond and Scottie Scheffler existing. I think Cams experience on Links golf courses and his unbelievable approach and short game will keep him in contention all week. 

Viktor Hovland 25/1

Guess who’s back, back again? Not its not Eminem. It’s my favorite golfer Viktor Hovland. I know you’re sick of reading all of my compliments to Viktor Hovland, but he’s one of the best players in the world and his game fits this place perfectly. In my model he ranked 3rd overall in every category he ranks inside the top 28th. He ranks 26th on tour for driving distance, 5th in strokes gained off the tee, 15th strokes gained approach, and 28th in fairways gained. Hovland doesn’t spray the ball while still hitting the ball far. He also is so good at his approach shots sticking in the middle of the green. Hovland should be able to dodge most of the biggest challenges on the course and have a real shot of winning this thing. I think it’s only a matter of time before Hovland wins his first major. 

Dustin Johnson 33/1

Dustin Johnson makes the betting card for the first time this year and I know someone is reading asking what year is it? I know Dustin Johnson isn’t in the spotlight as much as he went over to LIV, but he’s having a great year. He finished 10th at the US Open and he’s having a great year on LIV. He has one win this year and just finished 5th in their tune up event in London before the Open Championship. I like DJ this week also because he’s still one of the longest hitters in the field so he can carry a lot of the dangerous pot bunkers and have advantage attacking Royal Liverpool’s greens. Also the last time we saw DJ at the US Open he was striking the ball well, gaining 4.1 strokes off the tee and 3.4 strokes on his approach shots. We haven’t seen him win a major since 2020, but he has a great chance this week. 

Shane Lowry 40/1 

Who doesn’t remember Shane Lowry’s legendary performance at Royal Portrush when the Open returned to Irish soil for the first time since 1951. Can he do it again? I think he has a good chance. We know how well Lowry plays links golf. The Irishman loves it and obviously won in 2019, but there’s also numbers to back it up. He ranks 9th in my model. He ranks 62nd in driving distance, 16th strokes gained off the tee, 16th strokes gained approach, and 18th fairways gained. The only weakness I see is Lowry doesn’t have the distance the other top guys have but his knowledge on links courses and his spectacular approach and short game should have him in contention all weekend. 

(I included two bomb outright picks as well on my card at the bottom of this story, because it’s a major! )


Collin Morikawa | Top 30 | -120

He was so close to being an outright play for me, but I just have a gut feeling he could break my heart this week like he has in the past. Collin has a big variance of being one of the best players on tour, or just being below average and missing a cut. But I have to bet on him this week in some capacity and I love this bet. It would surprise me if he finishes even better than top 30 but I think this is the safest. You get to double your money with him finishing top 30. Another way to bet him would be ladder his placements. Bet him top 40, top 30, and top 20 to win some extra money!

Tommy Fleetwood | Top 20 | +100

Tommy has broken our hearts this year. He’s so close to winning but somehow someway the victory always slips through his hands. Another guy I really wanted to bet on my outright card this week because his game fits so well here, but Tommy has to prove it to me first. I think top 20 is a super-safe bet and one of my favorites for the week. 

Corey Conners | Top 40 | -105

Probably the least-known name on the betting card this week. Corey conners has a win this year at Valero and has played great in his last two tournaments finishing 19th at the Scottish Open and 9th at the Travelers. He also has a great playing history at the Open Championship, finishing 28th in 2022 and 15th in 2021. 

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