Article written

  • on 16.07.2013
  • at 08:19 PM
  • by KT

Open Championship 2013 – Preview & Tips

Held on the third weekend of July, The Open Championship is the 3rd Major of the calendar year with this year’s renewal being held at Muirfield for the first time since 2002.

Muirfield is a coastal links course and will play host to the Open for the 15th time in 2013. It is somewhat of an unusual course to tame as it is said to pose a different wind direction on each hole, so accuracy is a key trait when looking for any potential winner.

We have tipped up 2 of the last 6 Major winners (Bubba Watson at 55/1 and Justin Rose at 28/1) so lets hope we can follow that up with another winner this week.

The Trends

Before we assess the chances of the likely contenders lets take a brief look at some of the key stats/trends of previous Open winners:

– 9 of the last 10 winners had a top 10 finish in the previous 6 months (ie that calendar year).
– 6 of the last 10 winners won a PGA our European Tour event in the previous 12 months.
– 7 of the last 8 winners had a top 10 at a Major.
– Since 1960, 51 of the 52 winners have ALL won a Tour event prior to their Open victory.
– 18 of 19 non-US winners since 1970 had made four (or more) previous Open appearances (95%)
– 31 of the last 42 winner have previously recorded a top 10 finish at the US Open and 28 had recorded a top five finish

It is also a myth that American players struggle on links courses; in fact 11 of the last 18 Open Championship winners winners have been from the USA so that is where we will start our preview.

The Contenders

Tiger Woods comes into the event as favourite, but at odds of around just 10/1 we are looking to take him on given the conditions, his recent Major form and his ongoing elbow injury. Instead we’ll be looking for a little more value further down the betting.

South African Ernie Els is the reigning champion and lifted the Claret Jug the last time the Open was held here. He as has seen somewhat of a revival over the last year or two and has to be considered to win his 3rd Open Championship, but again, there is probably more value to be had.

When looking at the American players you would be foolish to discount Dustin Johnson (50/1). He tied 2nd at Royal Lytham in 2011 and has already won on the PGA Tour this year, tasting victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions back in January. He has been pretty inconsistent since then but has been focused on preparing himself for this event since the US Open and has a great chance if coming here in good shape.

Brandt Snedeker (40/1) on the other hand has been a model of consistency on the PGA Tor this year, posting 7 Top 10 finishes from 14 events. He did miss a couple of cuts prior to the US Open, but returned to form with a T7 finish in the AT&T National at the back end of June. He will be looking to build on his T3 from last year and has the all-round game and temperament to go close.

Another American in great form is Matt Kuchar (50/1), who has made the cut in all 14 events he has played this year, notching up a couple of wins along the way. If he holes a few early putts he could be in contention come the weekend and improve on his T9 last year.

In terms of the British & Irish contingent, we will be looking beyond Rory McIlroy who has struggled on links courses, and Justin Rose, who hasn’t made the Top 10 in an Open Championship since his debut in 1998.

Instead we’ll be taking a chance on Graeme McDowell (25/1) to follow up on last years fifth place. He had a poor final round and was left thinking ‘what if’ on that occasion, but he is a Major winner and could excel in the blustery conditions. G-Mac has been in good form this year, winning 2 Tour events from the 8 he has played in, as well as posting a couple of additional Top 10 finishes.

South Africans have won 2 of the last 3 Open Championships and if you are looking for a big price for some each-way value you could do worse than Thomas Aiken (250/1) who won the Avantha Masters earlier this year and has finished T7 (2012) and T8 (2009) in previous Open Championships.

He is also 22/1 to be top South African too, which looks a tough ask on paper, but might represent a bit of value should Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and co. struggle.

The Offers

Bet Victor are paying 8 places on each-way bets [More Info »]
SkyBet are offering a £10 free bet (no deposit) for new customers [More Info »]
Bet365 are paying 7 places on each-way bets [More Info »]
Paddy Power are paying 7 places on each-way bets [More Info »]
Ladbrokes will refund all losing Outright bets if the Open is won by an Englishman [More Info »]
Unibet will refund all losing Outright bets if the Open is won by Woods or Rose [More Info »]

The Bets

Outright

Graeme McDowell E/W – 25/1 (Bet Victor – 8 places)
Brandt Snedeker E/W – 40/1 (Bet Victor – 8 places)
Matt Kuchar E/W – 45/1 (Paddy Power – 7 places)
Dustin Johnson E/W – 45/1 (Paddy Power – 7 places)

Specials

Top South African – Thomas Aiken E/W – 22/1 (Coral – 1/5, 3 places)
Top Englishman – Lee Westwood – 10/3 (Coral)

Free Bet Competition

Don’t forget to enter our Open Championship Tournament, in which you could win a £50 free bet for making 5 correct Yes/No Open Championship predictions.
[Enter Now »]

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