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The Open Championship Tips & Preview - Top contenders for victory at Royal Liverpool

brad-newcomb
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Last updated: 18 Jul 2023
Brad Newcomb 18 Jul 2023
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  • The 151st Open Championship takes place between 20-23 July at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England
  • Cameron Smith is the defending champion
  • Our 4 selections who can win the title
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the open claret jug
Who will lift the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club? (Getty Images)

The Open Championship returns to Royal Liverpool for the first time since 2014, where a star-studded field of the world's elite golfers will compete for the coveted Claret Jug. Who will walk away with the honours at Hoylake come Sunday? 

Cameron Smith returns to defend his title after a one-stroke victory over Cameron Young in 2022.

A host of past and present major winners are in the field including Wyndham Clark, Brooks Kopeka, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Keegan Bradley, Bryson DeChambeau, Ernie Els, Jason Day, Padraig Harrington, Dustin Johnson, Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel, Franceso Molinari, Collin Morikawa, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, and Gary Woodland.

These are our selections that could win the final Major of the year. 

Cameron Smith


Cameron Smith has been in great touch since the end of April, placing 4th in Adelaide, 7th in Singapore, 2nd in Tulsa, T9 at the PGA Championship, 11th in DC, 4th at the US Open, 12th at Valderrama and victory at the LIV Golf Invitational Series in London.

Before that, Smith began his season by winning in his home country at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship (DP World Tour) before missing the cut at the ISPS Handa Australian Open (DP World Tour) and PIF Saudi International (Asian Tour).

The Australian continued to misfire on the LIV Golf Tour, finishing 6th in Mayakoba, 26th in Tucson, 29th in Orlando and then T34 at the Masters.

The 29-year-old has featured five times at the Open Championship, missing the cut in 2017, finishing 78th in 2018, T20 in 2020 and T33 in 2021 before clinching the title in 2022.

Smith comes into this tournament on the back of superb results and has every chance of winning the Open Championship for the second consecutive year in England this weekend. 

Viktor Hovland 


Viktor Hovland has been playing well lately on the PGA Tour, placing T2 at the PGA Championship, T16 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, victory at the Memorial Tournament and 19th at the US Open before finishing T29 at the Travelers Championship and T25 at the recent Scottish Open.

Hovland was in top form at the start of the season, placing T5 at the ZOZO Championship, T21 at the CJ Cup, T10 at the World Wide Technology Championship, victory at the Hero World Challenge, T18 at the Tournament of Champions, T13 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, T42 at the WM Phoenix Open, T20 at the Genesis Invitational, T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and T3 at the Players Championship

The world's number five ranked golfer struggled with his game in his subsequent four starts, finishing T31 at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play, T7 at the Masters, T59 at the RBC Heritage and T43 at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The 25-year-old Norwegian has contested the Open Championship twice, placing T12 in 2021 and T4 in 2022.

Hovland has been knocking hard at the Majors since last year and has the form to go all the way at Royal Liverpool this weekend.

Tyrrell Hatton


Tyrrell Hatton put himself in contention to win the Scottish Open last weekend, but a poor back nine during the fourth round saw him finish T6 overall.

Before that performance, Hatton had been threatening to win on the PGA Tour for a while, placing T19 at the RBC Heritage, 3rd at the Wells Fargo Championship, T5 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, T15 at the PGA Championship, T12 at the Memorial Tournament, T3 at the RBC Canadian Open and T27 at the US Open.

Other notable achievements by the 31-year-old earlier in the season include T13 at the CJ Cup, T7 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (DP World Tour), T6 at the WM Phoenix Open, T4 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 2nd at the Players Championship.

The Englishman missed the cut in his first four Open Championships before placing T5 in 2016, MC in 2017, T51 in 2018, T6 in 2019, MC in 2021 and T11 in 2022.

Hatton has featured high up on the leaderboards throughout this season and will look to redeem himself after his poor final round last weekend with a winning performance at Hoylake.

Dustin Johnson


Dustin Johnson's last three starts have been excellent, placing T10 at the US Open, 9th at Valderrama and 5th in London on the LIV Golf Series.

Before that, Johnson lacked consistency in his game, finishing 37th in Mayakoba, 13th in Tucson, 7th in Orlando, 48th at the Masters, 10th in Adelaide and 25th in Singapore before bouncing back with victory in Tulsa.

However, the 39-year-old's subsequent two events were average, placing T55 at the PGA Championship and 27th in DC.

The former world number one has played at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club before, placing T12 overall at the 2014 Open Championship.

Other notable performances at the Open Championship include T14 in 2010, T2 in 2011, T9 in 2012, T9 in 2016, T8 in 2021 and T6 in 2022.

Johnson will use his knowledge of Hoylake to upstage the others with another Major victory and lift the Claret Jug for the first time in his career. 

Verdict

Smith has been producing excellent results lately and can win back-to-back Open Championships.

Hovland has been solid all year and has the game to win his maiden Major at Hoylake this weekend.

Hatton has done no wrong this season and has the form to secure the Claret Jug for the first time come Sunday.

Johnson has been thereabouts in recent starts and offers excellent value at Royal Liverpool this weekend.

Best Bet: Cameron Smith Each-Way @16/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Viktor Hovland Each-Way @20/1 at Hollywood bets - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Tommy Fleetwood Each-Way @22/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Dustin Johnson Each-Way @30/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Cameron Smith
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Dustin Johnson
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20 Jul 2023

The Open Championship