The Open Green - Royal Portrush

The Open 2019 Golf Preview: What to expect at Royal Portrush

The Open 2019 is expected to be another incredible championship event.  Each year, The Open builds on the last and the 148th event at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland should be no exception.  In 2018, the golf world saw the very best players tee off at Carnoustie, and many of the same golfing greats are expected to appear at Royal Portrush.

This will be Royal Portrush Golf Club’s second time hosting The Open, after previously doing so in 1953.  It is the only venue outside of Scotland and England to have held The Open.  The area is a breeding ground for successful golfers.  The 1947 Open winner Fred Daly and the 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell earning their stripes on the links golf courses at Portrush.

So, what are we going to expect at The Open 2019?  If Carnoustie 2018 is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.  There are many top players on good form with good chances of lifting the Claret Jug at the end of the week.

What happened at The Open at Carnoustie 2018?

Last year was the 147th Open, and it was held at the Carnoustie Golf Links, a golf club in Angus on the east coast of Scotland.

At Carnoustie, The Championship Course is where the Open is held – the links course has held the Open seven times since its inaugural time in 1931.   The golf club has two other 18-hole courses too, the Burnside Course and the Buddon Links Course.  The club at Carnoustie also maintains a free-to-play 6-hole junior course, The Nestie.

Francesco Molinari won The Open, with a stellar performance which put him two strokes under the four men who tied for second place with 278 each.  These were Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner, and Xander Schauffele.

Molinari’s performance put him at the top of 2018 golf.  The Italian’s older brother, Edoardo Molinari has golfed six times at The Open in the past, with a T7 finish at Royal Liverpool in 2014 being by far his best performance.

With the exception of Molinari, the Open was dominated by British and American golfers.  To see the next player from outside of these countries, we had to go a little further down the rankings to Thorbjorn Olesen.  The Danish golfer happened to beat Molinari on his home turf at the Italian Open just over a month prior to the Carnoustie meeting.

Molinari closed the event with a birdie, grasping his highest ever major finish – surpassing his second place at the 2017 PGA Championship.  McIlroy had was perhaps the most consistent of the top of the leaderboard, having no stand-out rounds to speak of, but performing very well in each.  Justin Rose, on the other hand, was much more unpredictable, with his second and third rounds on the course coming in at 73 and 64 respectively.

What to expect at Royal Portrush 2019: Preview of the 2019 Major

Royal Portrush is one of the most incredible golf courses on Earth, and it frequently appears at the top of lists of the best courses to play on.  Not only is it incredibly well designed, it is also set in some of the most stunning Northern Irish countryside.

We expect to see the return of some of the biggest names in golf to The Open – each year the event is full of the biggest stars in golf.  This is a really exciting time in our sport – there is no one single top contender, and at the majors, it’s anyone’s championship to play for.

While some say they miss the days of a hugely dominant Tiger Woods, the change in guard has really shaken things up.

Brooks Koepka has seen a meteoric rise recently, going from Rookie of the Year in 2014, to winning majors in 2017 and 2018, and looking to increase this tally in 2019.  In 2018, he became one of the biggest names in the sport, not least due to a couple of controversies at the Ryder Cup as every golf fan in the Western was watching.  We expect he will be back at the top of The Open leaderboard in 2019, he won’t be satisfied with his T6 in 2017 and definitely not the T39 in 2018.

Dustin Johnson should also be mentioned here, he has been a huge force in the PGA Tour, as well as international golf, over the past couple of years.  He still has a few good golf years ahead of him before he leaves his prime.  Johnson hasn’t won a major since 2016, but that won’t stop him from continuing to put in the legwork.  He’s been nothing but consistent, keeping at the top of the statistic charts.  Johnson has maintained top position of the PGA strokes gained, birdie average, and the 3, 4, and 5 par scoring.

This will be a special Open for Rory McIlroy.  Getting the chance to put on a show while golfing right on his doorstep in Northern Ireland will be too tempting to miss – The Open is the only European Tour event he is expected to show face at in 2019.

McIlroy hasn’t won a golf major since 2014 now, but you wouldn’t know that looking at the form he’s been on as of late.  Consistently in the top spots at every championship event he’s competed at, McIlroy seems to be on his way to another very soon – and the Open 2019 looks like an opportunity to do just that.

Justin Rose is another Brit we’ll spot at The Open in 2019.  These days Rose only seems to play the big events with a big payday and lots of World Ranking Points.  The tactic seems to be paying off – with time off and focusing on the majors, he’s been performing very well.  Maintaining his spot in the top five of the rankings, he’s been batting off much more active players when it comes to the biggest showdowns – his bank balance and the world ranking position only seem to benefit from this choice.  It would be very surprising to not see Rose at the first tee at Royal Portrush.

Looking down the list at some golfing newcomers, it’s exciting to see what’s in store for Bryson DeChambeau.  The young American only turned professional in 2016 and has already been catching the eye of fans and analysts alike.  With an unusual straight up-and-down swing and a focus on being a ‘golf scientist,’ DeChambeau has his sights set on championships in the future.  The ambition he carries and the challenging course at Royal Portrush seem like a match made in heaven – and give him a chance to put his theories to the test.

 

Favourites to win The Open 2019: the Bookmakers’ Golf Odds

According to the bookies, there are many favourites of recent years who are most likely to take the Claret Jug home in 2019.  As well as these familiar faces, there are a number of newcomers with reasonable odds.

Most notably of the up-and-comers is a well-rounded player in the young Jon Rahm.  The Spanish man performed very well at the start of 2018, appearing second in the world on the Official World Golf Rankings in January, but slipped off the rankings to lower down in the top ten.  If he keeps up the pace we’ve seen from him in recent years, he’s sure to win a major very soon – and the Open on the European Tour might just be where he does it.  The bookies currently have him at 22/1, which might seem harsh given his consistently high ranking, but he’s struggled under pressure at times due to inexperience.

Unsurprisingly, home-town hero McIlroy is given the best odds by bookmakers to win the Open 2019 in Portrush.  He’s shown himself more than capable of the feat, and with the majority of fans in attendance behind him, it’ll be a given that he does well.  Bookmakers are giving him around 10/1 to take home the Open’s Claret Jug, but only time will tell if he rises to the occasion.

The odds look favourably on Tiger Woods too.  The Big Cat is only just behind Northern Irish McIlroy by some bookmakers – and neck-and-neck with others.  Woods hasn’t won an Open since Royal Liverpool 2006, and won prior to that at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005.  Though he tied for sixth in 2018 which means he still has golf championship material left in him.

Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth are all not far behind in the odds – all three being given odds in the region of 15/1 to take home the Claret Jug in 2019 at Royal Portrush, depending on the bookmaker you check.

So with everything to play for, and exciting new players due to make their first major marks on the map, The Open 2019 is due to be one of the best we’ve ever seen.  Those in attendance at Royal Portrush are in for a treat!

If you’re visiting Royal Portrush, our The Open hospitality packages are perfect for entertaining guests and impressing clients.  These VIP experiences are available on each day of The Open.  We are also proud suppliers of golf hospitality at the BMW PGA Championship, and The Masters.