The Open 2015 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! Open | 15 October - 18 October | The North Course at Silverado Resort & Spa

This week the Open returns to the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa and if last year was anything to go by, finding a winner this week could be tough.

Sang Moon-Bae won that installment of the tournament and didn’t find much support from the punters, but he won’t be competing this week so that’s one less outsider to worry about. There are a host of others who look as though their game may suit the course though so be careful, this could be one where you have to stay away from the favourites. Measuring just over 7,200 yards the course is not particularly tough and a lot of birdies are going to be made. With that in mind the first stat to keep an eye on is birdie making ability and contrary to what I said about staying away from the favourites, those who top the betting also lead the field in that respect. There’s a bit more to it than that though as a host of tour players will arrive hungry to make a name for themselves. The best way to do that will be to one up the big guns and that kind of motivation can never be ignored. The field seems to be split into two categories, the experienced campaigners and the young rookies, and this is certainly going to make for an interesting affair. Finding a winner may prove difficult but don’t worry, we’ve done the research and have found a few exciting prospects.

To Win Outright
Rory McIlroy  5/1
Justin Rose  10/1
Brooks Koepka  18/1
Hideki Matsuyama  18/1
Justin Thomas  40/1

Value Bets
Hideki Matsuyama (18/1 a win, 34/10 a place)
We’ll start off cautiously by tipping one of the favourites, Hideki Matsuyama. When it comes to hitting greens in regulation there aren’t many players who hit their irons as accurately as he does and that’s going to be the first step on the path to making birdies. He also ranks highly in scrambling and should save shots where some of the rookies might not. Matsuyama’s game looked to be in a good place in last week’s Presidents Cup and I have a feeling he’ll go close this week. Each way is the bet for me.

Tony Finau (44/1 a win, 83/10 a place)
Finau will still be hurting after he lost the Rookie of the Year award to Daniel Berger, but he’s shown on more than one occasion this season, that he has what it takes to upset the big names and I reckon he’ll be doing the same this week. He also has an advantage over Berger this week, in that he's played the course before. He played well here on his way to a T12 finish last year and after 12 months on the Tour he’ll return with more experience and hopefully improve on that. Finau has what it takes to make a lot of birdies this week, let’s hope he goes close.

Brendan Steele (74/1 a win, 14/1 a place)
Considering the fact that Brendan Steele hasn’t won in more than four years this may be a bit optimistic, but at this price he’s worth a small place bet. Last year he finished inside the Top 25 and although he never looked like winning it, a Top 10 was well within his reach. He seemed to enjoy the course then and his crunching drives saw him hit more fairways than most. If he does the same this week and hits his irons like he did throughout the season we could be in for some easy money. Let’s hope we’re not disappointed.

Brooks Koepka (18/1 a win, 34/10 a place)
Koepka has had an up and down season and although he came hurtling out the gates at the start, he slowed down towards the end. Consequently, he hasn’t made punters much money in recent weeks. I feel like that could all change this week though as he arrives on a course he knows well and has done well on in the past. Last year his T8 finish was the result of some consistent all round play and with the pressure off and a new season getting underway, I feel as though he’ll be back to his best. He looks to be the best bet of the week so I’m backing him each way. Let’s hope it pays off.

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