British Open 2022 expert first-round leader prop picks, predictions & best bets

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Joe Champion

Golf · 4 weeks ago

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Golf and soccer analyst for Pickswise, while also an avid tennis fan. One of very few Milton Keynes Dons soccer fans.

The 150th British Open begins at St Andrews on Thursday and, after the release of tee times on Tuesday morning, we’ve selected two first-round leader picks who could light up the Old Course on day one.

A great week of golf is in store at the Home of Golf and while the famous Claret Jug trophy won’t be handed out until Sunday, you don’t have to wait that long to cash a bet.

Bettors can also pick who will be at the top of the leaderboard after the first round, and that’s what we’re targeting in this preview.

Check out all our coverage of this week’s big golf tournament here.

Jordan Spieth first-round leader (+3000)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Some of the biggest tournaments of 2022 have been affected by a significant draw bias but that’s unlikely to be the case in the opening round of the British Open with the weather and wind expected to be calm throughout Thursday.

Wind is typically the Old Course’s greatest defense and there are fears that the venerable venue could be brought to its knees by the power-packed modern professionals who are capable of driving several of the par-4 holes.

But, more than anything, the Home of Golf demands creativity on and around the greens and it could be that Jordan Spieth is the man who can set the pace, just as he did when winning the Claret Jug at Birkdale in 2017.

Before his Birkdale triumph, the 28-year-old also went wire-to-wire to win the 2015 Masters, performances which demonstrated his love for being in contention from the outset in major championships.

The Texan will be on many outright bet slips this week, and rightly so given an excellent Open record which has also seen him finish just a shot out of a playoff at St Andrews in 2015 and second to Collin Morikawa at Royal St George’s last year.

Spieth’s opening-round record in the Open is excellent – he averages 68.75 in 8 appearances, including a 67 in 2015 – and a fast start can be expected once again given his solid performance in his course debut at last week’s Scottish Open.

He tees off alongside Jon Rahm and Harold Varner at 3:10pm local time (10:10am ET), and it would come as no surprise if he heads the leaderboard at the close of play. 

Read our full 2022 British Open preview from Diane Knox Balas, who gave 30/1 U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fox first-round leader (+7000)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

First-round leader bettors are also pointed in the direction of Ryan Fox, who has been in fine form on the DP World Tour this year and has some impressive links results.

Fox, who has claimed a victory in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic and 3 further runner-up finishes this season, tees off at 11:36am local time (6:36am ET) alongside American veteran Mark Calcavecchia and Australian Jediah Morgan.

The New Zealander may lack the mental fortitude to win a major but he only needs to play well for one day to cash this bet and he is a proven fast starter. Fox has fired opening rounds of 66 in the BMW International Open and 64 in the Irish Open just in his last 3 starts in Europe. He also posted a 64 at St Andrews in the 2019 Dunhill Links Championship, so has shown a liking for the course.

New to golf betting? Find out all you need to know here.

Be sure to check out all of our coverage, analysis and Masters Predictions throughout the tournament. As well as our Masters Golf Bonuses page for those free bets and promo codes.

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