This time of year is fun for everyone, but few will be having a better time than golf fans this weekend. Thursday marks the beginning of the 151st installment of the Open Championship, also known as the Open and the British Open, at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Merseyside, England. The oldest tournament in the sport, the Open brings together dozens of the best golfers in the world with one common goal: Hoisting the Claret Jug.
Last year’s Open saw Australian Cameron Smith finish -20 to best Cameron Young at St. Andrews’ Old Course. Smith enters this year’s Open with +1600 odds to win, a feat which would make him the first back-to-back Open champion since Tiger Woods in 2005 and ’06.
The usual suspects sit in front of Smith: 2014 Open winner Rory McIlroy (+700), fresh off a big win at the Genesis Scottish Open; world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+800), who seems to finish top 10 in every tournament he plays at this point; and Jon Rahm, who has won four tourneys this year including the Masters.
Let’s take a look at the full 2023 Open Championship odds, then pick our best bets and top sleepers to win. We will then review the design and layout of Royal Liverpool GC, look over the weather forecast for the weekend, and list the prestigious group of past Open Championship winners.
Open Championship odds 2023
Rory McIlroy (+700) sitting atop the Open Championship odds board on BetMGM should surprise nobody. He won the last Open at Royal Liverpool back in 2014 and just finished a win at the Scottish Open with consecutive birdies on the final two holes. He’s a four-time major champion, but he has not won a major since the PGA Championship in ’14.
Also not surprising, Scottie Scheffler (+800) sits right behind McIlroy for best odds to lift the Claret Jug. The No. 1 golfer in the world has put together a terrific season, finishing top 12 in every event except his first start of the season. He has 15 top-10 finishes and an unfathomable seven straight in the top five.
McIlroy and Scheffler are the only golfers with shorter than 10-1 odds to take home the Open trophy, but Jon Rahm (+1200) isn’t too far behind. Rahm has been a bit more boom-or-bust, winning the Masters and three other starts this season but also finishing T31 or worse five different times. Most recently, Rahm missed the cut at the Travelers Championship in late June.
As we mentioned earlier, reigning Open champ Cameron Smith (+1600) has the fourth-shortest odds to win, with fellow LIV golfer and 2023 PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka (+2000) not far behind. Koepka has five majors throughout his illustrious career.
Six other golfers sit at 25-1 or better ahead of Thursday, all of whom have enjoyed strong play in 2023: Viktor Hovland (+2000), Rickie Fowler (+2200), Tommy Fleetwood (+2200), Patrick Cantlay (+2500), Tyrrell Hatton (+2500), and Xander Schauffele (+2500).
Below is the full odds board for the top golfers in this year’s Open Championship. Only competitors with odds of 300-1 or better to win the tournament are listed. Odds are subject to change as the tournament draws nearer.
Odds courtesy of BetMGM. Click HERE to sign up!
|Min Woo Lee||+6600|
|Si Woo Kim||+12500|
|Jose Luis Ballester||+100000|
|Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira||+100000|
Open Championship 2023: Expert picks
Below is a breakdown of the best candidates to consider betting on from this year’s Open Championship field. Feel free to bet any of these golfers as potential winners, but understand that some make for better top-10 finish wagers or DFS value picks.
Meanwhile, some of the sleeper candidates will be high-quality plays in SuperDraft lineups. SuperDraft allows DFS players to select any six golfers they want in their tournament lineup, but the longer shots to win the tournament come with multipliers that increase their total fantasy points scored.
Open Championship 2023: Best bets to win tournament
As boring as it sounds, we can’t get away from Rory McIlroy (+700) as the best bet to win it all this weekend. He’s one of the nine golfers in the field of 156 who has played this course, and he just so happened to win it in 2014. He’s also coming off a dominant showing at the Genesis Scottish Open, having carded 22 total birdies and one eagle throughout the weekend. After a bumpy Round 1, McIlroy bogeyed just five total holes between Rounds 2 and 4. Royal Liverpool is tailor-made for McIlroy’s skill set, with a unique combination of elite power, precision, and mental focus.
Of course, Scottie Scheffler (+800) is a fantastic bet to win any complex course these days and an even better bet to finish in the top 10. The OWGR No. 1 has been masterful from tee-to-green, and like McIlroy, he saves himself from trouble with effortless ease. Simply put, if and when Scheffler turns it on with the putter, he could go on a rampage to finish the year. He ranks No. 1 in SG:OTT and SG:APP, No. 6 in SG:ARG, and in the top 10 in scrambling.
Open Championship value picks, top 10 finish picks, SuperDraft & DFS lineups
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Brooks Koepka (+2000), one of the best major competitors of the 21st century. His 2023 PGA Championship victory marked his fifth career major championship, and he has finished top-10 at 14 of the past 22 major championships he has played. We would take Koepka at +2000 over Jon Rahm (+1200), simply based on percentage of fairways hit.
We also love Xander Schauffele (+2500) as a value pick, as his efficient driver and strong short game should serve him well this weekend. Schauffele ranks sixth on the TOUR in SG:APP and among the top 15 in scrambling and putting (SG:Putting). Like Koepka, Schauffele has a clutch gene when it comes to majors. He has finished in the top 10 in six of his past seven U.S. Opens and has two T2s and a T3 to his name in past major appearances.
Another strong value bet is Jordan Spieth (+3300), a strong across-the-board golfer. Spieth ranks among the top 10 on TOUR in scrambling, approach from 150-175 yards, long drives, and putting from nine feet or more. He also excels at par-5 scoring, so he should make plenty of noise on this massive course.
Open Championship sleeper picks
Our favorite sleeper for this weekend is Keegan Bradley (+10000), a superb ball-striker who always seems to step up in majors. He’s a well-rounded competitor with tremendous driving and approach efficiency, fantastic par-save scrambling, and an underrated putter. He should be way shorter than +10000.
We also like Denny McCarthy (+12500), a superb short-game player and the best putter on TOUR. He’s finished in the top 10 in three of his past four tournaments and looking extremely confident coming into this major. His world-class putter makes him a contender every weekend, but his improved tee-to-green game this season makes him a dark horse to win it all at Royal Liverpool this Sunday. At the least, consider betting him to finish in the top 10 or 20.
Sporting News will be releasing a more fleshed-out list of sleepers, values bets, and long shots as we get closer to the Open, so keep an eye out!
Open Championship 2023 course breakdown: Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Royal Liverpool GC seems like a perfect venue for the Open Championship, as it serves as one of the oldest and most respected clubs in England. Also known as “Hoylake,” for the town it’s located in along the Wirral Peninsula in the northwest county of Merseyside, the course is known for hilly fairways, deep bunkers, and fast-running greens. With some rain and gusty conditions (which we’ll talk about soon), this seaside course should present the field of 156 golfers with quite a challenging weekend.
Dating back to 1869, Royal Liverpool is the second-oldest seaside course in England. The club actually sits about 30 minutes west of Liverpool, and its breathtaking waterfront views make it one of the most picturesque locations for a major championship. At 7,341 yards, the par-72 also stands among the longest courses to host The Open Championship.
The course itself is relatively flat for the most part, however, it’s far from standard. In fact, it’s almost circular by design. How it plays will depend largely on the conditions. In 2006 when Tiger Woods won the Open at Royal Liverpool, it was dry and yellow. In ’14 when McIlroy won, it was soft and green.
As usual, the rough at the Open will be thick and dangerous. Accurate ball-strikers and players with strong approach games will likely be the ones standing out of the pack, but elite scrambling skills will be put to the test, as well. Golf bettors will want to pinpoint players from the field with strong fairway hit percentages, greens in regulation percentages (GIR percentage), strokes gained off the tee (SG:OTT), and strokes gained on approach (SG:APP) when making their wagers.
Of course, players like Scheffler can more than make up for rough stretches with the driver or putter with efficient around-the-green play (SG:ARG). Scheffler’s short game has been outstanding all year, despite his flat-stick continuing to let him down on putts over five feet. If the world No. 1 can turn some three-puts into two-putts and two-putts into one-putts, he could cruise to the second major championship and first Open Championship of his career.
Open Championship 2023: Weather forecast
Located on England’s northwest coast, Royal Liverpool GC is no stranger to high winds — and this weekend will be no exception. Gusts are expected between 20 and 25 miles per hour throughout the opening day on Thursday, with a chance of brief showers in the morning and then dry conditions the rest of the day with the temperature around 16°c (61°F). Friday will be no different, with chances of early rain and gusts between 16 and 20 miles per hour but mostly sunny conditions throughout the day and temps around 15°c (59°F).
Saturday could bring the most challenging conditions, with light showers likely throughout the day but temperatures consistent with Thursday and Friday. Gusts on Saturday will be coming from the west-southwest at about 20 miles per hour. Sunday will similarly feature light rain throughout the day, particularly into the late morning and early afternoon. The final round should be less breezy, though, with west-southwest gusts blowing around 10-14 miles per hour.
Open Championship past winners
Here is a look at every winner of The Open Championship since World War II. As we mentioned earlier, Cameron Smith is the most recent champion, having shot -20 at Old Course at St. Andrews last year. Collin Morikawa won the major in 2021, shooting -15 at Royal St. George’s. The ’20 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|2022||Cameron Smith||St. Andrews||-20|
|2021||Collin Morikawa||Royal St. George’s||-15|
|2019||Shane Lowry||Royal Portrush||-15|
|2017||Jordan Spieth||Royal Birkdale||-12|
|2016||Henrik Stenson||Royal Troon||-20|
|2015||Zach Johnson||St. Andrews||-15|
|2012||Ernie Els||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||-7|
|2011||Darren Clarke||Royal St. George’s||-5|
|2010||Louis Oosthuizen||St Andrews||-16|
|2008||Padraig Harrington||Royal Birkdale||+3|
|2006||Tiger Woods||Royal Liverpool||-18|
|2005||Tiger Woods||St. Andrews||-14|
|2001||David Duval||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||-10|
|2000||Tiger Woods||St. Andrews||-19|
|1998||Mark O’Meara||Royal Birkdale||E|
|1997||Justin Leonard||Royal Troon||-12|
|1996||Tom Lehman||Royal Lytham & St Annes||-13|
|1995||John Daly||St. Andrews||-6|
|1993||Greg Norman||Royal St. Georges, Sandwich||-13|
|1991||Ian Baker-Finch||Royal Birkdale||-8|
|1990||Nick Faldo||St. Andrews||-18|
|1989||Mark Calcavecchia||Royal Troon||-13|
|1988||Seve Ballesteros||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||-11|
|1985||Sandy Lyle||Royal St. Georges, Sandwich||+2|
|1984||Seve Ballesteros||St Andrews||-12|
|1983||Tom Watson||Royal Birkdale||-9|
|1982||Tom Watson||Royal Troon||-4|
|1981||Bill Rogers||Royal St. Georges, Sandwich||-4|
|1979||Seve Ballesteros||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||-1|
|1978||Jack Nicklaus||St. Andrews||-7|
|1976||Johnny Miller||Royal Birkdale||-9|
|1974||Gary Player||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||-2|
|1973||Tom Weiskopf||Royal Troon||-12|
|1971||Lee Trevino||Royal Birkdale||-10|
|1970||Jack Nicklaus||St. Andrews||283|
|1969||Tony Jacklin||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||280|
|1967||Roberto de Vicenzo||Hoylake||278|
|1965||Peter Thomson||Royal Birkdale||285|
|1964||Tony Lema||St. Andrews||279|
|1963||Bob Charles||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||277|
|1960||Kel Nagle||St. Andrews||278|
|1958||Peter Thomson||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||278|
|1957||Bobby Locke||St. Andrews||279|
|1955||Peter Thomson||St. Andrews||281|
|1952||Bobby Locke||Royal Lytham & St. Annes||287|
|1951||Max Faulkner||Royal Portrush||285|
|1946||Sam Snead||St. Andrews||290|