Golf: 2019 Open Championship
Venue: Royal Portrush, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Dates: Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st July 2019
The final major of the year gets underway in Northern Ireland with much of the focus centring on local hero Rory McIlroy. The 30 year old in the midst of a relative barren spell, having not won a major in 5 years but he is one of the favourites at his boyhood club at Royal Portrush. With the PGA Championship moving to May this year as part of a calendar reshuffle by the PGA Tour, there is extra emphasis on the Open Championship as the last major of the season with next year’s Masters in April 2020 looking a long way off. Few tournaments in world gold possess the heritage of the Open Championships and the stellar field assembled will all be looking to etch their names into the history books.
There are 12 former winners in the field and such is the quality of the field, picking an outright winner looks to be no easy task but here are our top 5 selections with BetXChange:-
Home favourite Rory McIlroy will be eager to put on a performance in front of a partisan home crowd and despite no real form to speak of, he always has the potential to blow away the field.
Brooks Koepka has become the most consistent performer on the PGA Tour over the past two seasons, with 4 major wins and a champion’s mentality, he can never be discarded.
Xander Schauffele has emerged as one of the key players on his native PGA Tour and sits at number 4 in the rankings and his scientific approach could assist him here at the links of Portrush.
Englishman Tommy Fleetwood has become one of the men to beat both in Europe and America over the past season and perhaps only needs a major win to establish himself within the elite.
Europe’s perennial Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter is one of golf’s most likeable characters and the only things missing from illustrious resume is a major championship win and Portrush should suit him.
1st Round Leader
Sustaining a lead over 72 holes is notoriously difficult so here are the BetXChange picks to be leading the way following the first 18:-
Exciting Spaniard Jon Rahm continues to fly high in the world rankings and he will be looking to blast his way through the Royal Portrush course and certainly has the skills to do so.
The former world number 1 amateur golfer Patrick Cantlay has taken a while to adjust to life in the professional game but finally looks at ease on the big stage and her could well deliver here.
Few players across both tours have enjoyed the levels of consistency that Matt Wallace has over the past 12 months and the Englishman could well get off to a flyer in familiar conditions here.
Top Six Finish
With so many quality players assembled in Northern Ireland, getting into the winning enclosure could be tough but there are plenty of candidates to finish in the top 6 come Sunday afternoon:-
Justin Rose was very much in contention at the US Open last month and he will be keen to feature in the last groups come Sunday afternoon as he seeks a second major championship.
Englishman Eddie Pepperell has enjoyed a solid couple of seasons on both the European and PGA Tours and he will be looking to continue his fine run of form here and finish in the top 6.
The enigmatic Dane has continued to produce the results over the past 12 months and the 2018 Ryder Cup winner will be looking to use his power hitting to good effect on the links at Portrush.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Rory McIlroy – 9.00
1st Round Leader: Patrick Cantlay – 40.00
Top Six Finish: Justin Rose – 4.40