The Open Championship 2014 Final Preview

the open Coral Sports

Prize Money – £5,400,000

Winner’s Share – £975,000

Full Prize Money Breakdown

The week has finally arrived.  It’s time for one of the craziest 4 days of sport, as the crème de la crème in golf bombard the North West of England to try and lift the Claret Jug.

142 editions have gone before and it is now time for the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake to host the 143rd Open Championship.

The Harry Colt design will be hosting its 12th Open and as you would expect, it will present a tough challenge of links golf.

If you want to check out our 1st preview for this years tournament, we have researched links history from the past few years, so please do have a sneak peak for more information!  

We were given an absolute treat in seaside golf last week at the Scottish Open, where Justin Rose cemented himself firmly in that bracket of the top players.  2 wins on the trot is something new to the Englishman, so 3 could be stretching it slightly too far.  No denying he is a perfect fit for everything links and should do really well here, but at 14s we are not going anywhere near him.

This photo just sums everything up really.  Sun, cloud, wind, who knows!

This photo just sums everything up really. Sun, cloud, wind, who knows!

The actual course is a 7,312 yard par 72 with 4 par 5s that are so vital to finding a winner – The last time it was held at Hoylake in 2006, Tiger shot a remarkable -14 on those 16 trips to the longer holes and it was a big contribution to his -18 total that won him the trophy by 2 shots from Chris DiMarco.

His game plan? Tee to green masterclass.  With the weather in everyone’s favour he found 85.71% of fairways (1st in Driving Accuracy for the week) and 80.56% of GIR (1st for GIR.)

We have written a 2nd preview for the tournament, covering all the angles on stats and trends, so if you fancy having a read of that, just click here!

You are going to need a solid and accurate game from tee to green in order to win any Open Championship.  If you do find the hay then it is just as important how you recover, therefore scramblers always seem to do well.

More bunkers have been dotted around the fairways since 06’ and that will make for some more difficult shots, but obviously, as for any major, you have to hole your putts.  Miss tiddlers and you can kiss goodbye to the trophy.

The weather factor is just as crucial for preparation as any course management and at the moment it is raining on the first day, brightening up at the weekend but on Friday there seems to be quite a bit of wind in the afternoon.

How you play through those bad moments where you feel horrendous in varying conditions, will put you close come Sunday.  Much of that relies on what goes on between the ears…

It will be another fantastic tournament, undoubtedly filled with thrills and spills, so let’s just enjoy the ride with those dulcet and angelic sounds of Peter Alliss (Well, for British viewers on BBC anyway!)

Twitter

ALSO, Don’t forget to follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Adam Scott (16/1 Coral) – Coral Markets – British Open

As you will have seen from our 2nd preview, the Aussie ticked every box for us and we are itching to chuck our money on him. Over the past couple of years we have seen the kind of consistency that has quite rightly earned him the spot at the pinnacle of the golfing world.

Needs another Major win to still prove a few doubters Photography by: Scott K. Brown

Needs another Major win to still prove a few doubters
Photography by: Scott K. Brown

After his collapse at the Open back in 2012 many wondered whether Scott would ever recover but that experience helped him and spurred him on to win the Masters as well as a few events in America and back in his native Australia. One thing that can be argued at the World Number 1 is whether he wins enough to be regarded in the ‘Tiger’ bracket. But since his Open demise, Scott has not missed a cut and put 6 trophies in his cabinet. Not the worst form is it…

His game is perfect for links courses. Links tracks not only require accuracy off the tee but a bit of distance too and Adam has both in abundance. When Woods won here in ’06 he treated us to a display of ironplay from the tee box of the highest quality and Scott is one of, if not the, best in the game at doing just that. His swing is faultless and with that consistency combined with the confidence gained over the past couple of years, Scott is a cert to at least contend. And we all know what the headlines will be if he is leading during the final round. Oh, and he finished 8th here in 2006!

Recent Open History

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T3 2nd T25 T27 MC T16

 Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
3 2 1

 (3 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform. Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
67th 32nd 4th 4th 77th 27 T8

      Graeme McDowell (33/1 Ladbrokes BEST PRICE)

Has proven his ability on the toughest courses

Has proven his ability on the toughest courses

Now we pick the Northern Irishman this week with a tiny bit of a vested interest.

We went to Paris a couple of weeks back for the French Open and as you can imagine, we were in awe of the way McDowell ground his way to yet another European Tour title. On our travels around the course we did bump into Graeme’s father and after a long chat he told us how well Hoylake sets up for his boy’s game – and this was before McDowell went on to take the trophy! So there’s our bit of pointless inside info for you, but we loved it nonetheless.

His all-round game is one of the best and most consistent on tour and is arguably the best ‘grinder’ out there. If you want someone to get up and down in a pressure situation, McDowell is your man. He boasts a best of T5 at the Open which was back in 2012 and also experienced 4 rounds on this track when it was held here in ’06. 33/1 is great value for someone we feel again, will contend at the very least given his performance in Paris.

Recent Open History 

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T58 T5 MC T23 T34 T19

Links History (Past 18 months) 

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
1 1 1 2 1 1

 (4 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
17th 61st 10th 31st 157th 13 MC 

   Zach Johnson (50/1 Various)     

Mr Accuracy will find plenty of fairways this week

Mr Accuracy will find plenty of fairways this week

After a 2nd place at the John Deere last week, a course he adores, Johnson will take that confidence with him to the Open. As with any links track, you need to be accurate off the tee and be able to cope with adverse conditions, something Zach has made a living out of.It’s amazing how the American plays the game given his lack of length off the tee. He has earned a lot of trophies and money picking apart course after course and we’re expecting much of the same when he makes the flight over to England this week.

Many will have forgot about his early season form but he was the hottest player on the planet as we entered 2014. He won back-to-back tournaments and followed that up with another couple of top 10’s. So we’re hoping last week signaled a return to that kind of form. And he ranked 1st in driving accuracy and 12th in putting on his way to that runner-up finish.

Given that he has finished in the top 10 at the previous 2 Opens and has 2 career wins on links tracks, Zach is tremendous value at 50/1.

Recent Open History 

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T6 T9 T16 T76 T47 T51

Links History (Past 18 months) 

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
1 1 3 2 3 1

 (2 wins in career on Links tracks)

 Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
6th 21st 16th 27th 17th 26 MC

   Webb Simpson (80/1 Various)

Lucky fella.

Lucky fella.

The American already has a major under his belt and has had a solid 2014 season, so to be verging on three figure odds, he is good value.

Many people are predicting putting prowess to be the vital factor to whoever wins at Hoylake and in Webb Simpson, we have one of the best putters in the game.

Tracks that require nous off the tee and course management, he does well on. And he comes to Liverpool with 2 top 3 finishes in his last 4 starts. He needs to start putting in a few more performances on the biggest stage to back up his US Open win and coming to Hoylake in the form he is in means there is no better time to do so.

Recent Open History

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T64 DNP T16 DNP DNP DNP

Links History (Past 18 months) 

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
2 2 3 2 1

(0 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
72nd 68th 21st 13th 60th 4 DNP

 Shane Lowry (125/1 Stan James)

He'll hopefully have the trophy in the passenger seat come sunday

He’ll hopefully have the trophy in the passenger seat come sunday

We saw enough of the Irishman at the Scottish Open to suggest that he could be in for a career-defining week.

His game is suited to links courses and the fact both of his European Tour titles have come on the aforementioned coastal tracks proves this point. Both of his highest finishes in majors have come also come at the Open.

Shane is arguably playing the best golf he has for a couple of years after his T4 in Scotland following his runner-up finish to McIlroy a few weeks ago at the BMW PGA. Last week he ranked 10th driving accuracy and distance showing he has that all important precision and length off the tee whilst 3rd putts per GIR shows he was getting the job done on the greens too. And he actually narrowly missed quite a  few putts in the final round, so who knows what would have happened if they had dropped.

Recent Open History

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T32 DNP DNP T37 DNP DNP

Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
3 1 2 7 4

(2 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
42nd 88th 92nd 2 DNP

Robert Karlsson (90/1 Stan James)  

Karlsson

In stunning form

Not for a couple of years have we really seen the Swede play as well as he is now and with the way he sets up, he is a perfect fit for Hoylake.

Such was his lack of form, it was not till the French Open where he finished 4th did he earn a spot at this week’s course that saw him finish 35th on back in 2006.

Karlsson, if you didn’t know, has 11 European Tour wins to his name and won the ‘Race to Dubai’ equivalent in 2008. The same year saw him finish T8 Masters, T4 US Open and T7 at the Open highlighting the Swede’s pedigree.

His play over the past couple of months has led us to draw comparisons to his dominant days on the tour after finishing in the top 10 in 4 of his last 6 starts. And like our previous pick McDowell, has 4 career titles on links tracks. Watch out for his ironplay this week and if the putter gets going, he will be very dangerous.

Recent Open History

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T64 DNP T16 DNP DNP DNP

 Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
2 1 1 1

(4 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
117th 129th 24th 12 T35


Outside Bets

Bet£5_get£20__120x60   Ryan Moore (150/1 Coral)

Watch out for his attire this week

Watch out for his attire this week

The American is one of those players from the PGA Tour that despite amassing 3 career titles over there, still finds himself at very high odds when the big tournaments come around. With only 2 top 10’s in majors to date, you can almost understand why.

Moore is one of the most accurate players off the tee in the game ranking 15th on the PGA Tour. If he finds plenty of fairways, with the ability he has with the irons, he could contend. He already has a win in the 13/14 season at the CIMB Classic, beating Gary Woodland in a play-off and his last two finishes have been 7th and 5th. The confidence will be flowing through his veins coming to the Open. Once again for a player of his stature, this is great value. Also possesses very impressive recent form on links courses and only 1 missed cut.

Recent Open History 

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T32 DNP T28 MC DNP DNP

Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
1 2 2 1 1

(0 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
15th 11th 35th 9th 53rd 3 DNP

   Danny Willett (150/1 Various)

Has everything in his locker for links courses

Has everything in his locker for links courses

A bit like Robert Karlsson, the Englishman Willett has come up on the rails over the past couple of months and forced himself into our Hoylake plans. Despite only finishing T45 at the US Open, that was where he really asserted himself on our radar after 3 superb rounds of golf which were slightly overshadowed by a 3rd round 78.

Since the previous major he has pushed on and finished 3rd, 8th and last week 11th. So his game is right there at the moment. His ability off the tee was most impressive for us in Scotland where he managed to combine accuracy with a bit of length too. Of course, being an Englishman means he will feel at home with the adverse conditions and it is a British player such as Danny with his links ability that could really surprise a lot of people.

Recent Open History

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T15 DNP MC DNP DNP DNP

Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
1 2 1 5 4

(0 wins in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
57th 11th 7th 1 DNP

   Stephen Gallacher (80/1 Ladbrokes)

Stevie could have the chance to get his favourite beanie on once again!

Stevie could have the chance to get his favourite beanie on once again!

Last but not least is one of our most admired golfers and iron guru, Mr Gallacher. His form and pedigree on the European Tour can never be questioned with 3 career wins to his name. And the Scot has tried and succeeded in bringing consistency to his game over the past few months to assert himself as one of the best players in Europe.

With 3 top 5’s in his last 6 starts he has done this but whether he can take this play onto the biggest stages in golf remains to be seen.

His best major finish was T18 at the 2010 PGA Championship closely followed by  T21 at last year’s Open. With the amount of links tracks he plays on the Tour accompanied by his Scottish upbringing, Stephen should feel right at home this week.

Recent Open History 

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
T21 DNP T57 T23 DNP DNP

Links History (Past 18 months)

Won Top 5 Top 10 Top 25 Made Cut Missed Cut
5 1 5 5

(1 win in career on Links tracks)

Relevant stats to Open trends

Driving Accuracy GIR Scoring Average Par 4 Perform. Par 5 Perform Pro Titles 2006 Open Finish
121st 39th 29th 4 DNP

Coral Sports

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Open Championship 2014 Final Preview

  1. Pingback: The Open 2014 Preview 2 | DownThe18th

  2. Pingback: The Open 2014 Preview One | DownThe18th

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s