2022 British Open preview, best bets

July 12, 2022 07:21 PM
USATSI_18687779

Xander Schauffele continued his hot summer run with a victory at the Genesis Scottish Open last week, which gave him the largest OWGR points gain of his career and moved him from No. 11 to No. 5 in the world. Schauffele, priced at around 18-1, held on by a stroke over Kurt Kitayama. He won the Travelers Championship three weeks ago and the J.P. McManus Pro-Am, an unofficial event, last Tuesday. His best finish at the British Open was a runner-up in 2018 at Carnoustie. Schauffele has now assumed the second-shortest price (14-1) for the year's final major championship at St. Andrews. Along with being placed on the short list of favorites, Schauffele is also on the short list for the “best players who have never won a major.” 

The shortest price on the board is 10-1 for 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year Rory McIlroy, who was the only player in the OWGR Top 15 not to play last week at the Scottish Open. He spent last week preparing on links courses around Ireland with Tiger Woods, among others. McIlroy, the World No. 2, is attempting to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship. He has shown well in all three majors this season (second, Masters; eighth, PGA; fifth, U.S. Open), but winning a fifth career major has eluded him. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (18-1), who missed the cut last week, is still the leader in the clubhouse to win Player of the Year honors with four victories in 2022 (Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Match Play, Masters). Scheffler finished eighth last year in his British Open debut at Royal St. George’s. World No. 3 Jon Rahm has drifted up as high as 18-1 this week. He posted his best finish in the British Open last year with a third-place finish. Jordan Spieth (16-1), the 2017 Open champion, finished runner-up last year to Collin Morikawa (30-1 this week) and missed the playoff by one shot in 2015, the last time the British Open was held at St. Andrews. Morikawa has four Top 5 finishes this year, including at The Masters and the U.S. Open, but has dropped to No. 8 in the world after finishing 2021 as the OWGR No. 2. 

The last major champion, U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick (18-1), finished sixth last week but has never finished better than 20th in the British Open. However, he has also never been in the OWGR Top 10, which is where he stands now. PGA champion Justin Thomas has drifted up to a price of 22-1 with a couple of down performances, including missing the cut by seven shots (+ 10) last week in Scotland and a 37th-place finish at the U.S. Open. Thomas has never finished in the Top 10 at the British Open in five appearances. Shane Lowry (25-1) won the Claret Jug in 2019 at Royal Portrush and has three Top 3 finishes in 2022, including at The Masters. 

Aside from Schauffele, the highest-ranked players yet to win a major include World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay (25-1), who was fourth last week; World No. 6 Cameron Smith (28-1), who won The Players Championship in March; World No. 9 Viktor Hovland (50-1), who has dropped from No. 3 in the OWGR and is without a Top 10 finish since early March; World No. 11 Sam Burns (45-1), who has three victories this season; and World No. 13 Will Zalatoris (30-1), who has finished 6-2-2 in this year’s first three majors. 

Former British Open champions at St. Andrews this week include 2000 and 2005 winner Woods, who is priced anywhere from 50-1 to 100-1, 2010 winner Louis Oosthuizen (40-1), 2015 winner and 2023 Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson (300-1) and 1995 winner John Daly (1000-1). 

The Event

This year marks the 150th British Open (established in 1860) in its customary spot, starting before the third Friday in July. The British Open is sanctioned and governed by the R&A, which is a colloquial name from the Royal Ancient Club of St. Andrews. Although based at St. Andrews, the R&A is separate from the actual golf club.

The British Open returns to the Old Course at St. Andrews for a record 30th time this year. 

The field consists of 156 players. The Top 70 and ties will make the weekend. If there is a tie after 72 holes, a three-hole aggregate playoff followed by sudden death will determine the winner.

Here is the field for the 150th British Open and their exemptions into the field (other exemptions in parentheses): 

1. British Open champions aged 60 or under on July 17, 2022: Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink (12), Darren Clarke (2), John Daly, David Duval, Ernie Els (2), Padraig Harrington, Zach Johnson (2), Paul Lawrie, Shane Lowry (2,4,5,15), Rory McIlroy (2,4,5,11,12,15), Phil Mickelson (2,10), Francesco Molinari (2,6), Collin Morikawa (2,3,4,5,10,12,15), Louis Oosthuizen (3,4,12), Jordan Spieth (2,3,4,12,15), Henrik Stenson (2), Tiger Woods (9). Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton and Justin Leonard will not play.

2. British Open Champions from 2011-2021

3. Top 10 finishers and ties in the 2021 British Open: Dylan Frittelli, Mackenzie Hughes, Dustin Johnson (4,9,12,15), Brooks Koepka (4,8,10,12,15), Robert MacIntyre (5), Jon Rahm (4,5,8,12,15), Scottie Scheffler (4,9,12,15). Daniel Berger (4,12,15) will not play due to a back injury. 

4. Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking for Week 21 of 2022: Abraham Ancer (5,12), Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns (12), Patrick Cantlay (12,15), Paul Casey (5,15), Corey Conners (12), Bryson DeChambeau (8,12,15), Harris English (12,15), Tony Finau (12,15), Matt Fitzpatrick (5,8,15), Tommy Fleetwood (5,15), Talor Gooch (OQS), Tyrrell Hatton (5,6,15), Russell Henley, Lucas Herbert (5), Tom Hoge, Max Homa, Billy Horschel (5,6,12), Viktor Hovland (5,12,15), Sungjae Im (12), Kevin Kisner, Jason Kokrak (12), K.H. Lee, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama (9,12), Kevin Na (12), Joaquín Niemann (12), Mito Pereira, Thomas Pieters (5), Séamus Power, Patrick Reed (9,12), Xander Schauffele (12,15), Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Cameron Smith (11,12), Justin Thomas (10,11,12,15), Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III, Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris (5).

5. Top 30 in the final 2021 Race to Dubai standings: Alexander Björk, Richard Bland, Dean Burmester, Laurie Canter, Thomas Detry, Justin Harding, Garrick Higgo, Nicolai Højgaard, Guido Migliozzi, Ian Poulter (15), Justin Rose, Jason Scrivener, Bernd Wiesberger (15), Danny Willett (6), Min Woo Lee.

6. Recent winners of the BMW PGA Championship (2018-2021)

7. Top five players, not already exempt, within the Top 20 of the 2022 DP World Tour rankings through the BMW International Open: Adri Arnaus, Sam Horsfield, Pablo Larrazabal, Haotong Li, Jordan Smith.

8. Recent winners of the U.S. Open (2017-2022): Gary Woodland.

9. Recent winners of The Masters (2017–2022): Sergio García (12,15).

10. Recent winners of the PGA Championship (2016-2022): Jimmy Walker will not play.

11. Recent winners of The Players Championship (2019-2022)

12. Top 30 players from the 2021 FedEx Cup playoffs: Erik van Rooyen.

13. Top 5 players, not already exempt, within the Top 20 of the 2021-22 FedEx Cup points list through the Travelers Championship

14. Winner of the 2021 Visa Open de Argentina: Jorge Fernández-Valdés.

15. Playing members of the 2021 Ryder Cup teams: Lee Westwood.

16. Winner of the 2021-22 PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit: Jediah Morgan.

17. Winner of the 2021-22 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit: Shaun Norris (18).

18. Winner of the 2021 Japan Open Golf Championship

19. Winner of the 2022 Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup: Shugo Imahira.

20. Top 2 players on the 2020-21 Japan Golf Tour Official Money List: Takumi Kanaya, Chan Kim.

21. The top player, not already exempt, on the 2022 Japan Golf Tour Official Money List through the Japan Golf Tour Championship: Kazuki Higa.

22. Winner of the 2021 Senior British Open: Stephen Dodd.

23. Winner of the 2022 Amateur Championship: Aldrich Potgieter (a).

24. Winner of the 2021 U.S. Amateur: James Piot (exemption forfeited by turning professional).

25. Winner of the 2022 European Amateur: Filippo Celli (a).

26. Recipient of the 2021 Mark H. McCormack Medal: Keita Nakajima (a) (27).

27. Winner of the 2021 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship

28. Winner of the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship: Aaron Jarvis (a).

Open Qualifying Series

The British Open Qualifying Series for the 2022 British Open consists of 12 events. Places are available to the leading players (not otherwise exempt) in each tournament. Here’s a list of players who made the British Open field through the series: 

— Ashley Chesters

— Thriston Lawrence

— Zander Lombard

— Sadom Kaewkanjana

— Yuto Katsuragawa

— J.H. Kim

— Sihwan Kim

— Ben Campbell

— Matthew Griffin

— Dimitrios Papadatos

— Talor Gooch

— Chris Kirk

— Justin De Los Santos

— Brad Kennedy

— Anthony Quayle

— Scott Vincent

— Ryan Fox

— Adrian Meronk

— Victor Perez

— Wyndham Clark

— Keith Mitchell

— Min-gyu Cho

— Min-kyu Kim

— John Catlin

— David Law

— Fabrizio Zanotti

— Christiaan Bezuidenhout

— Emiliano Grillo

— J.T. Poston

— Jamie Donaldson

— Kurt Kitayama

— Brandon Wu

— Trey Mullinax

Final Qualifying

Here’s a list of players who made the British Open field through qualifying on June 28:

— David Carey

— Robert Dinwiddie

— Lars van Meijel

— Alex Wrigley

— Barclay Brown (a)

— Oliver Farr

— Richard Mansell

— Marco Penge

— Jack Floydd

— Matt Ford

— Ronan Mullarney

— Jamie Rutherford

— Marcus Armitage

— Sam Bairstow (a)

— Matthew Jordan

— John Parry

Additional players added to the field

To fill additional places or replace exempt players who had withdrawn prior to the start of the championship, and maintain the full field of 156, additional players were either taken in ranking order from Official World Golf Ranking at the time they were added, or from Final Qualifying:

— Aaron Wise

— Brian Harman

— Sebastian Munoz

— Sepp Straka

— Luke List

— Si-Woo Kim

— Sahith Theegala

The Course​

Considered the oldest course in the world and dubbed “The Home of Golf,” the game has been played at St. Andrews since 1457. The British Open is played at the Old Course about every five years and has hosted more British Opens (30) than any other course.

The course was by and large designed courtesy of mother nature. However, there were structural designs made by Daw Anderson in the 1850s along with Allan Robertson and four-time Open Champion Old Tom Morris (1861, 1862, 1864, 1867) in the 1890s, who designed the first and 18th holes. 

There are few changes from the course the players saw in 2015, besides some typical bunker reconstruction (there are about 110 bunkers) and a new tee on No. 8. 

The Old Course at St. Andrews is in the town of St. Andrews positioned along the eastern coastline of Fife, Scotland. It is the quintessential links golf course that lies completely exposed to coastal winds from St. Andrews Bay with no trees to protect players from their shots being affected. Nevertheless, these are the widest fairways (a mixture of fescue and bentgrass) that players will see all year, with players hitting into the largest greens (13,608 square feet average) that they will see all year. Links golf is primarily designed to reward creativity and not be overly punitive. Therefore, you will see strategically placed rough that is short by most major championship standards (1.65 inches). The rough is also of fescue and bentgrass along with some native grass which includes Sweet Vernal and Crested Dog’s Tail.

The fairways are wide and firm with plenty of mounds, ridges and pot bunkers en route to the massive double greens with unique pin placements. Those double greens, consisting of a blend of 50% fescue, 25% bentgrass, 10% poa annua and 15% native grasses, will be slow and run anywhere from 10 to 10.5 on the stimpmeter. 

The unofficial length of the Old Course is 7,536 yards, but the average length is right around 7,300 yards. The lengths will vary slightly from day to day based on the weather forecast. The course features just two Par 3s and two Par 5s plus 14 Par 4s.

Links golf is chock full of unique challenges and players can get lucky or unlucky bounces. As 1920 Open winner George Duncan stated, “You can play a damned good shot and find the ball in a damned bad place. That is the real game of golf.”

Correlated courses to the Old Course include other Open rotation courses such as Royal Portrush, Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George’s and Royal Troon, plus Renaissance (last week's Scottish Open venue), Shinnecock Hills, Erin Hills and Augusta National. 

Speaking of Augusta National, a strong correlation has emerged between Augusta and St. Andrews. From 1970 to today, there have been nine British Opens held at St. Andrews and seven of the nine were won by players who won or would win The Masters (Jack Nicklaus, 1970 and 1978; Seve Ballesteros, 1984; Nick Faldo, 1990; Woods, 2000 and 2005; Zack Johnson, 2015) . Only Daly in 1995 and Oosthuizen in 2010, a Masters runner-up in 2012, won at St. Andrews without also winning at Augusta.

British Open Recent Winners/History

2021: Collin Morikawa (-15/265), Royal St. George's; 40-1

2020: Canceled (COVID-19)

2019: Shane Lowry (-15/269), Royal Portrush; 66-1

2018: Francesco Molinari (-8/276), Carnoustie; 30-1

2017: Jordan Spieth (-12/268), Royal Birkdale; 14-1

2016: Henrik Stenson (-20/264), Royal Troon; 28-1

2015: Zach Johnson (-15/273), St. Andrews; 80-1*

2014: Rory McIlroy (-17/271), Royal Liverpool; 14-1

2013: Phil Mickelson (-3/281), Muirfield; 20-1

2012: Ernie Els (-7/273), Royal Lytham & St. Annes; 40-1

2011: Darren Clarke (-5/275), Royal St. George's; 200-1

2010: Louis Oosthuizen (-16/272), St. Andrews; 250-1

Playoff win over Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen*

British Open trends and angles

— 9 of the last 11 winners had at least one Top 5 finish in at least one of their six events prior to the British Open

— 6 of the last 10 winners had at least one victory in at least one of their six events prior to the British Open

— 15 of the last 21 winners had at least one worldwide victory earlier in the season

— 9 of the last 11 winners were inside the OWGR Top 40

— 8 of the last 11 winners had at least one Top 15 in one of their three previous Open starts

— 7 of the last 11 winners were aged 32 or older

— 9 of the last 11 winners played the week prior 

— 13 of the last 15 winners had a Top 10 in a previous Open

— 12 of the last 12 winners had at least four career worldwide wins

— 10 of the last 12 winners had played the British Open at least four times

— 12 of the last 12 winners had at least one Top 5 finish worldwide earlier in the season

— 10 of the last 12 winners had at least four Top 10 finishes earlier in the season

In summary, experience matters and class players usually end up hoisting the Claret Jug. This is also indicated over the last several major championships. Here’s a look at the last nine major champions, with their finish in the previous major in parentheses:

2022 U.S. Open: Matt Fitzpatrick (5th, 2022 PGA Championship)

2022 PGA Championship: Justin Thomas (8th, 2022 Masters)

2022 Masters: Scottie Scheffler (8th, 2021 British Open)

2021 British Open: Collin Morikawa (4th, 2021 U.S. Open)

2021 U.S. Open: Jon Rahm (8th, 2021 PGA Championship)

2021 PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson (21st, 2021 Masters)

2021 Masters: Hideki Matsuyama          (13th, 2020 Masters)

2020 Masters: Dustin Johnson (6th, 2020 U.S. Open)

2020 U.S. Open: Bryson DeChambeau (4th, 2020 PGA Championship)

As you can see, seven of the last nine major champions finished in the Top 10 at the previous major. 

Statistical Analysis​

Strokes Gained: Approach (Last 36 Rounds)

The greens at St. Andrews are massive and slow, so players will have to be very good with their irons to avoid having long putts. 

1. Paul Casey 34.3 (last played at The Players)

2. Will Zalatoris 33.6

3. Cameron Smith 32.7

4. Xander Schauffele 30.9

5. Russell Henley 29.4

6. Viktor Hovland 28.8

7. Rory McIlroy 28.8

8. Sam Burns 28.7

9. Justin Thomas 28.4

10. Scottie Scheffler 27.6

11. Max Homa 27.3

12. Shane Lowry 26.9

13. Hideki Matusyama 26.7

14. Kevin Na 25.9

15. Aaron Wise 25.8

16. Collin Morikawa 25.6

17. Tony Finau 25.2

18. Harold Varner III 24.9

19. Luke List 23.8

20. Mito Pereira 22.9

Strokes Gained: Approach (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Xander Schauffele 26.8

2. Rory McIlroy 26.5

3. Kevin Na 23.8

4. Shane Lowry 23

5. Harold Varner III 22.8

6. Sam Burns 22.4

7. Cameron Smith 21.9

8. Russell Henley 20.8

9. Mito Pereira 20.5

10. Aaron Wise 20.2

11. Hideki Matsuyama 18.8

12. Justin Thomas 18.7

13. Max Homa 18.6

14. Paul Casey 18.6

15. Will Zalatoris 18.2

16. Luke List 17.3

17. Viktor Hovland 17.3

18. Collin Morikawa 16.9

19. Tony Finau 16.4

20. Scottie Scheffler 15.5

The top gainers on approach this season on the DP World Tour include Sam Horsfield (+ 1.36 per round), Bernd Wiesberger (+ 1.36), Ryan Fox (+ 1.09), Tommy Fleetwood (+ 1.09), Marcus Armitage (+ 0.92) and Victor Perez (+ 0.85).

Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee (Last 36 Rounds)

The fairways are wide, so expect players to take driver out of the bag often. St. Andrews has the widest fairways of any course in the British Open rotation. Driving Accuracy usually produces a field average of 75-80% here. Nevertheless, there are many pot bunkers that can suck in tee shots. 

1. Jon Rahm 40.6

2. Cameron Young 39

3. Rory McIlroy 30.4

4. Bryson DeChambeau 28.4

5. Joaquin Niemann 25.7

6. Sergio Garcia 25.3

7. Will Zalatoris 24.9

8. Mito Pereira 24.8

9. Corey Conners 23.2

10. Justin Thomas 22.4

11. Luke List 22.1

12. Matt Fitzpatrick 21.9

13. Keith Mitchell 21.7

14. Sungjae Im 20.9

15. Tony Finau 20.5

16. Max Homa 19.8

17. Brian Harman 19.8

18. Abraham Ancer 18.5

19. Chris Kirk 17.8

20. Emiliano Grillo 17.4

Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Cameron Young 24

2. Jon Rahm 23.2

3. Will Zalatoris 19.5

4. Tony Finau 19.2

5. Rory McIlroy 18.5

6. Luke List 17.7

7. Mito Pereira 17.2

8. Sergio Garcia 17.1

9. Matt Fitzpatrick 17

10. Joaquin Niemann 17

11. Emiliano Grillo 16.3

12. Corey Conners 15.4

13. Keith Mitchell 15.3

14. Chris Kirk 13.6

15. Abraham Ancer 13

16. Justin Thomas 12.9

17. Louis Oosthuizen 12.7

18. Bryson DeChambeau 12.2

19. Viktor Hovland 12.1

20. Max Homa 12

The top gainers off the tee this season on the DP World Tour include Jordan Smith (+ 1.03 per round), Adrian Meronk (+ 0.96), Richard Mansell (+ 0.89), Thomas Pieters (+ 0.86), Laurie Canter (+ 0.81), Dean Burmester (+ 0.70). 

Driving Distance Gained: Yards Per Drive (Last 36 Rounds)

In his 2000 and 2005 Open wins, Tiger Woods led the field both times for Driving Distance and Louis Oosthuizen ranked fourth during his winning week. Zach Johnson was 60th in 2015, but distance is never a disadvantage on this wide-open links layout. There are only two Par 5s but seven Par 4s of less than 400 yards — some of which can potentially be reached with a long drive off the tee. 

1. Bryson DeChambeau 25.5

2. Rory McIlroy 21.4

3. Wyndham Clark 20.2

4. Trey Mullinax 18.4

5. Jon Rahm 18.1

6. Ryan Fox 17.8

7. Min Woo Lee 17.1

8. Cameron Young 16.7

9. Dean Burmester 16.3

10. Kurt Kitayama 16.2

11. Luke List 13.6

12. Will Zalatoris 12.8

13. Chan Kim 12.4

14. Justin Thomas 11.9

15. Scottie Scheffler 11.8

16. Dustin Johnson 11.8

17. Keith Mitchell 11.6

18. Jason Kokrak 10.9

19. Joaquin Niemann 10.4

20. Thomas Detry 9.3

Driving Distance Gained: Yards Per Drive (Last 36 Rounds)

1. Bryson DeChambeau 27.1

2. Rory McIlroy 21.5

3. Ryan Fox 19

4. Jon Rahm 18.2

5. Wyndham Clark 17.6

6. Trey Mullinax 17.5

7. Min Woo Lee 17.3

8. Kurt Kitayama 16.9

9. Dean Burmester 16.5

10. Cameron Young 16.5

11. Luke List 16.1

12. Chan Kim 14.6

13. Keith Mitchell 14.2

14. Will Zalatoris 13.9

15. Scottie Scheffler 13.4

16. Justin Thomas 13.1

17. Thomas Detry 12.7

18. Jason Kokrak 12.4

19. Dustin Johnson 11.3

20. Max Homa 11

Driving distance leaders this season on the DP World Tour include Nicolai Hojgaard, Dean Burmester, Adri Arnaus, Lars Van Meijel, Laurie Canter, Thomas Detry and Ryan Fox. 

Strokes Gained: Par 4s (Last 36 Rounds)

Fourteen of the 18 holes at St. Andrews are Par 4s. 

1. Rory McIlroy 51.6

2. Matt Fitzpatrick 45.8

3. Xander Schauffele 44

4. Shane Lowry 43.8

5. Justin Thomas 43.7

6. Jordan Spieth 40.8

7. Tony Finau 39.7

8. Will Zalatoris 38.3

9. Scottie Scheffler 37.5

10. J.T. Poston 37.3

11. Cameron Young 36.8

12. Jon Rahm 36.1

13. Hideki Matsuyama 35.8

14. Billy Horschel 35

15. Sebastian Munoz 33.9

16. Sungjae Im 32.4

17. Brian Harman 32.1

18. Chris Kirk 31.6

19. Max Homa 31

20. Kurt Kitayama 31

Strokes Gained: Par 4s (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Rory McIlroy 41.2

2. Matt Fitzpatrick 38.3

3. J.T. Poston 35.3

4. Tony Finau 34.7

5. Will Zalatoris 33.4

6. Xander Schauffele 32.8

7. Shane Lowry 30.2

8. Justin Thomas 28.3

9. Max Homa 27.6

10. Seamus Power 27.4

11. Hideki Matsuyama 27.3

12. Jon Rahm 26.8

13. Wyndham Clark 25.5

14. Louis Oosthuizen 25.3

15. Jordan Spieth 24.7

16. Sam Burns 24.4

17. Tommy Fleetwood 24.1

18. Sebastian Munoz 23.7

19. Kurt Kitayama 23.3

20. Marc Leishman 22.5

Par 4 scoring this season on the DP World Tour include Shaun Norris, Kazuki Higa, Rory McIlroy, Ryan Fox and Adrian Meronk.

Proximity Gained: Total Feet from 75-100 Yards (Last 36 Rounds)

Players will have many shots of anywhere from 50-100 yards, especially on these shorter Par 4s.

1. Justin Thomas 162.4

2. Cameron Smith 151.9

3. Russell Henley 142.3

4. Sergio Garcia 137.9

5. Victor Perez 126.2

6. J.T. Poston 115.2

7. Bryson DeChambeau 107

8. Chris Kirk 97.5

9. Ryan Fox 95.1

10. Zach Johnson 91.3

11. Scottie Scheffler 87.6

12. Thomas Pieters 85.6

13. Shane Lowry 85.5

14. Dustin Johnson 83.6

15. Tiger Woods 74.1

16. Xander Schauffele 71.6

17. Shugo Imahira 63.5

18. Shaun Norris 63.3

19. Will Zalatoris 63

20. Max Homa 62.3

Proximity Gained: Total Feet from 75-100 Yards (Last 24 Rounds)

1. J.T. Poston 116.5

2. Russell Henley 112.4

3. Justin Thomas 102.9

4. Cameron Young 99.6

5. Cameron Smith 87.2

6. Thomas Pieters 86.2

7. Victor Perez 84.7

8. Sergio Garcia 83.9

9. Bryson DeChambeau 78.8

10. Will Zalatoris 77.4

11. Tiger Woods 74.6

12. Dustin Johnson 59.8

13. Xander Schauffele 54.2

14. Shaun Norris 52.4

15. Zach Johnson 45.5

16. Shane Lowry 43.2

17. Billy Horschel 41.3

18. Takumi Kanaya 38.6

19. Scottie Scheffler 37.8

20. Rory McIlroy 37.1

Scrambling Gained (Last 36 Rounds)

Whether the wind blows hard or not, Scrambling and SG: Around-the-Green are generally quite important for success at the British Open. Because there will be a lot of awkward wedge shots from around 50-75 yards, along with many potential 100+ foot putts and chips from tight lies, lag-putting, scrambling for par and being creative with the short game will be crucial.

1. Matt Fitzpatrick 24.3

2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 20.1

3. Shane Lowry 17.9

4. Tony Finau 17.9

5. Harris English 16.1

6. Keith Mitchell 15.6

7. Jordan Spieth 15.2

8. J.T. Poston 14.9

9. Robert MacIntyre 14.4

10. Seamus Power 12.9

11. Tommy Fleetwood 12.7

12. Cameron Young 12.7

13. Sungjae Im 12.6

14. Dylan Frittelli 12.4

15. Billy Horschel 12.2

16. Marc Leishman 12.1

17. Harold Varner III 11.9

18. Lucas Herbert 11.3

19. Sebastian Munoz 11.1

20. Patrick Reed 10.2 

Scrambling Gained (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Matt Fitzpatrick 15.4

2. Keith Mitchell 14.3

3. Tony Finau 13.8

4. Harris English 12.9

5. Tommy Fleetwood 12.2

6. Billy Horschel 12

7. Shane Lowry 11.1

8. Max Homa 10.2

9. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 9.7

10. Harold Varner III 9.5

11. J.T. Poston 9.4

12. Seamus Power 8.9

13. Cameron Young 8.9

14. Robert MacIntyre 8.8

15. Sam Horsfield 8.8

16. Patrick Reed 8.6

17. Brian Harman 8.6

18. Jordan Spieth 8.4

19. Sungjae Im 8.1

20. Sebastian Munoz 8

Scrambling leaders this season on the DP World Tour include Shane Lowry (70.33%), Shaun Norris (66.92%), Thomas Pieters (64.42%), Jordan Smith (63.71%), Fabrizio Zanotti (63.10%), Pablo Larrazabal (62.80%). 

Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (Last 36 Rounds)

1. Talor Gooch 17.1

2. Danny Willett 17

3. Chris Kirk 16.9

4. Harold Varner III 15.7

5. Jordan Spieth 15.5

6. Bernd Wiesberger 14.9

7. Scottie Scheffler 14.8

8. Justin Thomas 13.9

9. Billy Horschel 13.9

10. Russell Henley 13.7

11. Cameron Smith 13.6

12. Patrick Reed 13.3

13. Sungjae Im 12.8

14. Kevin Kisner 12.8

15. Matt Fitzpatrick 12.4

16. Louis Oosthuizen 12.4

17. Si Woo Kim 11.8

18. Rory McIlroy 11.2

19. Francesco Molinari 10.9

20. Joaquin Niemann 10.6

Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Talor Gooch 15.2

2. Danny Willett 14.8

3. Cameron Young 14.4

4. Si Woo Kim 13.5

5. Tony Finau 13.3

6. Lucas Herbert 12.6

7. Jordan Spieth 11.8

8. Francesco Molinari 11.8

9. Sahith Theegala 11.7

10. Chris Kirk 11.3

11. Wyndham Clark 10.5

12. Kevin Kisner 10.5

13. Russell Henley 9.7

14. Brian Harman 9.6

15. Harold Varner III 9.5

16. Patrick Reed 8.9

17. Matt Fitzpatrick 8.8

18. Justin Thomas 8.6

19. Bernd Wiesberger 8.6

20. Sungjae Im 8.5

Around-the-green leaders this season on the DP World Tour include Pablo Larrazabal (+ 0.45 per round), Dean Burmester (+ 0.44), Justin Harding (+ 0.43), Alexander Bjork (+ 0.40), Thomas Pieters (+ 0.37), Ryan Fox (+ 0.36). 

Three-Putt Avoidance (Last 36 Rounds)

In the 2015 British Open, the three-putt rate was a high 6.13%. To put that in context, the average rate on tour is a smidge over 3%. These greens are large, so lag-putting is crucial. 

1. Tyrrell Hatton 12.66

2. Talor Gooch 12.41

3. Xander Schauffele 12.32

4. Justin Thomas 11.7

5. Cameron Smith 9.67

6. Abraham Ancer 7.97

7. Jason Kokrak 7.72

8. Haotong Li 7.59

9. Hideki Matsuyama 7.4

10. Lucas Herbert 7.37

11. Zach Johnson 7.17

12. Bryson DeChambeau 6.38

13. Keegan Bradley 5.84

14. Patrick Reed 5.56

15. Shane Lowry 5.44

16. Tony Finau 5.36

17. Max Homa 5.3

18. Patrick Cantlay 5.07

19. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 5.06

20. Justin Rose 4.86

Three-Putt Avoidance (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Tony Finau 8.8

2. Tyrrell Hatton 8.21

3. Talor Gooch 8.06

4. Haotong Li 7.43

5. Abraham Ancer 7.1

6. Xander Schauffele 7.01

7. Cameron Smith 6.58

8. Shaun Norris 6.53

9. Hideki Matsuyama 5.88

10. Victor Perez 5.4

11. Lucas Herbert 5.31

12. Will Zalatoris 4.76

13. Jason Kokrak 4.66

14. Patrick Reed 4.6

15. Justin Thomas 4.54

16. Keegan Bradley 3.59

17. Emiliano Grillo 3.4

18. Gary Woodland 3.23

19. Russell Henley 2.91

20. Danny Willett 2.77

Three-putt avoidance leaders this season on the DP World Tour include Tyrrell Hatton (-0.37 vs. the field average per round), Shaun Norris (-0.34), Alexander Bjork (-0.31), Adrian Meronk (-0.24), Thomas Pieters (-0.22), Thomas Detry (-0.19), Lucas Herbert (-0.19).

Strokes Gained Total: Windy Conditions (Last 36 Rounds)

The winds are expected to be consistent and perhaps even more difficult over the weekend. 

1. Tony Finau 71.2

2. Harris English 65.6

3. Shane Lowry 55.7 (28 Rounds)

4. Jordan Spieth 54.6

5. Keegan Bradley 53.5

6. Dustin Johnson 51.9

7. Patrick Cantlay 49.4 (32 Rounds)

8. Jon Rahm 49.1 (29 Rounds)

9. Justin Thomas 47.9 (35 Rounds)

10. Webb Simpson 46.2

11. Sergio Garcia 45.9

12. Patrick Reed 45

13. Gary Woodland 43.6

14. Adam Scott 41.6 (30 Rounds)

15. Rory McIlroy 38.2 (35 Rounds)

16. Cameron Smith 34.8 (30 Rounds)

17. Tommy Fleetwood 31.5 (22 Rounds)

18. Ian Poulter 29.2

19. Scottie Scheffler 27 (15 Rounds)

20. Justin Rose 26.2 (34 Rounds)

Strokes Gained Total: Windy Conditions (Last 24 Rounds)

1. Tony Finau 52

2. Justin Thomas 50.2

3. Patrick Cantlay 49.2

4. Shane Lowry 45.3

5. Harris English 43.8

6. Keegan Bradley 41.7

7. Jordan Spieth 37.1

8. Jon Rahm 35.5

9. Patrick Reed 34.1

10. Dustin Johnson 33.9

11. Webb Simpson 33.2

12. Sergio Garcia 32.3

13. Tommy Fleetwood 31.5 (22 Rounds)

14. Abraham Ancer 31.2

15. Gary Woodland 30.2

16. Hideki Matsuyama 30.1

17. Jason Kokrak 29

18. Adam Scott 28.6

19. Scottie Scheffler 27 (15 Rounds)

20. Seamus Power 26.3​

Selections

Patrick Cantlay (25-1 BetMGM)

Cantlay has seven PGA Tour wins over the last four-and-a-half seasons but has continued to disappoint in major championships, with his only Top 5 finish coming at the 2019 PGA Championship (third). 

There have been enough signs of late: Cantlay has recorded finishes of third in the Memorial Tournament, 14th in the US Open, 13th in the Travelers Championship and fourth in the Scottish Open in his last four starts. Maybe that major breakthrough will come this week.

Cantlay seemed to figure out the slower greens faster than most (ninth, SG: Putting) at the Scottish Open. The iron play improved throughout the week and he should be able to carry it over to this week. 

Cameron Smith (25-1 marketwide)

The British Open has always looked like the major championship Smith is most likely to win. 

He won a weather-affected Players Championship and the season opener at Kapalua, where the fairways are wide. 

His Top 10 last week in Scotland was his best finish since his third at The Masters. His usually terrific putter returned to form last week, when he ranked fourth in the field. 

Dustin Johnson (35-1 DraftKings)

DJ has not won anywhere in more than a year and half but did find himself in the mix during his last start at the LIV Golf event in Portland, where he finished third. 

He has been through a lot personally of late with his recent marriage and his defection to LIV Golf. However, it does seem like he is getting closer to his previous form. DJ is only 38 and seems like he still has some greatness in him. 

Keep in mind that DJ was the first- and second-round leader at St. Andrews in 2015 before tumbling down the board over the weekend, but that was less than a month after he had blown the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. That was also before he became a two-time major champion (2016 U.S. Open, 2020 Masters). 

Tommy Fleetwood (46-1 Circa Sports)

Fleetwood finished fourth last week at the Scottish Open and ranked fourth in the field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. 

He has shown well at St. Andrews and once held the course record of 62. He finished Top 5 on this course in 2019 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

The form has started to come around with four Top 10s over the last two-and-a-half months, including a Top 5 at the PGA Championship. 

Tony Finau (48-1 Circa Sports)

Finau disappointed by missing the cut at the U.S. Open last month but otherwise has continued good form after a bad start to 2022. 

He finished runner-up to Jon Rahm in Mexico, where he was the best player in the field from Tee-to-Green. Two more Top 5s have followed, including a runner-up to Rory McIlroy in Canada and a 13th-place finish last time out at the Travelers when carrying a cold putter.

Finau has two Top 10s at St. Andrews in both the 2018 and 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

Adam Scott (110-1 Circa Sports)

Scott endured one of the more painful beats in modern British Open history in 2012 when he bogeyed each of the last four holes to lose by one to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. 

He is playing a more limited schedule now, being on the other side of 40 and attempting to prepare more for bigger events such as this week. 

Younger players have reigned supreme of late in the majors, but the British Open has gone toward grizzled veterans in recent years, with seven of the last 11 champions being 32 or older. 

Thomas Pieters (130-1 DraftKings)

Pieters won the Abu Dhabi Championship to begin his 2022 season. 

He now has an OWGR in the 30s and has continued solid form of late with Top 10s in his native Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Pieters nearly earned his second win of the season three weeks ago at the BMW International Open before losing a playoff to Haotong Li courtesy of a 50-foot putt.

Barracuda Championship

Trey Mullinax earned a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a charter flight from Kentucky to St. Andrews on Sunday by winning the Barbasol Championship by one stroke over Kevin Streelman at a price of 150-1. 

This week, another alternate event takes place at the Barracuda Championship. Maverick McNealy (12-1) was in the hunt for the win but settled for seventh here two years ago. Alex Noren finished ninth here two years ago and shares an 18-1 tag with Cameron Davis. Mark Hubbard (25-1) finished third last week at the Barbasol. Nick Hardy (28-1) spent a large part of the weekend on the first page of the U.S. Open leaderboard last month. 

The Event

The Barracuda Championship has been held in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since 1999. It spent most years as an alternate event played opposite of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which is now the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. In 2022, it moves up in the schedule to be the alternate to the British Open. Like last week's Barbasol Championship, this is the first year that the Barracuda is a co-sanctioned event with the PGA and DP World Tours. The alternate event winner does not earn a Masters invitation but does earn 24 OWGR points, 300 FedEx Cup points, a full two-year PGA Tour exemption and an entry into the PGA Championship. 

Since 2012, this event has used the Modified Stableford scoring system, which was previously used at the International in Colorado. The points system:

— Albatross: + 8 points (3-under-par)

— Eagle: + 5 points (2-under)

— Birdie: + 2 points (1-under)

— Par: + -0 points

— Bogey: -1 point (1-over)

— Double bogey or worse: -3 points (2-over or worse)

The Course

Tahoe Mountain Club's Old Greenwood Course in Truckee, California, plays host to the Barracuda Championship for the third time after many years at the Montreux Golf & Country Club. The track plays as a Par 71 of 7,518 yards, but it is played at nearly 6,000 feet of altitude so it will play closer to 6,800 yards. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus in 2004. Old Greenwood is a resort track that is a combination of mountain forests and desert. Water is in play on six holes and the course has 95 bunkers. The fairways and greens (5,300 square feet average) are bentgrass/poa annua and the rough is bluegrass cut to about 1.75 inches. With a Modified Stableford scoring system in place, there's obviously a premium on making eagles and birdies. 

Recent Winners

2021: Erik Van Rooyen 50; 40-1

2020: Richy Werenski 39; 33-1

2019: Collin Morikawa 47; 10-1

2018: Andrew Putnam 47; 28-1

2017: Chris Stroud 44; 75-1*

2016: Greg Chalmers 43; 300-1

2015: J.J. Henry 47; 66-1**

2014: Geoff Ogilvy 49; 66-1

2013: Gary Woodland 44; 40-1

2012: J.J. Henry 43; 40-1

Playoff win over Greg Owen and Richy Werenski*

Playoff win over Kyle Reifers**

The 2012-2019 tournaments were played at Montreux Golf & Country Club. 

​Selections​

— Mark Hubbard (25-1 DraftKings)

— Rasmus Hojgaard (35-1 DraftKings)

— Matthias Schwab (40-1 BetMGM)

— Callum Tarren (66-1 BetMGM)

— George Coetzee (130-1 DraftKings)

— Scott Jamieson (250-1 DraftKings)

back to news

Subscriber Only News  Vsin Exclusive

View All

Screen_Shot_2022-08-22_at_12.19.15_AM

Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

CFB Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

View more CFB tools for Pro subscribers

View more NFL tools for Pro subscribers

Screen_Shot_2022-08-22_at_12.19.15_AM

A Numbers Game: Remember in the NFL, teams are never as good or as bad as they looked a week before. View more tips

VSiN Big Bets: Compare second-half NFL lines with the live line. You'll often find slight half-point differences, or even more, that will tell you which bet you should make. View more tips

Screen_Shot_2022-08-22_at_12.19.15_AM

Chuck Edel: Michigan State-Penn State Over 52.5.  View more picks

Chris Fallica: Ohio State -8.5 vs. Michigan.  View more picks

Close