Rose, Poulter and Johnson Match Bets at Royal Birkdale

The Open begins on Thursday 20th July.

The Open begins on Thursday 20th July.

The 146th edition of The Open is as wide open as the betting market suggests so one is going to focus on 72-hole matches in an attempt to eke out a profit from the golf tournament.

Bookmakers do not go out of their way to promote 72-hole match betting to punters and there is a reason for that – these markets present punters with superb ways of getting the better of bookmakers. If you do enough research then it is relatively easy to make strong cases for backing one golfer to beat another one close to him in the market.

Rory McIlroy is The Open favourite whom one is most keen to oppose. McIlroy, who won The Open in 2014, has missed back to back cuts in the Irish Open and the Scottish Open leading into the Royal Birkdale event. McIlroy has admitted that he is still playing catch up because of the broken rib that he sustained at the start of the season and he has revealed that his swing is out kilter after struggling in the wind over the past fortnight. McIlroy has been drawn to play alongside Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel in The Open’s first two rounds and, according to the mid-range weather forecast, he is likely to experience the worst of the conditions. So who is one going to back against McIlroy?

Justin Rose is available at odds of -105  with BoyleSports to defeat McIlroy in The Open and that rates as a decent wager. Rose was fourth in the Irish Open two weeks ago so he boasts good recent form on a links course and Royal Birkdale is the venue at which the Olympic Games gold medallist first came to the public’s attention. Rose was 17 years old when, as an amateur, he finished fourth in The Open of 1998. While Rose has blown hot and cold in The Open, he has placed no lower than 23rd in any of the last three editions and he has made the cut in his two Royal Birkdale appearances in the major. Moreover, Rose has drawn the opposite of McIlroy with one’s pick playing early on Thursday and late on Friday.

Ian Poulter polarises people of all persuasions, including punters, but one likes the colourful character at odds of -120  with Winner Sports to beat Matthew Fitzpatrick in The Open.

Poulter was second to Padraig Harrington in The Open of 2008 at Royal Birkdale so he ticks the course form box and he has made the top 10 in three of the last eight editions of The Open in which he has taken part. Poulter placed ninth in last week’s Scottish Open and it has been quite a while since the rent-a-quote golfer missed a weekend of action.

Fitzpatrick has much less experience than Poulter having made his major tournament debut in the 2003 edition of The Open when he placed 44th as the low amateur. Fitzpatrick failed to make the cut in The Open last year and he has missed the weekend in two of his last three tournaments.

Finally, Zach Johnson appeals greatly at odds of -110  with Bwin to perform better than Tyrell Hatton in The Open.

Johnson was fifth in the Scottish Open so he brings strong form to The Open and he has made the cut in each of the last 10 editions of the British biggie, including lifting aloft the Claret Jug in 2015 and posting three top-nine efforts since 2012. If you are looking for an outright bet in The Open at three-digit odds than Johnson is worth considering.

Hatton has made the cut in just three of his nine major tournament starts and Royal Birkdale is very different to Royal Troon, which was The Open course on which he placed fifth in 2016. Hatton will have his supporters but it is hard to rank him as being Johnson’s equal currently.

Tips Summary

Rose to beat McIlroy at The Open
20th July – 23rd July
Odds:  -105

Poulter to beat Fitzpartick at The Open
20th July – 23rd July
Odds:  -120

Johnson to beat Hatton at The Open
20th July – 23rd July
Odds:  -110