Tony Jacklin’s 2023 British Open Prediction, Preview & Keys To Victory
In this post you can find golf legend Tony Jacklin’s 2023 British Open prediction, preview and keys to victory ahead of 2023’s final major.
Speaking exclusively to BoyleSports, the 1969 Open Championship winner has revealed his prediction ahead of the start of the action at Hoylake.
Jacklin also shared his keys to navigating typical links weather conditions which are expected this week and previewed the chances of all the top Irish, British and American hopefuls.
Jacklin Reflects On His 1969 Open Championship Victory
You were the last Englishman to win an Open title on English soil when you lifted the Claret Jug back in 1969, what are your thoughts on the English golfers bidding to win the title this weekend? Who has the best chance of going all the way at Royal Liverpool?
TJ: I think Tommy Fleetwood has been playing some good golf on the PGA tour in America and he’s been around for quite some time. He hasn’t won a tournament over there yet but he’s threatened and I thought coming back this year for The Open in his home territory might inspire him.
He is going to have a good deal of following, he played well in the third round last week and he’s become a very good, consistent player but he needs to get it done at some stage.
I find it interesting in terms of his attitude, I’ve seen him interviewed on a number of occasions he takes the view that if it doesn’t happen this week, it will happen next week but that’s not always the case.
Looking back at my experience back in 1969, I was out on the PGA Tour that year and it was great to come back to Lytham in front of home spectators that were really interested in what I was trying to achieve. I received great support during the practice rounds and throughout the event and I think Tommy will experience the same thing. Hopefully he gets off to a good start.
Can McIlroy Win His First Major Since 2014 & Second At Hoylake?
Rory McIlroy is favourite to win The Open this year after winning in Scotland last week and missing out narrowly against Cameron Smith last year. Can Rory go and win it this year and replicate his 2014 Open victory here?
I certainly think Rory is one of the top favourites this weekend. I say to my wife, I watch all the golf and he gets me riled at times because he’s so talented and gifted. He should be winning tournaments every week but golf is hard and sometimes it doesn’t go your way.
To see him get it done last week and if he comes into this weekend with the same sort of demeanor, his game is incredible and he’s probably the best driver of the ball in the world but he might not use the driver all the time, Tiger didn’t years ago when he won.
The key is to stay out of these fairway bunkers on Links courses. You may as well put a red line around them and mark them as a one-shot penalty! Keeping the ball in play and being patient is the key.
How do you think Rory has done in terms of putting the talk surrounding LIV to one side and not allowing the talk around LIV to affect his game?
He has done a hell of a job separating his opinions from his personal game. He’s been pretty outspoken and not let it affect his game. He’s shouldered a lot over the last few years and he’s dealt with it all very well.
2023 Open Championship Top English Contenders
Fleetwood Has The Game For Open Championship Glory
What is it about Tommy Fleetwood’s game that you like?
He has a well-rounded game. He’s a good driver, a good iron player and a good putter. In the modern game the driving is key, plenty of players can hit the ball miles and ultimately at the sharp end of it, the putting is key to all these top players, whoever cleans up on the greens generally gets it done.
Just look at Cameron Smith last year at St. Andrews, he cleaned up with the putter and he’s one of the great putters.
Return To Home Soil Will Boost Fitzpatrick’s Chances
Matt Fitzpatrick will be bidding to win his second major this week. And it will be a special week for him and his family with his brother qualifying for the tournament too, what do you think of Matt’s chances?
He’s obviously a world class player. Just like Tommy Fleetwood, him coming back home should give him a boost. When you have the confidence and the home crowd, it should help his cause. He’s over playing in America and he’s not a favourite amongst the American crowd, they favour the American players.
I had that experience all through my career when I was up against the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. They are the favourites on their home turf so it should be advantageous for Matt as it should be for Tommy if they get off to a good start.
I can’t stress enough the importance of getting off to a good start because in the first-round, 50 per cent of the field are eliminated. You have a bad first round, you can’t get back in it. You can’t win it in the first round but you can sure as heck lose it. Getting off to a good start engages you mentally. It’s not just The Open 2023, it’s a chance to make history.
Jacklin’s Advice On Navigating Tough Links Weather Conditions
The course at Hoylake will be a test this week with high winds and rain expected. You competed there in the 60s and 70s, can you describe what the players are going to expect? What type of player will cope the best in these conditions?
Links golf is dealing with the unexpected and that starts not just from bad bounces, nobody is going to get through the week on a links golf course where the fairways are humpty dumpty, good shots don’t always get rewarded so you have to approach it with a mentality as well as a determination that doesn’t deter you.
It’s no good getting angry over a bad bounce, everyone is going to get a bad bounce. You have to just accept things and adjust.
Shane Lowry’s Chances At This Year’s British Open
Shane Lowry is somewhat a master in these conditions because of his quality short game and play into wind, think he could make a charge?
Shane is a good player. He won everyone’s hearts when he won at Portrush. He is a tremendous putter and he’s easy-going. He played well for a while last week but he didn’t quite take it down the stretch but he makes a lot of putts and he has the ability to get it done.
He was brought up in Ireland, he’s not used to playing golf in 95-degree heat, he’s more used to playing in gales. Pre-tournament he would be in my top 20 this weekend but until the first-round is complete it’s very hard to predict because they are jockeying for positions early on and you’ll see several players digging in and that’s what it’s about.
You can say with certainty that a player like Francesco Molinari, since he won The Open in 2018 he has done very little so I don’t think he would win. It’s not on the cards for him whereas you have someone like Rory who won last week, if he keeps a level-headedness he’s going to be very difficult to beat unless he doesn’t run into treacherous weather.
We saw Tiger one year at Sandwich where he had a five-hole lead where the wind blew his chances away and that can happen in Links golf.
The Top American Contenders At The 2023 Open Championship
Of the Americans, who do you think has the best chance? All of Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are on form and have good records at previous Opens
Rickie Fowler is going to have a lot of momentum coming into The Open. He’s reborn and has been to hell and back with his game in the last few years.
Everybody around golf that knows golf loves Rickie Fowler and to see him win in Detroit, seeing him having to digest the win with his caddying coming over to give him a hug says a lot. He’s also a favourite amongst the British crowds.
You also have the likes of Jon Rahm who said earlier that he’s committed to the PGA Tour. He wants his future to be about competition and butting heads with the best players in the world in true competition.
2023 British Open Prediction
Who will win The Open and any players that have a chance of missing the cut?
There are definitely some big names that will miss the cut, especially if we’re forecast to have bad weather. If I had to stick my neck out I would say Rory will win but I’ve been playing The Open Championship since 1963 and I’ve seen so much in terms of the thrill of victory and agony of defeat, I’ve experienced both sides.
Whoever comes out on top will have thoroughly deserved it, it’s going to be a bit bigger and more important than a LIV Tour win.
Curious about the odds of previous Open Championship winners? We took a look at the odds of each Open Champion since 2005 in a recent post and uncovered some interesting betting trends in the process.
Click Below For All Our 2023 Open Championship Betting Odds
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