An Average Week
Last week was an average week overall. Unfortunately, our must-have pick Brian Harman failed to live up to his recent form and missed the cut. However, Ghim (18th) and Stanley (41st) had solid tournaments. They each played relatively well every day but failed to have a championship-winning round to put them into contention.
This week we’re heading to England for The Open. Let’s begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife profile.
The History of The Open (The British Open)
The Masters, The U.S. Open, The Open, and The PGA Championship are the four major championships in professional golf. The Open, also known as The British Open or The Open Championship, is the oldest of the four major championships. The Open, golf’s inaugural and most international Championship, has pitted the world’s greatest players against the unforgiving challenge of links golf for almost 160 years.
Eight professional players gathered in Prestwick on October 17, 1860, to determine who would be the Champion Golfer. The Challenge Belt, a £25. prize crafted from red Moroccan leather was to be awarded to the winner.
The Royal St. George’s Golf Club in England hosted the contest for the first time outside of Scotland, and a cut after two rounds was introduced due to the enormous number of competitors. In 1995, the Open was designated as an official PGA Tour event, which meant that any prize money won would be included in the official PGA money list.
The Open is held on ten different links courses each year (generally treeless courses built along a coast that incorporates the naturally uneven terrain of their locations). The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland; Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland; Ailsa Course at the Westin Turnberry Resort near Girvan, Scotland; Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland; Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England; Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England; Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England; Royal.
These courses are all affected by the weather, which can vary radically in a matter of hours, in addition to the unusual topography. Weather, more than any other issue, has the potential to ruin a player’s round.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.
2019 Shane Lowry – 269 (-15) – Form 28/2/8/CUT
2018 Francesco Molinari – 276 (-8) – Form 2/1/25/CUT
2017 Jordan Spieth – 268 (-12) – Form 1/35/13/2
2016 Henrik Stenson – 264 (-20) – Form WD/CUT/CUT/24
2015 Zach Johnson – 273 (-15) – Form 3/6/72/5
The Course at Royal St. George’s
For the first time since 2011, when an emotional Darren Clarke accomplished his boyhood dream of winning Champion Golfer of the Year, The Open will return to Royal St. George’s in 2021.
On the Kent coast, Sandwich Links will host the 149th Open, which will feature the world’s finest players competing for the Claret Jug. The players will have to contend with Mother Nature as well as stunning dunes and will have to hit a high percentage of blind shots from some of England’s most uneven, crumpled courses. It is one of The Open’s most challenging locations, yet it has produced some of the most memorable moments – and implosions – in the tournament’s history.
The R&A has taken the unusual step of shaving 22 yards off the yardage this year, going against the modern trend of making courses longer and more robust. As a result, the course will play shorter than when Darren Clarke won the Claret Jug in 2011. Indeed, the fact that only three of the previous 14 Open champions have finished under par here may explain why any modification has primarily been limited to building and shifting a few bunkers to catch out the longer hitters.
The weather starts wet on Thursday but will improve after that, and the last three days should produce a dryer climate. The worst of the weather on Thursday will be early, so it could be worth considering tee times when making your team selections.
The Field at the 2021 Open
It's been over 24 months since Shane Lowry was proclaimed R&A's last champion golfer of the year, with the COVID-19 epidemic forcing the Open Championship to be canceled for the first time since World War II in 2020. When R&A CEO Martin Slumbers announced the decision to postpone the tournament a year ago, he made it clear that all exempt players would be guaranteed spots when the tournament returned to the calendar in 2021.
However, this year's field is stacked with talent, as each golfer will be vying for the season's final major trophy. The betting favorite to win the event is Jon Rahm, who won the U.S. Open in June, followed by Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The last American to win The Open in 2017 was Jordan Spieth. Only three American players have won the tournament in the previous ten years. Consider this before you start betting on famous names like D.J. or Rory: the favorite or second favorite has only won The Open once since 2007. Furthermore, the average odds of winning the Open are roughly 62/1, which is more than double the odds of winning the Masters and U.S. Open.
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Form is vital – The last three winners of this event all had a second-place finish leading up to the tournament, which presumably helped see them over the line here. In addition, four out of the last five winners all had at least two top-ten finishes also.
John Deere Classic – 2nd Placed Finishers
• Ryan Moore
• Kevin Na
Scottish Open – 2nd Placed Finishers
• Matthew Fitzpatrick
• Thomas Detry
Super Saturday – There has been a clear third-round scoring bias seen over the last five years, and therefore, it's clear the winners put their foot down here to set up a grandstand finish.
Third Round Scoring Average
- Webb Simpson
- Adam Long
- Sergio Garcia
- Emiliano Grillo
- Rafael Campos
Scrambling to victory – The previous seven winners all ranked inside the top ten for scrambling heading into the tournament, which indicates this is a must.
- Webb Simpson
- Patrick Cantlay
- Hank Lebioda
- Charles Howell III
- Seamus Power
Solid iron play – Links golf is all about making those greens and giving yourself a chance with the putter.
Greens in Regulation
- Cameron Percy
- Collin Morikawa
- Matthew NeSmith
- Emiliano Grillo
- Jon Rahm
After looking at the above data and running the field through our BeerLife Sports profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.
|Odds To Win +5000|
|Draft Kings $8,300|
|Simpson is the best scrambler and third-round player on tour this season. He hasn't played great lately, but he has the game to tackle this golf course.|
|Odds To Win +20000|
|Draft Kings $6,700|
|FanDuel (not available at time of publication)|
|Another player who is out of sorts and who doesn't have an excellent record at the Open recently. However, he consistently hits greens, and nobody has got it closer to the pin more regularly than him this season. If his putting holds up, he will have a part to play.|
Steady Eddies – These guys should give a good account of themselves but won’t break the bank to add them to your lineup.
|Odds To Win +2800|
|Draft Kings $8,900|
|The FedEx cup is renowned for getting out of a tough spot which will undoubtedly help him on this golf course. He won the Memorial recently and has finished inside the 25 in his previous four tournaments.|
|Odds To Win +3300|
|Draft Kings $9,200|
|The slight concern with Collin is that he hasn't played much golf recently, and this is his first Open. However, it's hard to ignore his form, having finished inside the top ten on his last four starts. He is one of the best approach players on tour and has the bat birdie average this season, which could be massive around here, seen as birdies could come at a premium.|
|Odds To Win +750|
|Draft Kings $11,300|
|I have listed Rahm as a Steady Eddie pick rather than a must-have based on his value. It's hard to build a solid team around him as he comes with such a hefty price tag. However, that won't matter much if he follows the form he has shown at the other three majors this season, where he came fifth, eighth, and first. Jon is one of the best approach players on tour and has the best scoring average. This has resulted in him earning more money than anyone this year.|