Golf: The Open Championship
Venue: Royal Hoylake Golf Club, Liverpool, UK.
Dates: Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd July 2023
The final major of the golfing year is underway in the UK, with the iconic Open Championship at Royal Hoylake, Liverpool consuming the attention of the sporting world. With the infamous Claret Jug on the line, all of the best golfers on the planet are battling it out to get their hands on one of the most iconic prizes in the sport. With a winning alumni that blows the mind, the Open Championship has been contested since 1860 and with over $16 million in the prize pot, there is plenty to play for at Hoylake.
Following an enthralling opening two rounds of action on Thursday and Friday, the cut has been made and there are plenty of big names in the running for glory come Sunday afternoon.
The links course at Hoylake has tested the best golfers in the world this week already and with some interesting weather conditions on the horizon over the weekend, it should be a real test for the whole field:
American Brian Harman has set the pace for the opening two days at Hoylake, and he certainly looks to be the man to catch. His 65 on Friday has left him -10, 5 shots clear of the chasing pack and whilst that is easily overhauled in links golf, Harman looks to be in no mood to give up his title chase.
Based just up the road in Southport, Tommy Fleetwood has long been touted as a future Open Championship winner and he is certainly in contention this weekend. He was steady on Friday, after shooting 5 under on Thursday and he will be ready to pounce if Harman falters.
Being 9 shots back heading into the weekend is always a tall order for any golfer but one player who could overturn that type of deficit is Rory McIlroy. Another links golf expert, he is still buzzing from his Scottish Open win, and he could be one to keep an eye on over the weekend.
Former Open champion Jordan Spieth is enjoying one of the most consistent spells of his career and the American’s versatility is what sets him apart on the PGA tour. He has 8 shots to find to catch Harman, but he is more than capable of stringing a couple of low scores together over the weekend.
Former world number one Jason Day is another man enjoying a good spell, following a couple of barren seasons and he will be relishing being involved at this stage of a major. The Australian is 3 under par heading into the weekend and he will be looking to go as deep as possible.
Austrian Sepp Straka keeps impressing at this level and his performances over the past couple of seasons have seen him push into Ryder Cup contention for Europe. It seems a big ask for him to go all the way here at Hoylake, but he sits alone in 3rd place on the leaderboard currently.
Last year’s Open Championship runner up Cameron Young has recorded top 10 finishes in three of the four majors and he looks to have a game tailor made for links golf. He is 8 shots off the pace currently, but he could certainly sneak under the radar as the weekend progresses.
2023 Open Championship betxchange.com best bet:
Top Pick: Brian Harman – 6/4
Outside Punt: Jordan Spieth – 16/1