The summer of sport just keeps rolling along nicely doesn’t it? The Copa America and European Championships may well be over, but this week we have two of the biggest events of the summer in the UK getting underway.
First off, on Thursday morning, the British Open Golf Championship returns after a year’s absence at the famous links course of Royal St Georges in Sandwich, Kent. A field of around 150 top golfers will be competing for the famous Claret Jug which includes all of the top 15 golfers in the world rankings, as well as many other famous names from home and abroad.
Then with the British Open Golf reaching the third round of action on Saturday, the second big sports event of the week gets underway at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, as 32 of the top PDC darts professionals battle it out to become the new World Matchplay champion.
The tournament will run for a week at the famous venue, and it is arguably the most important and prestigious event of the year aside from the World Championships. Its Matchplay format, which sees place in a straight race to win 10 or more legs, rather than set play, makes this a very exciting tournament to watch and bet on, as well as play in.
As always, if you are looking for a range of different bets on either tournament, then bet365 Sport is a great choice. Not only does the site offer extensive pre-event betting, but you can also enjoy a wealth of In Play betting when the tournaments are in progress too.
If you are based in the U.S. and want a site that offers a similar high quality of betting on both events, then check out what is available at BetRivers PA. The good news is that it is not just Pennsylvanians that can access the site as it is also available across several other states too.
The site offers a great choice of bets on sports events both inside the United States and outside of it and it is well worth a look if you are someone who enjoys betting on sports events from all over the world.
Let’s begin with a look ahead to the British Open given that this starts on Thursday morning and promises four days of top quality golfing action.
The British Open Championship
- Date – Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th July
- Venue – Royal St Georges Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent, UK.
- Defending Champion – Shane Lowry (2019)
After being cancelled last year, the British Open Golf Championship returns to Royal St Georges for the first time since 2011. The famous Kent course features what is believed to be the deepest bunker in professional golf, a 25 foot wide sand trap that protects the fourth hole fairway which is around 40-feet deep and lined with railway sleepers.
This week’s event will be the 15th time that the course has hosted The Open Championship, and it was the first course outside of Scotland to host the event back in 1894.
After almost 40 years absence, Royal St Georges returned to the Open roster of courses in 1981, when American Bill Rodgers landed the win. Other winners of the tournament at Royal St Georges since then include Sandy Lyle (1985), Greg Norman (1993) and Ben Curtis (2003).
In 2011, one of the most popular Open Championship victories occurred at the venue when likeable Irishman Darren Clarke landed his first and so far only Major title with a two-shot victory over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
All three of those players will be in the field once again for this years event, although the chances of them winning, according to the bookmakers at least, have changed somewhat with Johnson now rated a 22/1 chance, Mickelson, who won the USPGA Championship back in May, rated at 100/1 and Clarke a massive 1000/1 outside bet.
However, there are a number of other players that bet365 does rank very highly when it comes to being a potential winner of the event.
The favourite, by quite some way, is the in-form and current US Open Champion Jon Rahm. The Spaniard has been in sensational form for quite some time and broke his Major duck with victory at Torrey Pines in June.
There has also been money in recent days for Brooks Koepka (who has come in from 18/1 to 16/1 with bet365). After suffering with injury earlier in the season, Koepka made a comeback at the USPGA tournament but has been steadily seeing his fitness and form improve since then.
With the weather conditions for the tournament set to be somewhat benign, the feeling is that he could make a real challenge here and if I was going to back the outright winner, he would be my pick.
Others that are well-rated in the betting include Justin Spieth and Xander Schauffele who are both 18/1 shots, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas who are both at 20/1, and Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton, who are both rated as 30/1 chances.
For me though, with bet365 offering each way payouts on the top eight finishers (and ties), it is this market which offers better value and I think a great longer odds shot for this is Rickie Fowler (70/1) who despite not having the best of form, does tend to play very well in this tournament in particular.
It promises to be a special Open Championship after it was not competed for last year and the action all begins early Thursday morning UK time, so remember to get your bets on quickly.
World Matchplay Darts
- Date – Saturday 17th July to Sunday 25th July
- Venue – Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK.
- Defending Champion – Dmitri Van den Bergh (2020)
Aside from the World Championship, the World Matchplay tournament is arguably the most prestigious tournament in professional darts. The legendary Phil Taylor won the event an incredible 16 times in his career, 14 more wins than any other player has managed since the tournament was first competed for.
Last year, Dmitri Van den Bergh landed his first big tournament win at the event, which was held in Milton Keynes, but this year it returns to its spiritual home and with a crowd in attendance, the famous Winter Gardens atmosphere should be back and it is this which makes the tournament so special.
The top 16 seeded players in the world take on 16 players that qualified for the event through a variety of means in the first round, which is a best of 19 legs. As the tournament progresses, the number of legs required to win increases until the final which is a best of 35 leg matchup.
Given that Phil Taylor dominated this tournament for so many years, there are not that many previous winners of it in the field. Michael van Gerwen has won it twice, with Gary Anderson, James Wade, Rob Cross and Dmitri Van den Bergh being the only other players in the event to have tasted victory here.
Wade has reached six finals, losing five, but winning just the one and outside of Phil Taylor, he is the player to have reached the final on most occasions.
With £700,000 up for grabs in the event, £150,000 for the winner, it promises to be an exciting tournament and of course, bet365 is offering some good value bets on who will win it.
Currently, Michael van Gerwen is the 9/2 favourite, after Gerwyn Price drifted overnight out to 5/1. Jose De Sousa’s odds have tumbled in recent days and the Portuguese star is now a 7/1 chance to win the event alongside Peter Wright.
Dmitri Van den Bergh is a 12/1 shot to retain the title, with Jonny Clayton a 14/1 chance and the six-time finalist James Wade the only other player at odds of better than 25/1, with the Aldershot ace an 18/1 chance.
My tip here though is Nathan Aspinall, who at 28/1 represents great value, especially if you are keen on an each way bet in the event.