British Open first round leader odds, predictions & best bets: Fox can set early pace

May 28, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Ryan Fox plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
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Steve Palmer


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Been handicapping golf since 2001 and to date have had only two losing years. One of the leading voices of golf betting in the UK. For Steve Palmer media enquiries, please email
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If you don’t want to wait 4 days for a winning bet on the 151st Open Championship, there is always the option to bet simply on the player who has the best opening round.

With 156 players set to step up to the first tee at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Thursday morning (starting from 1:35 am ET, which is 6:35 am local time) the odds if you get it right are always rewarding and longshots can make their mark if conditions fall in their favor, even if they can’t keep up their form for the full tournament.

Conditions may well play a part in determining the Thursday night leaderboard, too, as the forecasr suggests the early starters could be greeted by a rain-softened course, with the later starters having a tougher time as the fairways and greens become firmer and the wind gets up.

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Open Championship first-rounder leader picks: Ryan Fox (+7000) & Lucas Herbert (+10000, BetMGM)

There are two Australasian players in one of the early groups who could soon rise to the top of the leaderboard. Lucas Herbert and Ryan Fox are both in the 1.57 am ET 3-ball alongside Korea’s Byeong Hun An. They should be going out early enough to finish their first round before the course is hit by any unhelpful winds.

Fox loves playing on links courses and should be in confident mood having recorded some strong finishes on the PGA Tour of late. The New Zealander lost in a playoff at the 2018 Irish Open on a links and won the Dunhill Links Championship last year.

He also finished 12th in last week’s warm-up event the Scottish Open, and has showed up well in Majors before, having finished 26th in the Masters, 23rd in the PGA Championship and 43rd in the US Open. He can go on the offensive from his early tee time and should finish ahead of some better-known names.

Australia’s Lucas Herbert also enjoys playing on a links, and came 4th in the Scottish Open in 2020 and 2021. A superb putter, he tied for 15th in the British Open at St Andrews last year and could show up well on the opening morning.

At time of publishing, Fox is a +7000 chance to be first-round leader at all the major US sportsbooks, while Herbert is +10000 with BetMGM and +9000 elsewhere.

You can also read our British Open picks, prop bets and player guide

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