The 151st Open Championship: Preview, Props, Best Bets

Field Level Media
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July 19, 2023; Hoylake, ENGLAND, GBR; Scottie Scheffler hits a chip shot on the 17th hole during a practice round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Liverpool.
July 19, 2023; Hoylake, ENGLAND, GBR; Scottie Scheffler hits a chip shot on the 17th hole during a practice round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Liverpool.
Image: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As The 151st Open Championship approaches, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler has pulled even - or ahead of - Rory McIlroy at many sportsbooks.

They're the two hottest golfers in the world, but there is an elite field of 156 players who will take on Royal Liverpool beginning Thursday in Hoylake, England. Our golf experts preview The Open and provide their favorite prop picks along with best bets to win the final major of 2023.



Location: Hoylake, Wirral, England, July 20-23

Course: Royal Liverpool (Par 71, 7,383 yards)

Purse: $16.5M (Winner: $3M)

Defending Champion: Cameron Smith

FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm


TV: Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4 a.m./3-4 p.m. (Peacock), 4 a.m.-3 p.m. (USA); Saturday, 5-7 a.m. (USA), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 4-7 a.m. (USA), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)


Twitter: @TheOpen


--Min Woo Lee to Beat Tony Finau (+105 at DraftKings): We rode Lee to a prop win vs. Justin Thomas last week and we're going back to the well against Finau, who missed the cut as the defending champion at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in his most recent start and hasn't finished better than T32 in his past five. Meanwhile, Lee's T35 in Scotland followed three consecutive top-15 results. He also finished T21 at St. Andrews last year.

--Sungjae Im to Miss Cut (+170 at BetMGM): Links style golf is not Im's strong suit. His best finish at The Open was a T81 last year and he's coming off a missed cut at the Scottish Open for the second consecutive year. It was also the fourth time Im has failed to make the weekend in his past seven starts.

--Robert MacIntyre Top Lefty (+110 at DraftKings): The Scot is back up to 54th in the world rankings after narrowly missing out on winning his national title last week, which followed a T4 in his previous start on the DP World Tour. The prop also includes Brian Harman at +150 and Phil Mickelson at +400. While Mickelson counts the 2013 Open among his six major titles, the 53-year-old missed the cut at St. Andrews last year and is coming off a T40 at LIV's London event. We're more wary of Harman, who finished T6 in The 150th Open and enters riding a streak of three consecutive top-12 finishes.


2023 Prop Picks Record: 32-42-2


--Rory McIlroy (+750 at BetMGM) has 19 top-10s in majors since his most recent major title at the 2014 PGA Championship, the most of any player during that span. His win last week was McIlroy's sixth consecutive top-10 finish. He's the book's second biggest liability this week, although his odds have lengthened slightly from opening at +700 as McIlroy has drawn 9.8 percent of the outright winner bets and 14.3 percent of the money.


--Scottie Scheffler (+750) has finished T12 or bettering in 18 consecutive starts, including a win at The Players. He's the only player in the field with top-10s in each of the year's first three majors. Scheffler is BetMGM's biggest liability as he leads the field with 11.4 and 19.4 percent of the action, respectively, since opening at +850.

--Rahm (+1200) has four wins this season, including the Masters, and can become the first player to win five times in a season since Justin Thomas in 2016-17. The Spaniard is being offered at +1300 at DraftKings, where he is sixth with 5 percent of the money backing him to claim a third major title this week.


--Cameron Smith (+1600) is the defending champion and finished fourth at the U.S. Open last month before winning the most recent LIV Golf event in London. The Aussie has been the third most popular wager at BetRivers, where he has been supported by 7.8 percent of the total bets at +1600.

--Brooks Koepka (+2000) finished second at the Masters before winning the PGA for the third time. He tied for 17th at the U.S. Open. Koepka is BetMGM's third biggest liability this week as he is third in both total bets (6.8 percent) and money (8.3 percent) backing him since opening at +3300.


--Viktor Hovland (+2000) has also been popular since opening at +2800. The young Norwegian is still seeking his first major title, but did battle Koepka on Sunday at this year's PGA Championship. Hovland is being offered at +2200 at DraftKings, where he is third in the field with 7 percent of the money backing him to win.

--Rickie Fowler (+2200) broke a four-year winless streak two events ago and tied for second at the '14 Open at Royal Liverpool. He has 13 career top-10s but no wins in majors. Fowler was a +15000 longshot when BetMGM first opened the market for wagers on The 151st Open, and has since drawn the most bets placed on players to finish in the top 20.



--This is the 13th time Royal Liverpool has played host to The Open, with McIlroy winning the most recent one in 2014. In all, 42 players in this week's field also played in the '14 Open. Other top-10 finishers that year included Fowler (T2), Adam Scott (T5), Charl Schwartzel (T7) and Shane Lowry (T9). The first Open held at Royal Liverpool was won by Harold Hilton in 1897.


--The last player to win multiple majors in the same year was Jordan Spieth in 2015. Rahm (Masters), Koepka (PGA) and Wyndham Clark (U.S. Open) claimed the first three majors of 2023. Clark can also become the first player since Spieth to win consecutive majors (Masters, U.S. Open).

--The last Englishman to win The Open on home soil was Tony Jacklin 54 years ago.


--World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay, No. 5 Hovland, No. 6 Xander Schauffele and No. 8 Max Homa have combined for 25 PGA Tour titles but have yet to win a major.

--Justin Thomas (+6600 at BetMGM) is currently 75th in the FedEx Cup standings with only three weeks remaining until the playoffs. Only the top 70 players will qualify for the first leg. Thomas has finished in the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings each of the past six seasons.


--Rahm has the longest active streak of cuts made at majors (16), while Scott has the longest active streak of starts in majors (88).

--Field Level Media