So here it is, after two long years in waiting, the countdown is almost over for the longest running golf tournament in the world, The 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Kent, England.
It’s the final major on the golfing calendar and always a test for the world's golfing elite as they aim to hold up the famous Claret Jug on Sunday evening.
With last year’s tournament cancelled, Shane Lowry will return to defend his title which he won back in 2019. The popular Irishman will be aiming to do what not many have accomplished. In fact the only post-war players to successfully defend the Claret Jug are Peter Thomson 1954/55, Arnold Palmer 1961/62, Lee Trevino 1971/72 , Tom Watson 1982/83 , Tiger Woods 2005/06 and finally Padraig Harrington 2007/08.
This week the 156 field will be competing on this stunning but tricky par 70 links course for the $11.5M prize money with the winner receiving the Claret Jug and a cool $2.07M.
The 149th Open Championship will be screened live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf with coverage starting much earlier this week for the early birds from 6.30am GMT on Thursday morning. There is also added bonus coverage available pre-tournament during the day right up until the tournament begins on Sky Sports.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm throughout with only moderate breezes to contend with.
Top of the Leaderboard
Before I continue , I’m just going to post an update on how well my tips have faired since the beginning of the year. I’m not one for boasting about winners etc but, after all, I am a tipster so no harm to inform you all that we are in profit to the tune of around £3,000 to just £10 stakes!
It obviously helps when singling out winners such as Stewart Cink at 150/1, Antoine Rozner 28/1, Rory McIlroy 20/1, Garrick Higgo 16/1, Dustin Johnson 8/1 and Viktor Hovland 6/1 to name but a few, with far too many other Each Way places to mention.
I’ve always said that as long as I can help this amazing community at MFT then long may it continue. I’ll take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for all the kind messages, it’s what makes it all worthwhile.
So let’s move on with this weeks selections for The 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s.
For my first pick and my main selection I’m going to single out and advise Brooks Koepka 18/1 EW Bet365.
The 31 yrs old from Florida is simply a major machine and as much as I want to look for value, the fact of the matter is, I simply cannot ignore the form book that Brooks brings to the table especially at majors.
He just seems to be so motivated and raises his game even more when playing majors and takes it to another level. Ranked inside the Top 10 best golfers on the planet, currently No8, the talented American comes to Royal St George’s in fine fettle and I just feel he will shine yet again at this tricky track.
I’ll start off with majors before moving onto his PGA Tour form; At the US Open at Torrey Pines just a few weeks back Koepka finished T4th and just a few weeks before that at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island he finished an even better T2nd.
Now forgive me but I’m only beginning here, let’s forget about the missed cut at The Masters this year as Brooks just had major knee surgery but at the delayed Masters in November he finished T7th, these are all Top 10 finishes with the world's best golfers in attendance.
Now let’s step it up a notch shall we? In 2018 he won the 100th edition of The PGA Championship then went on to successfully defend his title in 2019. In 2017 he won The US Open and yet again he went on to successfully defend that crown in 2018. Can you see where I’m coming from when I say that this guy is a major machine?
Now let’s get back to his PGA Tour form. In the few events Brooks has played due to his knee surgery and recovery, he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open, finished runner-up at the WGC Workday Championship at The Concession and at his last tournament he finished T5th at The Travelers Championship.
Let’s get back to majors, in the last 15 majors he has played, Koepka had won four of them, that’s almost a third of what he played in, absolutely phenomenal and in that stretch when not winning, he has eleven Top 10 finishes, on three of those occasions he finished runner up.
Can you see where I’m going with this yet? I think it’s fair to say that Brooks Koepka is the king of kings when it comes to majors and I’m backing him to be on his throne once again with the Claret Jug in hand on his way to that fifth major in such a short space of time for what would be a truly remarkable achievement.
Can I rest my case now? Back Brooks at 18/1 EW and with 10 places available with most firms your sure to get some kind of return.
For my next selection I’m going to advise, you all know he’s my favourite, yes it’s the one and only, our very own Rory McIlroy 20/1 EW Betfair.
The 32 yrs old Irishman from Holywood would probably be the most popular winner at Royal St George’s this week but it’s going to be tough and take some effort from Rory.
His form, it’s fair to say, is probably still up and down at the moment so I hope my heart isn’t ruling my head on this one but I’m more than willing to put my neck on the line.
I said Rory would be back with a bang only a matter of weeks ago and he certainly never let me down on that one when winning as predicted the Wells Fargo Championship. It just had to happen just as I said it would.
Rory's best finish since then was a very respectable 7th place at The US Open at Torrey Pines and a top 20 finish at The Memorial Tournament so the signs are there that he’s back on it after having issues with his swing. However, he seems to have fixed those issues with the help of Pete Cowan, one of the best coaches in the business I may add.
I’m willing to forget about McIlroy's missed cut at The Scottish Open last week in preparation for this week's Open Championship where I’m sure he would be the first to admit, he was poor. But this is a totally different ball game this week and McIlroy who is sitting just outside the world's Top 10 best ranked golfers at No.11 can put last week's effort behind him and show us all once again what he is more than capable of and follow up on his success from 2014 when he won The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake.
I for sure will be roaring on Rory once again and I’m sure many of you will be joining me.
For my next selection I’m going to look for some good old value and for that reason I can’t think of anyone better than Harris English 70/1 EW Bet365.
The 31 yrs old American comes here fresh from his victory at the Travelers Championship and at his tournament before that success he finished a more than respectable 3rd at The US Open, the year before he was 4th at the same named event.
I’m always trying to look out for when the firms may have overpriced a player in the markets and this is definitely the case with Harris English this week.
Already with two wins on the PGA Tour this year, the other being the Sentry Tournament of Champions, I feel English will almost certainly give us a decent run for our money at a tidy and overpriced 70/1.
He is ranked at No.12 in the world and I just cannot ever understand why so many in this field who aren’t anywhere near English in the rankings are priced up at less than half his odds, it just doesn’t make sense but here I’m not complaining.
That’s when the value comes into play and remember The Open has a history of producing high value winners with Harris English being no exception. English has played in five Open Championships and made the cut on all attempts bar one, that’s an accomplishment in itself with his best finish being a not to shabby 15th at Muirfield in 2013.
He lives and plays his golf at Sea Island where 2015 Open winner Zachary Johnson resides so could be a pointer.
English has made 17 cuts in 20 attempts in majors so making the weekend shouldn’t be a problem, so for that reason I’m also going to include him for a Top 20 finish at 14/5 with bet365.
Having finished 3rd , 4th and 21st or better in his previous five majors then a Top 20 finish is more than a realistic possibility if not winning outright. I just feel that the firms once again are way way out here when pricing up English and with most firms offering ten places then just an Each Way place would return a tidy profit.
I can only see English contending once again on the back nine at Sunday’s final round so take the 70/1 while it’s available.
Brooks Koepka v Bryson De Chambeau
For my final selection it’s the customary 72-hole matchbet and I’m going for my main selection Brooks Koepka to get the better of Bryson De Chambeau 10/11 Nap Betfair.
My reasoning behind this is with so much trouble if not sticking to the fairways, this could mean lots of trouble for Bryson to contend with.