The Open 2019: When is it, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?




 

What is it?

It is the 148th edition of golf's oldest major the Open Championship.

When is it?

The tournament begins on Thursday July 18 with the final round on Sunday July 21.

Where is it?

The Open returns to the island of Ireland for the first time since 1951 and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland is the venue.

Max Faulkner won that year, and Portrush is the home town of 2011 Open winner and crowd favourite Darren Clarke.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will also attract plenty of support, and McIlroy shattered the course record with a stunning 61 aged just 16 years old.

What TV channel is it on?

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf will have exclusive live coverage of all four days of the Open Championship. BBC, the Open's previous broadcaster, will have a nightly highlights show.

Alternatively you can bookmark this page and return on Thursday to follow the scores and how your favourite players are faring.

What do we know about Royal Portrush?

The Dunluce course at Portrush usually plays as a par-72 for the members, but at the Open two par fives will be converted to stiff par fours and the course will play to a par of 70.

It is a classic links layout designed by Harry Colt who also designed Wentworth's West course in its original form.

Like most links courses the pot bunkers and sea breezes will be the course's main defence.

Portrush is not a habitual host of professional tournaments so there is not much course history to analyse, but expect to see a typical links track with no water or tress.

It is not quite as tough as Carnoustie nor as quirky as St Andrews, just a straightaway test of golf.

What happened last year?

The 2018 Open was one for the ages, helped by the roasting hot British summer that baked out Carnoustie's fairways and had the course playing hard and fast in a way rarely seen in the modern game.

Tiger Woods came close to completing a sensational comeback with a fourth Claret Jug, leading on Sunday with eight holes to play.

He came undone with a double-bogey at the 11th however, and the ultra consistent Francesco Molinari never faltered over the closing stretch to win his first major.

Who are the leading contenders and what are their odds?

Rickie Fowler 30/1

What is our prediction?

Koepka, McIlroy and Johnson are worthy favourites and, with frightening levels of expectation on McIlroy playing in Northern Ireland, Koepka is the most likely to prevail. His caddie Ricky Elliott is also a Portrush native, which could be crucial in compensating for a perceived lack of links experience.

Woods' sharpness is an unknown having not played since the US Open, and we think he needed the course to have dried out more than it has. His best Opens in recent times have come in fast running conditions - at Carnoustie last year and Murfield in 2013 - when he can keep driver in the bag and two-iron his way around.

Rahm has form and links history in Ireland on his side, but his temperament is questionable. Rose's putter was rad hot at the US Open and if he marries that with anything like his best ball striking he could be the man to beat.

Irishman Shane Lowry and Englishman Matt Wallace will attract support, but we sense their best golf might have already come earlier in the year.

Fowler and Matt Kuchar are our American fancies, while Adam Scott at 28/1 looks a rock solid each way bet with some bookmakers paying 10 places.

Further down the list, you could do far worse than Haotong Li and the ever consistent Bernd Weisberger if a longshot tickles your fancy.

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