The British Open is the oldest of the four major golf championships and takes place in mid-July. The Open is the most popular golf betting event in the UK, rivaled only by the Ryder Cup and the US Masters.
The British Open is the only major championship to take place outside of the United States. The Grand Slam season starts with the US Masters in April with the US Open taking place in June. The British Open follows with the US PGA Championship completing the four majors in August.
The 147th Open takes place at Carnoustie in Scotland from 19th to 22nd July 2018 with Jordan Spieth defending his title. There are some tremendous bookmaker offers for both new and existing customers during the Open. Here is our guide to the leading contenders and a few helpful tips to make your golf betting both enjoyable and profitable!
British Open History
The first British Open was held in 1860 at Prestwick with Willie Park Senior defeating Old Tom Morris. The original “trophy” was a red leather belt known as the Challenge Belt which was replaced by the Claret Jug in 1873.
The event gradually expanded with Walter Hagen becoming the first American winner in 1922. The late Peter Thomson became the first Australian to win the event in 1954 and would go on to add a further four titles. South African Gary Player (1959, 1968 and 1974), Arnold Palmer (1961 and 1962) and Jack Nicklaus (1966 and 1970) became established as “The Big Three” with only Tony Jacklin (1969) breaking the domination of overseas players.
In more recent times, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros (1979, 1984 and 1988) helped to make golf more appealing to a younger audience with his buccaneering style of play. American Tom Watson (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983) was a five-times Open Champion. He almost claimed a sixth title in 2009 when, aged 59, he was only denied victory in a play-off by compatriot Stewart Cink. Nick Faldo (1987, 1990 and 1992) won three times for England and American Tiger Woods (2000, 2005 and 2006) also claimed three British Open titles.
2018 British Open Leading Contenders
Jordan Spieth will inevitably be among the favourites at Carnoustie with a victory and a top four finish in his last three Open Championship appearances. Spieth overcame a final round wobble at Royal Birkdale to beat Matt Kuchar by three strokes.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is a very popular figure in the UK and will also be heavily supported. He won the Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014, missed the event in 2015 through injury, finished fifth in 2016 and fourth in 2017.
Dustin Johnson was tied second with Phil Mickelson behind Darren Clarke in 2011. He won his first major in the US Open in 2016 and finished third in that event recently. Brooks Koepka retained his US Open at Shinnecock Hills at the expense of England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Justin Rose burst on to the golfing scene when fourth in the Open as an amateur in 1998. He is yet to match that effort as a professional but has finished twelfth and tenth in the season’s first two majors. Jon Rahm of Spain and Justin Thomas of America are seeking their first major victories after moving rapidly up the world rankings.
The last time The Open was played at Carnoustie, the title was won by Padraig Harrington after defeating Sergio Garcia in a play-off. Garcia has since won his first major at the US Masters and will be a popular each-way bet again this year.
British Open Outright Winner Betting
There is an outright winner market for the British Open all year round with the British bookmakers. As soon as the final putt drops this year, a fresh market will be created for the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
With over 150 players set to compete, the bookmakers can afford to make some great offers for golf punters. On most Tour events, each-way betting goes down to fifth place at one-quarter of the odds. For the British Open, some bookmakers will pay out down to eighth place! With the favourite usually at around 10-1, this makes each-way betting much more appealing.
Always check the odds comparison sites before placing your outright winner bets. As well as the enhanced place odds, you can get a wide variety in the odds available on individual players. For example, Adam Scott is 33-1 with one leading UK bookmaker but can be backed at twice the odds elsewhere!
If one of your selections is still in contention on the final day, don’t be afraid to bet against him. You can back another player that you see as a big danger and still make a good profit, should either player win the tournament.
Match and Three-Ball Betting at The Open
Bookmakers create markets for every three-ball group on day 1 and day 2 plus match betting over the final two rounds. This can be a profitable market, especially if you are right up-to-date with the latest golf results. You may know of a player that is badly out of form or recovering from an injury. There could be a way to profit if he comes up against an opponent who is enjoying a good run of form. You can also link match bets in doubles, trebles and accumulators.
Live Betting at The British Open
Once play gets under way, the odds can change dramatically. A player can go from a complete outsider to favourite within the space of three or four holes. They can also fall out of contention with one very bad hole. You need access to a reliable service, either via TV or the Internet. Keep an eye on the notorious British weather during the event. Sometimes the weather can change dramatically between the early starters and those going out late in the afternoon. Players who have posted a good score in benign conditions will be very difficult to peg back if the weather deteriorates.
Faster Internet and the expansion of mobile apps mean that you can bet “live” on The Open while you are on the go. Most apps now provide live video feed, scores and statistics. There are numerous special offers to new customers registering via the app. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions carefully as there are usually time restrictions for placing your free bets.
British Open Golf Special Bets
There are plenty of special bets on offer prior to the start of the golf tournament. You can back any golfer for a Top Five, Top Ten or Top Twenty finish. The odds are considerably shorter than to win outright. Alternative markets include “Top GB and Ireland Golfer” and “Top American Golfer”, entirely separate markets with their own each-way terms. For the more adventurous punter, there are prices for a hole in one and spread betting on the winning score or the score for the cut at the end of round two.
There is also a market to predict the first round leader. The leading players are far less concerned with leading on day one than they are with remaining in contention. Don’t be surprised to see some surprise names on the leaderboard over the first two days. With so many markets to choose from, you can have fun betting on The British Open from the opening round to the final putt!
Content Authored by Harvey Mayson