British Open 2022 predictions, picks, four men who can beat Rory McIlroy and Victor Hovland at St Andrews


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As Rory McIlroy and Victor Hovland sit atop the 150th Open Championship leaderboard after posting a matched 66 on Saturday, the golf world heads into Sunday’s final round, wondering if we’ll see a historic conclusion to what has already been exhilarating. anniversary edition of the world’s oldest championship. golf championship.

McIlroy, talking about his eight-year severe drought in St. Andrews, would one of the greatest stories of the year in golf, especially considering how he’s played major championships so far this season, finishing in the top 10 at the Masters (2nd), PGA Championship (8th) and US Open (T5). Hovland’s victory will solidify his place among golf’s rising stars and add him to a major 2022 championship in which all four winners will be under 30 years of age.

But what if the winner of the Claret Pitcher doesn’t make it to the final pair? What if someone makes a low number attack and both of our co-leaders retreat to the pack? Who then has a better chance of catching McIlroy and Hovland on Sunday?

Historically, the record for a final round comeback at The Open is held by Paul Laurie hitting 10 back shots to advance to a three-man playoff and ultimately win. But the chances of McIlroy and/or Hovland on the 18th hole, as Jean van de Velde did on Carnoustie, seem unlikely. More recent and realistic examples of notable final-round comebacks at The Open include Padraig Harrington’s six-stroke victory in 2007, Ernie Els’s six-stroke victory in 2012, and Phil Mickelson’s five-stroke victory in 2013.

But none of them were in St. Andrews. The winner in every 72-hole edition of The Open played at St. Andrews has been within four strokes of the leader heading to the final and has won the Claret Jug all 22 times. according to Justin Ray. So here are five contenders who could potentially catch up with the leaders of the 150th Open on Sunday. Odds via bookmaker Caesars

Cameron Smith (-12): After two days of doing just about everything on the green, Smith didn’t play putts on Saturday with the same consistency as the 54-hole championship leader. Although he didn’t hit as many birdies, Smith still held his round together until the number 13 double bogey hit. a much better position to catch the leaders. In his current form, he not only needs to shoot somewhere close to 65 or 66, but also hope that neither McIlroy nor Hovland scores more than 60s. Odds: 11-1

Cameron Young (-12): One of the PGA Tour’s hottest rookies put in an impressive showing in his Open debut, including how he saved 1-to-71 despite two bogeys and a double bogey from his place in the final pair. After 64 on Thursday, 69 on Friday and then 71 on Saturday, it would be great to see him reverse the trend and return to his early tournament form. But that’s not usually the case, especially with players early in their main careers. Odds: 25-1

Scotty Sheffler (-11): A strong 3-69 team lifted the reigning Masters champion up one position on the leaderboard and brought him a little closer to being able to challenge for a second major championship in this stellar 2022 season. Scheffler had the best day of the tournament so far when it came to approach shots at these Old Course fields, and it paid off when he hit five birdies that day. Scheffler is a high-end offering where you can almost count on 68 or 69 on Sunday, but that score still won’t let him lift a claret pitcher unless Rory and Hovland shoot above par. Si Woo Kim is in 11th place with Scheffler, but he has never even finished in the top 10 in 22 big starts. Odds: 20-1

Dustin Johnson (-10): St. Andrews, with their long par-4 short field range and ability to fall behind, seemed to set Johnson up well to fight for victory in his third major championship. Unfortunately, those efforts fell short on Saturday afternoon as DJ had as many ghosts on his last six holes (three) as he did in the first two rounds combined. He has the potential to go really low on Sunday, but the way he got knocked down by the mounds and bunkers of Old Field late in the third round doesn’t bode well for an epic comeback. Chances: 50-1

2022 Open Championship last chance selection

Kyle Porter, Senior Golf Writer: There are many reasons why McIlroy will win the 150th Open Championship. He did an incredibly good job of not allowing himself to get carried away emotionally during an exceptionally emotional week. His game is as neat as last year and he scores to prove it. St. Andrews is a magical place, and Rory’s win the same week that Tiger Woods left the stage just after two of the best wins in golf history at that course is so unlikely that it would seem that it could only happen at Old Course. Selected: Rory McIlroy (10/11)

Chip Patterson, writer: There’s no reason to think too much about it: even the data suggests that there is a little over 50% chance that McIlroy will outpace Hovland and hold the chase team on Sunday. The confidence he’s shown all week is backed up by the analytics and it’s time for a generational talent to be rewarded with another peak in his Hall of Fame career. McIlroy has never finished in the top ten of all four majors in one season, and he intends not only to do so, but to break his eight-year drought at St. Andrews. Selected: Rory McIlroy (10/11)

Patrick McDonald, golf writer: McIlroy rides on a wave of momentum and it seems like he can’t go wrong on Old Field. This week was a throwback to 2014, when he often played with the perfect combination of aggression and discipline. Eight years later, he would lift the Claret Jug again and join Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson as a five-time Grand Champion. Selected: Rory McIlroy (10/11)

Kyle Boone, writer: How far back is too far back? Five strokes — under these conditions, on this course, with this is stellar leaderboard – too much? According to Justin Ray, no winner of the St. Andrews Open has won after being more than four strokes behind at the 54-hole mark. However, it somehow seems plausible about Scheffler. After seeing Justin Thomas climb out of the seven-stroke pit by entering the 4th round of the PGA Championship back in May, Scheffler’s claim to take on the Claret Jug on Sunday doesn’t seem impossible. He’s played well all week, ranks second in the field in hits taken on the run, and has what it takes to make a huge rally if his stick starts to roll. Pick: Scotty Sheffler (20-1)

Adam Silverstein, editor-in-chief: Just because he stopped winning doesn’t mean McIlroy struggled to play well in the majors. Since 2014, he has 16 top 10 finishes out of 30 such chances, with three of them appearing this year alone. The problem is that McIlroy usually either starts slow or loses a low score in the first round, often going through the back door. Things are different this week, as McIlroy has remained consistently hot with a 66-68-66 score in the first three rounds. Rory clearly has the equivalent of St. Andrews’ home course advantage – the crowd is emotionally interested in his success – and yet he was able to block it and play golf calmly and intelligently. What better way than to end an eight-year drought by winning the 150th Open Tournament? Selected: Rory McIlroy (10/11)

Rick Gehman and Greg DuCharme look at the odds on Sunday at the Open. Follow and listen to The First Cut at Apple Podcasts as well as Spotify.

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