british open

The British Open is back after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

As originally planned in 2019, the venue will be Royal St Georges Golf Club on the south-east English coast.

Here’s a full preview of the 149th edition of The Open Championship – plus scroll to the bottom for two of the Golf Insider‘s best-value outright tips.

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2021 British Open: The Tournament

Arguably the most prestigious of the golf Majors (if you ask anybody from the UK!), the tradition, drama and extreme conditions of the Open Championship are beyond doubt. It’s the oldest of the Majors, having started in 1860 and heading into 2021’s renewal there have now been 148 contests to determine the winner of the “Claret Jug” – which is the iconic trophy awarded to each year’s winner.

Custom dictates that the tournament is held on a links course – in other words by the sea – and currently the event is staged each year at one of ten courses which are used in rotation… there are five in Scotland (Troon, Muirfield, Turnberry, Carnoustie and St. Andrews), four in England (Hoylake, Birkdale, Lytham and Sandwich) and one in Northern Ireland (Portrush). A field of 156 golfers are eligible and they are drawn from players who qualify due to their world ranking, past successes in Majors or amateur record, as well as those golfers who make it through local or regional qualifying contests.

Due to its long history the tournament began in a time when international competition was scarce, so it took until1921 to see the first winner from outside the UK. But now from 148 winners you see the champions coming from USA (44), Scotland (41), England (29), South Africa (10), Australia (9), Northern Ireland, Spain (3), plus Argentina, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Zimbabwe & Italy (1 each). The leading individual winners are Harry Vardon (6), James Braid, John Henry Taylor, Peter Thomson & Tom Watson (5 each).

The tournament is held in the week which includes the third Friday of July and, like all the other Majors, the Open Championship is a four round, 72-hole strokeplay tournament. In the event of a tie, players compete in a 4-hole play-off.

2021 British Open: The Course

This year’s tournament sees a delayed return to Royal St Georges in the county of Kent. This is very much a typical links-style course, and one that should pose some serious questions of the players – more so should we experience any poor weather conditions during the week. It has hosted 14 previous Opens, the first of which was in 1894, and the most recent in 2011 – when Darren Clarke lifted the Claret Jug. The course plays 7,206 yards, laid out as a par 70. Many holes feature blind or partially blind shots, although the unfairness element has been reduced somewhat, after several more recent modifications. Little known fact – the course also possesses the deepest bunker in championship golf (4th).

Last 10 Winners & Top 5

2020 Cancelled
2019 Shane Lowry (Fleetwood – Finau – Koepka & Westwood)
2018 Francesco Molinari (Kisner – McIlroy, Rose & Schauffele)
2017 Jordan Spieth (Kuchar – Li – Cabrera-Bello & Garcia)
2016 Henrik Stenson (Mickelson – Holmes – Stricker – Garcia, Hatton & McIlroy)
2015 Zach Johnson (Leishman & Oosthuizen – Day & Spieth)
2014 Rory McIlroy (Fowler & Garcia – Furyk – Leishman & Scott)
2013 Phil Mickelson (Stenson – Poulter, Scott & Westwood)
2012 Ernie Els (Scott – Snedeker & Woods – Donald & McDowell)
2011 Darren Clarke (Mickelson & Johnson – Bjorn – Kim, Fowler & Campbell)

2021 British Open: The Field

A standard Major field of 156 players this week. Jon Rahm is the $9.25 market leader with TopSport.

2021 British Open: The Weather

The four-day rain forecast shows a 20% – 10% – 10% – 10% chance of precipitation during the tournament. Temperatures will peak in the low 70s, with partial cloud cover. Wind speeds will be significant (around 15-17mph), but not as bad as had previously been expected.

2021 British Open: The Bets

These are two each-way outright bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.

Jordan Spieth $16 with TopSport
Spieth was the last man to win the Open in England, and with a resurgence in form he should be a major threat this week. This proper links test is ideal for the American who has the creativity and touch around the greens to thrive as there will be plenty of missed greens for even the best tee-to-green merchants this week. Yes, you want to be in the fairway to avoid the gnarly rough and pot bunkers, but with the wind whipping across Royal St. Georges, even the best off the tee will hit some errant shots this week, and those who have the magic around the greens can shine. Spieth’s comeback win was at the Texas Open just seven starts ago, and he followed that up with a 3rd place finish at the US Masters, and has since finished 2nd at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He’s gained strokes off the tee in all of his last seven starts, which for Spieth is unheard of, and a massive positive. He’s also re-discovered his touch on the greens which had deserted him for a while – so there really are no negatives for the multiple Major winner this week. He loves links golf, and the Open Championship, finishing in the Top 10 on three occasions from his last five starts – which includes that win at Royal Birkdale. Spieth is definitely flying somewhat under the radar, and there’s every reason to believe he’ll have a great week. He looks a cracking each-way bet at the odds.

Sergio Garcia $71 with TopSport
Garcia has the experience and game for this week’s test, and the Spaniard’s form has been trending nicely. Form figures of 20-19-17 while not spectacular, do show that his game is in good shape heading in this week, and his underlying ball-striking numbers continue to impress. He’s gained 18 strokes on the field from tee-to-green for these three events, and has also gained strokes putting. Garcia is dynamite from bunkers, and has the perfect skill set to tackle Sandwich this week. He’s played two Opens here, and has finished 10th and 9th, so the Spaniard knows what to expect, and has handled the conditions in the past. He plays a limited schedule these days, mainly targeting the biggest events, so he’ll be well-prepared for this week. Garcia has 10 Open Top 10’s from 23 Open starts, which includes two runner-up finishes and five Top 5s. In short, he loves links golf, he knows how to handle the conditions, and this course, and he continues to play excellent golf most weeks he tees it up. Garcia is an easy addition to the staking plan.

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21

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