The Open Championship

by Dave jordan on July 13, 2021

The Open Championship returns to Royal St Georges for the 15 time. The course is a stiff links test with undulating terrain, dunes and deep bunkering, a premium is placed on accuracy and keeping the ball in the fairway off the tee.

Date: 15 - 18 July, 2021
Course: Royal St. Georges Sandwich, Kent, England
Length: 6,587 meters
Par: 70

Key Stats

  • Greens In Regulation
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Proximity 175-200 Yards
  • Putting Average
  • Birdie or Better
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • Strokes Gained: Off The Tee
  • Scottish Open Form
  • Irish Open Form (2017-19)
  • Alfred Dunhill Links Form
  • Qatar Masters (Until 2020)
  • Dubai Desert Classic
  • Bent grass Greens

Tournament Winners

2019 - Shane Lowry
2018 - Francesco Molinari
2017 - Jordan Spieth
2016 - Henrik Stenson
2014 - Rory McIlroy
2013 - Phil Mickelson
2012 - Ernie Els
2011 - Darren Clarke*
2010 - Louis Oosthuizen
*At Royal St George’s

Winner Profile

Royal St George’s is typically a stern links test. Links form is the obvious guide but so too is strong iron play and a classy putter. Playing in the Scottish Open has tended to be an excellent guide. The last two winners at Royal St George’s have been at monumental odds with Ben Curtis winning at his debut major and Darren Clarke winning with absolutely no form in his mid-40s. Winning form though has been good form with five of the last seven winners winning at 1 of their previous 5 starts and all bar four this century winning at least once in the previous 12 months. Open Championship form is also an excellent guide with a previous Top 10 before a win. Veterans and outsiders have an excellent record in the Open.

Top Chances

Tyrell Hatton: Tremendous iron player who plays outstanding on links courses. A former winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links, Hatton finished 2nd in 2018 and 15th in 2019. Has Top 25 finishes in the Scottish Open and Dubai Desert Classic this year. Finished Top 6 in two of the last four Open Championships. Has won plenty over the last 18 months. Ranks 3rd on the European Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach, 9th in GIR and 15th in Bogey Avoidance while he ranks Top 20 on the PGA Tour in Putting Average and Strokes Gained: Off The Tee.

Collin Morikawa: Leads the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach and Birdie or Better. Also ranks 2nd in GIR, 2nd in Proximity 175-200 Yards and 6th in Putting Average. Already has a major win under his belt as well as a WGC so handles the big time. Finished Top 18 in the three majors this year including a 4th in the US Open. Played last week in Scotland last week and was solid before a disappointing final round.

Mid-Tier Chances

Patrick Reed: Quality putter who has a very good Open record with three Top 20s in his six starts including a T-10 last year. Ranks 3rd in Putting Average, 9th in Strokes Gained: Putting and 20th in Birdie or Better. Won the Farmers Insurance earlier in the year and ranks 11th in the field in putting on bentgrass greens.

Daniel Berger: Very good price even though his form has tailed off. He ranks 7th in Proximity 175-200 Yards, 8th in GIR, 9th in Bogey Avoidance, 10th in Birdie or Better and 14th in Strokes Gained: Approach. Top 20 putter on bentgrass greens. Top 13 finishes in two of his last five majors. Won in February at Pebble Beach.

Lucas Herbert: Australian in tremendous form off a win in the Irish Open and a 4th in the Scottish Open. Links form is excellent with a win in the 2020 Dubai Desert Classic, a 4th in the 2020 Scottish Open, a 7th in the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links and a 22nd at the Dubai Desert Classic this year. Ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Putting, 3rd in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, 6th in Putting Average, 13th in Birdie or Better and 14th in Bogey Avoidance.
Christian Bezuidenhout: Underrated South African who has finished Top 40 in four straight majors. Ranks 3rd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting while he ranks 5th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 6th in Scrambling and 7th in GIR on the European Tour. Finished 2nd at both the Dubai Desert Classic and Qatar Masters. Won earlier this year twice. Played last week.

Outside Chances

Sam Burns: In-form PGA Tour player who broke through with a win at the Valspar this year and has six other Top 20s this season including a T-18 in the Scottish Open. Ranks 2nd in Birdie or better, 7th in Putting Average and 20th in Strokes Gained: Approach on the PGA Tour.
Victor Perez: One of the best iron players on the European Tour, ranking 2nd in GIR and 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach. Also ranks 9th in Scrambling. Won the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links and was 14th in last year’s Scottish Open. Played last week, a plus.
Aaron Rai: Won the Scottish Open in 2020. Ranks 7th in Bogey Avoidance, 10th in GIR and 11th in Scrambling on the European Tour. Form not been great recently but had a T-12 in Ireland and a T-35 in Scotland last week.
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