Open Championship Futures Bet
Futures play for the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Check out our course preview for the Old Course at St. Andrews to get an in depth look at the course. Some of the takeaways however, there is going to be a premium on approach shots and accuracy off the tee. Around the green stats will definitely come into play as well but if you are good enough on approach you may be able to avoid a lot of those tricky shots. This is an incredibly historic course but it may not be the toughest test for todays golfers with their length off the tee. We expect it to play similar to last year's Open at Royal St. George's which was won by Morikawa at -15. We anticipate the winner needed 3 rounds in the 60's with the amount of shorter holes that we'll see on this course. Obviously weather could throw a wrench in things but either way we think the winner will be in that same -15 or higher range.
So you really need someone who can put up a lot of birdies and will put themselves in position to do that. SG off the tee and fairway proximity will be important but we think the most important stats to look at are the Approach the Green categories. And when you think about approach shots how can you not think about Collin Morikawa; 4th in SG APR, 5th in Proximity to the Hole, 2nd Approaches from 225-250, and 5th in Approach from 50-125. Morikawa can also put up a lot of birdies ranking 10th on tour in scoring average, 27th in Birdie or Better %, 31st in Birdie Average, and 1st in Final Round Scoring.
Then you look at the success he's had at the Masters, which bodes well for St. Andrews as it has drawn a lot of comparisons to Augusta with a number of crossover success from previous winners. He also performed well at the US Open a few weeks ago, which was a bit of a tough course for him with the fast greens and thick rough. If not for the 77 on Saturday he could have easily won the tournament. He gained stats on against the field in all four major SG categories that week; Putting, Approach, Around the Green, Off the Tee, and Tee to Green.
We think he is a great fit for the Open this year, he obviously has what it takes to compete and win in majors. Statistically and form wise he appears to be in a great spot to repeat as Open Champion in 2022. Links golf really seems to fit him well too, there was some concern last year that chip and pitch shots would be tricky as they really aren't his forte but when you hit nearly all greens in regulation it really doesn't come into play. He is very accurate off the tee ranking 20th in Driving Accuracy Percentage, and with no trees or vertical limitations he can really put himself in great spots off the tee and set himself up for his approach shots into these holes. The approach game speaks for itself and when he is hitting his approach shots from the fairway in good position it's going to be a problem for the rest of the field.
Obviously his putting and short game is where his game is lacking, some of that can be attributed to him hitting so many greens and not really having to hit many pressure shots around the green. The putter is maybe a bigger liability than his around the green game but with the greens running a little bit slower on these Open courses we really think it plays right into his hands. You can hit these putts much firmer than most courses these guys are playing, which allows Morikawa some forgiveness and in turn boost his confidence with the putter. With how strong his tee to green game is, if he is making putts he will be in contention on Sunday.
His odds have been drifting out a bit and Circa currently has him at 23/1 which is the best around and we think holds great value. In our mind he should be up there with Rahm and Rory on the odds board. He has proved that he can play with anyone in the world and we love him on this course, we bet the 22/1 and would bet anything 20/1 or better.