2019 148th Open Championship
Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland
2019 has been a historic year in golf majors, from Tiger winning in Augusta to Brooks Koepka winning the PGA at Bethpage 2019 are just two of the reasons why 2019 has already been a year to remember. Without a doubt this year’s Open Championship is the most historic golf event in recent memory and not because of who’s playing or who we predict is going to win, but because for only the second time in 147 years the Open Championship will be held out side of Great Britain. This year’s Open Championship will be held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, home to Rory McIlroy who holds the club record of 61, and Graeme McDowell.
The Course will be played at 7,344 yards at a par of 71. This is a relatively short setup for pros these days, but with rolling hills, blind shots, and dangerous fescue the players will be tested from start to finish. Adding to their challenge will be the notoriously fast changing weather. Portrush is located on the extreme Northeast of the Emerald Isle and is battered by winds blowing directly off the Irish Sea. Conditions will change quickly and players will have to adjust if they hope to stay in the mix while a squall blows through.
With only one major at Royal Portrush played back in 1951, the days where woods were still wood and technology was still in the dark ages, is it impossible to say what kind of score we are looking at this week for the Champion Golfer of the year, but if the last few years of majors has taught us anything it is that these professionals have the ability to score no matter what the weather or course itself presents. Our experts are predicting a winning score of -12 to take the Claret Jug. Jaime Donaldson was able to shoot 18 under par in the 2012 Irish Open held at Royal Portrush, but that was a far less intense tournament with far less pressure. To become the Champion Golfer of the year a player must overcome not only the World’s best field, but also one of the most challenging and technical courses found anywhere in the world.
It is virtually impossible to not be rooting for Rory McIlroy. Yes there was the whole messy break up with Caroline Wozniacki while they were mailing out wedding invitations, but they were young and both have gone on to find success and seemingly happiness. Rory is the hometown kid who once shot a 61 on the course when he was just 16 years old. He is the face of golf on the worldwide stage and is seeking his 5th major and first since winning the Open Championship in 2014. While we will certainly be rooting for Rory, 8-1 just doesn’t offer the kind of value our experts like in such a talented field. Rory’s struggles with the putter are also a huge concern, so we wish him the best of luck, but this year’s Champion Golfer of the Year will be none other than Jordan Spieth at 33-1!
Jordan has had an up and down year so far, but has gained confidence putting as the season has progressed. His lack of distance of the tee will not hurt him on the shorter setup and his short game has never wavered. At 33-1 Jordan offers incredible value for a 3 time Major winner who has shown he has what it takes to on top of the golf world.
Aside from our 33-1 pick for the winner, we love the chances of Eddie Pepperell 80-1, Tommy Fleetwood 25-1 and Louis Oosthuizen 50-1. Fleetwood has been bitten by the “one bad round” in each of his last half dozen majors. If he can avoid the bad day he will be a major threat to lift the Claret Jug.
Top European – Tommy Fleetwood +900
Top South African – Louis Oosthuizen +225
Top American – Jordan Spieth +1200
Top Continental European – Viktor Hovland +2800