The 150th Open Championship: McIlroy Favourite As Golf Returns Home

The Open returns to the Old Course for the first time in seven years
06:55, 10 Jul 2022

Words fail to describe the beauty of Scottish links golf. Greens the size of islands, filled with twists and turns, ambushed by pot bunkers that seem impossible to escape once you’re in. One gust of wind could be the difference between finding a green in regulation or ending up trapped in the thick rough that hides your ball from you. 

And out of all the links courses in Scotland, St Andrews’ Old Course reigns supreme. The first rounds of golf were played at the ‘Grand Old Lady’ in the 15th century, and is the home of the R&A (Royal & Ancient) that governs the sport around the world. 

A favourite of the best golfers, including Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer, this year’s Open is a special anniversary and is set to be the most attended competition in the history of the tournament. 

Where: Old Course, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

When: July 14th-17th, 2022

Prize Money: $11.5 million prize purse, winner to receive $2.07 million (Increased by 22%)

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How To Watch: Live coverage of the event will be provided by Sky Sports from 6:30am on Thursday and Friday (14th & 15th). Saturday’s coverage starts at 9am and Sunday’s at 8am. Rounds are expected to finish by 6pm, but that can change depending on weather conditions and general play. 

Highlights are available on the Sky Sports website & app, BBC Sport and YouTube.

The Course: St Andrews needs no introduction. From the famous Swilken Bridge, to the amphitheatre crowds that sit around the fairways, everything about the course is iconic, but it’s also a very hard course. 

The greens are massive, and three-putting is common if you don’t fly the ball right at the pin. The weather conditions up in Fife are dangerous, as seen so far at the Scottish Open, with greenkeepers having to spray the bunkers so the sand isn’t displaced by the 40+mph winds. 

Every hole tells a story, every bunker has a name and every inch is packed with fabled tales of those who played before. This is the course where legends are made.

Collin Morikawa Was Victorious At Royal St George's Last Year
Collin Morikawa Was Victorious At Royal St George's Last Year

Defending Champion: Collin Morikawa returns to the UK to defend his crown, after a stellar weekend at Royal St George’s last year where he scored a 15 under par victory, two shots ahead of the competition. 

Since his victory, he earned a third place medal at the Tokyo Olympics, won three times in the USA’s Ryder Cup masterclass at Whistling Straits and won the DP World Tour Championship to become the first American to win the European Tour’s Race To Dubai order of merit. 

His best performance this year saw him finish second at the Genesis Invitational behind Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, and has finished fifth twice at the Masters and last month’s US Open. 

Who’s Playing: With the big story of the year focussing around the emergence of LIV Golf, it was wondered whether those that abandoned the traditional tour’s would be allowed to continue playing the major tournaments that aren’t run by the PGA or DP World Tour. The R&A confirmed that they will be able to play the Old Course as long as they’ve qualified like they would every year. This means we won’t miss the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen. 

The usual suspects are expected, with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas leading the next generation of PGA Tour stars so far this season amid the LIV Golf dilemma that will no doubt have gone through the minds of everyone on the tour. 

The big news of the weekend will be that Tiger Woods will be playing. He gave the US Open a miss last month so he could have a pop at what he considers to be his favourite course, and it could be the last time he ever gets to play it in competitive golf. The fairy tale story is always there for Tiger, however his knee injury seemed to provide problems at Augusta earlier in the year, so hopefully his extended break between competitions will provide him with the energy to play well. 

Selected Odds:

Rory McIlroy: 9/1 (Fav)

Scottie Scheffler: 14/1

Jon Rahm: 14/1

Justin Thomas: 16/1 

Matt Fitzpatrick: 20/1

Collin Morikawa: 20/1

Tiger Woods: 55/1

Schedule:

Monday 11th - Wednesday 13th: Practice Rounds from 7am

Thursday 14th: Round One from 7am

Friday 15th: Round Two from 7am

Saturday 16th: Round Three from 7am

Sunday 17th: Round Four from 7am

Betfred's Open Championship 2022 Outright Winner Odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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