Early on Thursday morning this week, the first few of over 150 of the top golfers in the world will head to the iconic home of the sport, St. Andrews to tee off their campaign to win the 150th Open Championship.

And it is fair to say that the competition for the famous Claret Jug may never be as intense as it will be this year.

Not only is this a significant tournament in its history, but with the current fallout from the spat between the LIV Golf Tour and the US PGA and DP World Tour still very much rolling on, there is sure to be plenty of spice between the golfers competing at St. Andrews this week.

At stake is more than just a chance to win the fourth and final Major of what has been a dramatic golf season so far, but it is also a chance to go down in the record books as a winner of the oldest Major tournament at the home of golf.

And with Tiger Woods set to compete after sitting out the US Open last month to ensure he was fit enough to play in this event, the tournament has been given added spice with his return to action.

We are going to preview the tournament, with odds provided by bet365 Sport, and give you a lowdown on the course, the competitors and of course, our tips for who will do well in the tournament this week.

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So, let’s begin with a quick look at the backdrop to this historic 150th running of the famous British Open Championship.

British Open Championship – A History

The British Open, or known as just The Open Championship, is the oldest golf tournament in the world and is the only golf Major not to be contested in the United States of America.

Established in 1860, the tournament takes place each year at one of a specially select number of Open Championship courses on the roster, one of which is this years venue, St. Andrews.

All venues that host The Open are links courses, 14 courses have hosted the tournament in its history, with ten venues now part of the current Open rotation.

The four courses that have held the tournament but which are no longer part of the rotation are:

  • Royal Cinque Ports (England)
  • Prince’s (England)
  • Prestwick (Scotland)
  • Musselburgh (Scotland)

The ten courses that are still part of the active rotation are as follows

  • St Andrews (Scotland)
  • Muirfield (Scotland)
  • Royal Troon (Scotland)
  • Carnoustie (Scotland)
  • Turnberry (Scotland)*
  • Royal St Georges (England)
  • Royal Liverpool (England)
  • Royal Lytham & St Annes (England)
  • Royal Birkdale (England)
  • Royal Portrush (Northern Ireland)

However, the Donald Trump-owned Turnberry course will not host any tournaments for the “foreseeable future” after an announcement by the R&A after the 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

St Andrews has hosted the most Open Championship events (29) and since 1990, it has hosted the tournament every five years until a seven-year gap to host the 150th tournament this year.

The 2023, 2024 and 2025 tournament venues have already been decided with Royal Liverpool hosting in 2023, Troon in 2024 and Portrush in 2025.

It is likely, though not confirmed, that St Andrews will once again host the tournament in 2030, with other courses on the rotation being used between 2026 and 2029.

  • Claret Jug

The Claret Jug was first presented to the winner of the tournament in 1873, although the original remains on display in the R&A clubhouse at St. Andrews.

Therefore, it is a replica jug that is presented to the winner each year, and they hold onto the trophy for one year.

Nowadays, the name of the winner is engraved onto the trophy before it is presented to them, but prior to 1967, it had been the winner’s responsibility to get their name engraved on the trophy.

Open Championship – Record Holders

  • Oldest Winner – Old Tom Morris (46 years, 102 days) 1867
  • Youngest Winner – Young Tom Morris (17 years, 156 days) 1868
  • Most Wins – Harry Vardon – 6 (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914)
  • Lowest Winning Score – 264 – Henrik Stenson (2016)

Open Championship 2022 – Facts & Figures

  • The tournament purse for 2022 will be the largest in the history of The Open, with a $14,000,000 purse and $2,500,000 paid to the winner.
  • The defending Champion is US golfer Collin Morikawa who won last year at Royal St Georges.
  • Recent winners of the tournament include Shane Lowry (2019), Francesco Molinari (2018), Jordan Spieth (2017),  Henrik Stenson (2016), Zach Johnson (2015), Rory McIlroy (2014), Phil Mickelson (2013), Ernie Els (2012), Darren Clarke (2011) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010).
  • Two of Tiger Woods’ three wins in this tournament came at St Andrews (in 2000 and 2005), he also won at Royal Liverpool in 2016.
  • Other golfers to have won the tournament at St Andrews includes: Jack Nicklaus (1970 and 1978), Bobby Jones (1927), Sam Snead (1946), Peter Thompson (1955), Bobby Locke (1957), Seve Ballesteros (1984), Nick Faldo (1990), John Daly (1995), Louis Oosthuizen (2000) and Zach Johnson (2015)
  • 156 players contest the tournament.
  • The leading Amateur golfer in the tournament will win the Silver Medal, any other amateur that competes in the final round of the tournament receives a bronze medal.

St. Andrews Old Course

Revered throughout the world as the home of golf and despite being considerably shorter than many top tournament courses in the world, this historic venue in Fife remains legendary in the eyes of many golfers of all standards.

The 7,305 yard course looked very different when it was first founded in 1552, but changes to update and upgrade the course over the years have been sympathetic towards maintaining the traditions of the original course, whilst offering modern players more challenge.

Some of its most famous features include the Swilcan Burn and the Swilcan Bridge which are located on the adjoining 1st and 18th fairways, the Spectacles bunkers on the 5th hole and the infamous Hell bunker on 14th which is 300 square yards in area and is between 7 and 10 feet deep.

The 17th and 18th holes also have a number of famous features. The 17th is known as The Road Hole, featuring the infamous Road Hole Bunker and requires a drive that often is hit above the old railway sheds that are now part of the Old Course Hotel complex.

The 18th green also features the Valley of Sin, which runs across the front of the green and which often catches shots that fall just short of reaching the putting surface.

The course record is 61, shot by Ross Fisher in 2017.

Betting Odds For The Open 2022

Rory McIlroy is the 10/1 favourite with bet365 to win the tournament with Scottish Open winner Xander Schauffele 14/1, Jordan Spieth 16/1 and John Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick and Scottie Scheffler all rated as 18/1 chances.

It does look to be an open tournament with many golfers rated at odds of 100/1 or better to win the event including Justin Rose (66/1), Adam Scott and Tiger Woods (both 80/1), Tommy Fleetwood (33/1), Shane Lowry (22/1) and last year’s Champion Collin Morikawa is 28/1 alongside Will Zalatoris.

The latter is a solid each way bet after performing well in a number of Majors of late, including just missing out on last month’s US Open.

However, I think Justin Spieth is due another big win and as such, at 16/1, he’d be my pick to land the victory here this weekend.