The 150th Open will be starting next week at St Andrews, where they will be hosting the event for the 30th time. For many spectators to the sport, watching competitive play at St Andrews can be fascinating due to the potential of shooting a low score, but there is also the real threat of a painful score, impacted by some challenging holes but also the impact of mother nature.
Rory McIlroy’s 63 in the first round in 2010, followed by his second-round 80, is a prime example of such variation, and is the largest difference between two successive rounds in the history of The Open at St Andrews.
The prize money is always eye watering, back in 1999 Paul Lawrie won £350,000 for his victory more than four times the amount Nick Faldo received (£85,000) for his win at St Andrews just nine years earlier. And by 2002, the winner's prize had doubled again to £700,000. This year the prize money is sitting at just over $2million.
Victory at St Andrews will also guarantee the victor entry to Open Championships until the age of 60, with entry to the next five Masters, US PGA and US Open tournaments along with a five-year membership to both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
So who do we think has a chance at winning the 150th Open at St Andrews, here are our top 5 predictions:
Xander Schauffele 25/1
Having just won the 36-hole JP McManus Pro-Am, holding off a spirited display from the chasing pack, Xander is in some great form. That followed him winning the Travelers Championship at the River Highlands course in Connecticut USA last month. He really has shown some great form recently.
Finishing T14 at last month’s U.S. Open we really feel he is in with a great shot to win at St Andrews, with his skill on links courses. We would be surprised if he doesn’t at least appear in the top 5.
Shane Lowry 25/1
Always playing well at The Open, the 2019 winner when it was held at the Royal Portrush Golf Club, can keep up with the best of them. Shane has had some good performances this year including T3 at the Master Tournament back in April and another T3 at the RBC Heritage. We are looking forward to seeing how he will perform at St Andrews as we really feel the old course should suit him.
Rory McIlroy 9/1
Many would say that Rory is playing really well lately and with some good weather conditions looking likely for the event, we feel he really has a good shot. Finishing T5 at the U.S. Open his third consecutive top 10 in majors, he is showing some great constancy at the big events.
This year he’s won the RBC Canadian Open and finished in the top 10 of Master Tournament, Wells Fargo Championship and the PGA Championship. Never rule out Rory, like Xander we would be really surprised if he’s not in the top 5.
Matt Fitzpatrick 20/1
The big question is can Matt win back-to-back majors, which was last achieved by Jordan Spieth back in 2015 where he won The Master in April, followed by the U.S. Open in June. Matt has finished in the top 10 in 8 tournaments this year and has been a consistent player who we feel will continue some fine form into the Open at St Andrews.
Padraig Harrington 150/1
The two time Open champion back in 2007 and 2008 has not been in the winner’s circle for a long time, so is our long shot for winning the event. Last month he has shown that at 50 he still has the ability where he just won the U.S. Senior Open Championships. As a great links courses player, we can never count him out. We feel he is going to continue his recent form and appear in the top 10 at St Andrews.