With the 2022 Open fast approaching, the main question everyone is asking is the same across the golf world: Who would you choose to survive on the old course in St Andrews? With a massive field featuring most of the world’s best pros in the historic 150th match of the Open Championship, the 2022 Final should be an epic journey from Thursday’s first round onwards as R&A returns to this location for the first time since 2015.
This year’s championship may have excellent field, but there is plenty of momentum behind a limited roster of names to pick up Clarett Jugg. Most notable is Rory McIlroy, who came in after playing some of the best golf of his career this season as he seeks the sport’s most coveted awards at home golf. England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick attempts a rare US Open double, while Zander Shaveli exits from a Scotland Open win that gives him plenty of confidence. Then there is Tiger Woods, who despite long odds is looking to win his third claret decanter at St Andrews in what may be his last legitimate chance to conquer the Old Lady once again.
Add all that, and it looks like we’re in a wild open tournament full of unexpected twists and turns but also plenty of familiar names to top the leaderboard. Make sure to check outSo you don’t miss a second of the event all week.
So what will happen this week in St Andrews? Let’s take a look at the full range of predictions and picks from our CBS sports experts as we try to determine who will win and what will happen in this season’s final major competition. Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
2022 Expert Open Choices and Predictions
Kyle Porter, Senior Golf Writer
Winner – Jordan Spieth (16-1): Does Spieth have the best of him in this open match? No he didn’t. In his last 20 innings, he’s only ranked 37th in the field in shooting. Since January 1, he’s placed 31st overall in strokes. He’s not playing in the same clip as last year when he finished runner-up to Colin Morikawa. However, the golf being played in St. Andrews is not the same as the golf he has been playing for most of the year, and Spieth has crushed on Ubbins over the course of his career. His game and mind were made for this tournament, and while last week’s Renaissance Club wasn’t a good bowl of the old course, Spieth is finding freedom in his game on this side of the pond and has been waiting seven years to redeem the five he made on the Road Hole in 2015 to shoot the Grand Slam.
The Sleeper – Seamus Power (80-1): Maybe that’s a little too deep on the possibilities board (I wanted to go with Sam Burns at 40-1), but it’s hard to ignore what Power has done in the big business this year. He ranks sixth in total points out of the 13 golfers who have made all major cuts, and is out of the top 20 in a row at the PGA Championship and US Open. At the age of 35, this is his first open tournament during a period in which he played the best golf game in his life. The main events are a lot different than the others, and while Power’s overall numbers aren’t that great compared to the other big players, he can clearly play in the big boy events. At 80-1, the risk is worth the reward.
Top 10 Lock – Rory McIlroy: The four-time winner never finished in the top ten in all four majors in the same year, but that’s in play after he threatened but ultimately failed in the first three in 2022. Nobody has more top ten in the last five opens than McIlroy, He’s seldom that confident in the state of his game. He could get on the wrong side of the lottery, of course, but it would be amazing to me if he didn’t finish in the top ten on Sunday.
The star who definitely won’t win – Bryson Dechambeau: He has a deceptively poor record in the major tournaments (two top 10 in 23 starts), and even worse in the opening where he failed to break the top 30. As much as he hints at his golf genius, he hasn’t yet come close to finding answers in Courses that pose the most complex problems in sport.
Surprise expectation – registration is not as outrageous as people think: There were fears that someone might scare 59 this week, but that’s not going to happen. The course is as crunchy as it is brown, and as long as the R&A allows the veggies to cook a bit and the wind stays the same on Tuesday, the score will be higher than people have said.
Tiger Woods Prediction – Discord: Big Cat sheds light fairly well, and I think that somewhere in the place that only the most victorious heroes can get to, he’ll draw from some sort of reserves that take him to Sunday. He’s smart enough to handle his mind alone, and on his last shot at the St Andrews Open, he’ll do just that. “I think the way the golf course and conditions are, surely I can see [him contending]McIlroy said. “It’s going to be chess this week, and no one has been better at playing this kind of chess on a golf course than Tiger for the past 20 years.”
lowest round: 64 (-8)
Winning result: 272 (-16)
Sunday winning result: 68 (-4)
Patrick MacDonald, golf writer
Winner – Dustin Johnson (35-1): The move to LIV Golf has sent Johnson’s name under the radar, but make no mistake, the two-time main winner is playing some great golf. The top ten in the first two events at LIV Golf attempted a top 25 at the US Open where he found some touches on the Greens. Since 2010, Johnson has made six places in the top 15 in 11 open games, including last season in T8 at Royal St George. He finished T14 at St Andrews in 2010, and while his 2015 T49 result didn’t jump off the page, he was an 18-hole and 36-hole holder in that championship.
Sleeper – Max Huma (50-1): I’ve been looking for Homa for this tournament since the winter, and the only concern is that he’s pairing up with Tiger for the first couple of days. If he can transcend the allure of playing golf’s oldest championship alongside his champ, Homa should be a perfect fit for St. Andrews. A formidable golf ball striker, he comes off a T16 attempt at the Scottish Open where he had a chance over the last nine. He’s been building toward a serious race in a major championship for the past couple of years, and I think it might finally be his time.
Top 10 Lock – Rory McIlroy: He’s one of two players to finish in the top ten in the first three major tournaments of the season, and I don’t see why the Open Championship is any different. McIlroy has been playing some of the best golf since 2014, and St Andrews is a perfect fit for his game. If his wedge game continues to co-operate, the four-time main winner is sure to battle for fifth place.
The star who definitely won’t win – Colin Morikawa: Simply put, the current Golf Champion of the Year isn’t the player he was last season. Morikawa just lost a hit on every stepping stone to the green scale at the Scottish Open, which was the first time in his career on the PGA Tour to do so. He continued to struggle to find the fairways and thus with his irons, which would pose problems for him in St Andrews.
Expect a surprise – Brooks Koepka confirms: I give Benedict Arnold serious feelings, but I really think three of our LIV Golfers are going to do well this week – Louis Oosthuizen is third. Koepka’s record in the US Open and the PGA Championship often gets all the hype, but his open experience is among the best in the game with T10, T6, T39, T4 and T6 finishes since 2015. The strong, fast and windy conditions should fit a four-time major champion .
Tiger Woods Predicted – Top Tailgate 20: A shorter place is exactly where strategy is required in Tiger’s current wheelhouse. The key to his chances wouldn’t be his driver but whether he was able to lie effectively as we saw him lose lanes with iron in hand with some regularity in Southern Hills. If he does and avoids embarrassing lies, Woods must make his way to the weekend and find his name on page two or three of the leaderboard.
lowest round: 64 (-8)
Winning result: 260 (-18)
Sunday winning result: 68 (-4)
Who will win the Open Championship, and what long shots will stun the golf world? Visit SportsLine now to see the predicted leaderboard and the best picksall from the model that featured eight major female golfers, including this year’s Masters Tournament.
Chip Patterson, writer
Winner – Cameron Smith (22-1): After a great start to 2022, we’ve seen Smith cool off a bit (including a lost cut at the US Open), but he’s still checking too many boxes for this event to ignore his competitive edge. You have to be creative and sharp with your wedges and racket in this tournament, especially in the old court. Smith has an excellent short game and is a value-added player in windy conditions. He won’t try to keep up with the big hitters off the tee. Smith had one bad run at the Scottish Open but finished T10 thanks to three rounds of 68 or better. This tells me he’s ties up and ready to win his first major championship.
Sleeper – Robert McIntyre (80-1): I admit the last look isn’t inspiring, but I’m not so focused on the three missed cuts in the last four starts as I am on the McIntyre Open experience and performance in the majors in general. He’s only 25 years old, but McIntyre has secured two top-10 spots with the start of several Open Championships and hasn’t missed a cut in nine matches in the major tournaments. Outside of those top ten at the Open, the next best finishes for MacIntyre were in the Masters (T12 in 2021, T23 in 2022). Strong achievements in those tournaments bode well for a rising star, and I believe the native Scottish player will have something special for this week at St Andrews.
Top 10 Lock – Rory McIlroy: When a generational golf talent spends one of her best years nearly a decade ago, you don’t think of a prediction. The top ten finish is McIlroy’s floor this week, and given what he looks like, there are a lot of different ways to get there. He can make his patented Sunday top the leaderboard or sit in one of the last groups with a chance to win the weekend. Either way, he’s headed toward finishing McIlroy in the top ten of all four majors in one year for the first time in his career.
The star who definitely won’t win – Patrick Cantlay: The world’s No. 4 golfer’s fade isn’t usually a safe place to take, but we haven’t seen enough consistency with Cantali’s finishes in majors to buy stock in it. In seven major starts since the start of 2021, Cantlay has had none of the top ten and three missing cuts, including one in his last Open Championship.
Expect the Surprise – The 150th Open Round heads into a playoff: In 2005 and 2010 Woods and Oosthuizen were on the run with Clarett Jugg at St Andrews, but I think our ending is going to be tighter this year and even fit in with the exciting end of the game in 2015. There’s a lot of depth between the game’s big stars right now and the way it ends Course number 17, in particular, and even number 18 which provides potential disasters, there’s a good chance that anyone with a hit or two off the lead is still in the mix until late Sunday afternoon.
Tiger Woods Predictions – Early Sunday tee time with excitement at coffee golf: I think we see Tiger making his way to a made cut on Friday and then ping-pong among the sparrows and bushes all Saturday before making a small charge as he empties the tank on Sunday. It might not be a full round of the old Tiger, but I think a strong Sunday puts him inside the top 30 on the final leaderboard.
lowest round: 65 (-7)
Winning result: 277 (-11)
Sunday winning result: 69 (-3)
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