Just a mention of ‘The Open’ is enough to excite any golfer or fan of the sport. From the 14th to the 17th of July, this legendary golf tournament will be held. It’s not just the 150th championship but is being played at the home of golf, St Andrews.
The mere combination of the Open and St Andrews has already attracted massive interest. Will Collin Morikawa be able to retain the title he won last year at Royal St George’s? He’s 14/1 to do so or will we see a new winner such as 10/1 favourite Jon Rahm.
In 2020, the Open was not held due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, it was back last year and there are expected to be 290,000 fans heading to St Andrews in July. That will be a record attendance and the tickets must be the most sought after in the world of golf. St Andrews already holds the record of 239,000. That was achieved in 2000 when Tiger Woods ran away with the tournament, winning by eight shots.
Over 1.3 million applications were made, all hoping to see the final Major of the year take place at St Andrews. There will be around 52,000 fans on each of the four days. It’s not just the actual tournament that fans are clamouring to see. 80,000 of them will attend the four practice days that are being held.
People of all ages will be watching the tournament. There are 20,000 free tickets being given to under-16s and around 20% of tickets go to under-25s.
St Andrews is hosting the Open for the 30th time and the first since 2015. On that occasion the winner was Zach Johnson after a play-off, the second in the last five Opens at St Andrews to end that way. It seems we either get a runaway winner or a play-off. Three of the last four Open tournaments held there have been won by at least five strokes.
Not since 1990 has a European golfer won the Open at St Andrews. Nick Faldo achieved that feat but since then five tournaments have been held and won by three Americans (Johnson, Woods and Daley) and the South African Luis Oosthuizen.
Tiger Woods made his comeback from injury at the 2022 Masters. He has already announced his intention to be in Scotland for the 150th Open, especially as it is being held at St Andrews. The three-time Open champion considers the Scottish course to be his “favourite golf course in the world.” That’s not just because he’s won two Open titles there.
St Andrews is “something that is near and dear” to his heart. He rightfully calls St Andrews “the home of golf.” You can get 40/1 with the current Bet365 offer on him winning in July.
Also wanting to play at the 150th Open is former champion Greg Norman. The Australian has won the Open twice but is now 67 years-old and hasn’t played professionally in a decade. He last won the Open in 1993.
Norman can’t just turn up and play though. Although he’s a former Open champion, exemptions are only given those aged under 60. Norman will have to fill in an entry form and then go through the tough qualifiers.
He admits to loving St Andrews and he’s not in the minority. July will be another historic month for the world of golf.