Who to back at The 151st Open? Players to follow for potential major win at Royal Liverpool | Golf News

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Cameron Smith returns as defending champion, Scottie Scheffler arrives as world No 1 and Rory McIlroy is chasing a fifth major title; Watch The 151st Open from Royal Liverpool throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 18/07/23 9:47pm

A look at Rory McIlroy's best shots from his 2014 Open Championship win at this year's venue, Royal Liverpool

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A look at Rory McIlroy’s best shots from his 2014 Open Championship win at this year’s venue, Royal Liverpool

A look at Rory McIlroy’s best shots from his 2014 Open Championship win at this year’s venue, Royal Liverpool

All eyes are on the top of the Open Championship betting and picking holes in Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler is extremely difficult.

However, this is the one major where focusing on bigger prices and generous each-way terms is a must, especially with strong wind forecast for Saturday, and the best bet is Dustin Johnson.

After a slow start to 2023, Johnson got back into the mix in a major when 10th at the US Open. Crucially, his long game was excellent, and had he putted well he would’ve been asking questions of Wyndham Clark.

Will Dustin Johnson move three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam with victory at The Open?

Will Dustin Johnson move three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam with victory at The Open?

That aspect of his game has generally looked good on the LIV Golf circuit and his Open record is outstanding. Right from his near-miss in 2011 and even before that when contending at St Andrews, Johnson has looked like a potential winner of the Claret Jug.

Experience is extremely valuable in any Open Championship and Johnson’s includes a round of 65 here in 2014, the joint-best score of the week. He could well make a winning return to Hoylake.

Shane Lowry‘s links record needs no introduction and he also shot 65 during that renewal of the Open, enough to secure his first major championship top 10.

Shane Lowry is looking to win The Open for a second time, following on from his 2019 success at Royal Portrush

Shane Lowry is looking to win The Open for a second time, following on from his 2019 success at Royal Portrush

A winner at Portrush five years later and close to the places in two subsequent Open appearances, he should continue to threaten under conditions which favour him after a nice primer last week.

So might Jordan Spieth, who has plenty of good form behind him this year and can be excused from a poor Genesis Scottish Open.

The remodelled 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has caused a lot of discussion between players this week with Jordan Spieth suggesting it could cause carnage and Matt Fitzpatrick refusing to comment anything other than 'interesting' about the par 3

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The remodelled 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has caused a lot of discussion between players this week with Jordan Spieth suggesting it could cause carnage and Matt Fitzpatrick refusing to comment anything other than ‘interesting’ about the par 3

The remodelled 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has caused a lot of discussion between players this week with Jordan Spieth suggesting it could cause carnage and Matt Fitzpatrick refusing to comment anything other than ‘interesting’ about the par 3

Viktor Hovland and Cameron Young both threatened at St Andrews having failed to make the cut at The Renaissance and Spieth, whose Open record shows nine cuts made from nine appearances and that famous 2017 win, can bounce back. He’s one of the best Open golfers in this field after all.

At bigger odds, it could pay to chance Hideki Matsuyama, who placed on his Open debut and far better suited to this style of golf than recent results would suggest.

Hideki Matsuyama is without a worldwide top-10 since The Players

Hideki Matsuyama is without a worldwide top-10 since The Players

He’s had some fitness troubles this year but his long-game stats from all three majors so far have been excellent, bettered only by Scheffler in fact.

Any improvement on the greens and Matsuyama could reward each-way faith and become the latest player to capture this and The Masters.

The 151st Open – July 20 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Golf<br>Fourth Men’s Ashes Test – July 19 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket<br>Premier League Summer Series – from July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League<br>Hungarian Grand Prix – July 21 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports F1<br>F1 Juniors: Hungarian GP – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Mix<br>World Matchplay Darts – July 17 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action<br>Women’s World Matchplay Darts – July 22 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action<br>IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action

Finally, Corey Conners fits the bill as a winner this year who contended for the Open in 2021. He was in the mix for three rounds at Oak Hill and now seems ready to hang around all week.

Watch The 151st Open throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the opening round begins on Thursday from 6.30am on Sky Sports Golf.

There is also lots of extra coverage available throughout each day via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, along with Sky Q and Sky Glass, with Featured Groups and Featured Hole feeds available to enjoy as the world’s best players tackle Royal Liverpool.

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