Betting Advice

British Open picks 2023: Will it be Rory McIlroy or Scottie Scheffler?

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks on during a practice round prior to The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 18, 2023 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

This marathon season of elite golf events is coming to an end. It’s a sad inevitability. The year’s final major has storylines galore with Rory McIlroy returning to the site of his 2014 Open victory off a win and a chance to end the nine-year major drought.

Will Rory be able to overcome the pressure and conquer Royal Liverpool for a second time? Two of our experts think so. Two others like the betting favorite, Scottie Scheffler, to cash in on his unbelievable run of form. Our tour caddie also has conviction with Tommy Fleetwood with the Englishman flashing his talent in big moments in 2023. Plus, we have three members of our panel on the same longshot.

It’s been a strong run for our collection of experts this season. Can we cash in at The Open? Read on for full analysis from our Golf Digest betting panel, which comprises of a caddie reporting live from Hoylake, Pat Mayo of DraftKings, Fantasy National and Mayo Media Network; Brandon Gdula of FanDuel/numberFire; Rick Gehman and Andy Lack from; and us two jabronis.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2023 British Open.

British Open picks 2023: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Tommy Fleetwood (25-1, DraftKings) — Tommy is going to win a huge event soon. He’s been close, and now that he’s hired putting whisperer Phil Kenyon, he’s ready to break through.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Scottie Scheffler (+700, DraftKings) — No one is safe in golf, this we know, but Scheffler is as close as you’ll get to finding his name on a Sunday leaderboard. He doesn’t have a finish worse than T-12 in 2023, which seems impossible, but what makes it even better is that he’s done all this without being able to make a three-foot putt. Secondly, regardless of conditions, he has the game. Gale-force winds, firm and fast or soggy as hell — none are an issue for him.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Xander Schauffele (25-1, FanDuel) — Value is a bit hard to find this week, but a lot of things are going right for Schauffele. He has six straight top 15s at majors, and his T-42 at the Genesis Scottish Open was his worst finish in the calendar year. Schauffele is also losing strokes around the green, which is the most volatile stat we have. As a good long-term wedge player, he stands to bounce back there – and we’re getting better odds due to weakened finishes because of poor chipping lately.

Rick Gehman, data scientist and founder: Rory McIlroy (+800, DraftKings) — Yes, it would be romantic for Rory McIlroy to end a nine-year major drought at the site of his only Open Championship victory in 2014. However, remove that aspect, and you’ll realize that McIlroy sets up beautifully for Royal Liverpool. This course will ask, no … demand elite driving. McIlroy will be able to remove many fairway pot bunkers with his distance and can significantly separate himself from the field in this aspect. On top of that, he’s gained 16.41 strokes on approach in his past 12 rounds, per the golf database, and has been a positive player in the short-game category for seven consecutive starts.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Brooks Koepka (23-1, Bet365) — This number (with the boost) is just too good to pass up. Koepka has the driving prowess, consistency with his approach and patience in his strategy to master the test at Hoylake. I’m also betting Rory at 8-1, but I’ll be adding another all-time great to my card in Mr. Koepka.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Rory McIlroy (+800, DraftKings) — I know you guys come here for a sharp handicap, but there’s nothing really to handicap here. It’s now or never for Rors.

Andy Lack, and Inside Golf podcast: Scottie Scheffler (+700, DraftKings) — Something just wouldn’t feel right about Scottie Scheffler ending the 2023 season without a major. We’ve reached a point where I’m running out of adjectives to accurately describe the ball-striking run that Scheffler is on right now. Historic is a good place to start, but we are now entering territory that I don’t believe will ever be matched again. Scheffler has now gained over two strokes off the tee in 14 straight starts. He’s gained over two strokes on approach in 10 straight starts, and over six on approach in five straight starts. Scheffler is the best iron player in the world, and it’s not particularly close. His gap in tee-to-green play from the next best is even starker. The former Masters champion has gained over seven strokes ball-striking in 14 straight starts, which has never been done in the strokes gained era, not even by Tiger. Scheffler has now finished in the top-12 in 16 straight starts, another feat that not even Tiger has neared.

Past results: As we head deep into summer, the panel remains as hot as ever, with 12 outright victories on the year as a group. Pat Mayo recently picked up his first of the season, nailing Rickie Fowler’s comeback win at the Rocket Mortgage at 14-1. Rick Gehman was on Fowler, too, giving him two outright hits on the year. Brandon Gdula leads the way with SIX of his own, his most recent coming at the U.S. Open where Gdula touted Wyndham Clark at 85-1 (!!).

British Open picks 2023: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Cameron Young (80-1, PointsBet) — While Young has struggled since Augusta with only one top 10, he’s coming off a chance to win at the John Deere and is showing signs of putting better and better.

Mayo: Denny McCarthy (90-1, DraftKings) — Being devoid of any Open experience is certainly a minus, however, when you can catch the world’s best putter in the midst of his peak form, you need to pay attention. Denny has reeled off four consecutive top-20 finishes, two in elevated events and one major, and getting him at this number at one of the only majors where accuracy may be as important as distance is a worthy gamble.

Gdula: Hideki Matsuyama (60-1, FanDuel) — Matsuyama goes as the putter goes in a sense: and lately, it’s been bad. But he has finished T-16, T-29, and T-32 at this year’s majors while losing strokes putting in each of them. He always has the tee-to-green game in big events, and the putting from within 15 feet this season is solid enough to be optimistic about his game.

Gehman: Corey Conners (80-1, BetMGM) — Conners is one of the most accurate drivers on the planet, and he’s certainly long enough to make noise at Royal Liverpool. He gained 6.64 strokes on approach in his last start, the Travelers Championship, so it would be no surprise to see him flush it in Hoylake. This will be his fourth Open Championship, finishing T-28 at St. Andrews and 15th at Royal St. George’s after missing the cut at Royal Portrush.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Cameron Young (80-1, PointsBet) — CY has the off-the-tee control to take a lot of the trouble at Hoylake out of play. And he’s proven he’s got the patience and all-around game to contend at majors. It’s just too big of a number not to bite.

Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Young (80-1, PointsBet) — I’m definitely falling victim to him having one good start at the John Deere after a string of very poor starts, but sometimes that’s all it takes to flip the switch. Also, he put in a new ball that week specifically with this week in mind, and by new ball we mean the ball he used last year when he finished second at the PGA and the Open.

Lack: Justin Rose (70-1, PointsBet) — I have long felt that Justin Rose was a good enough player to win multiple majors, and while a decade has now passed since the Englishman’s 2013 U.S. Open triumph at Merion, he is currently playing some of the best golf of his career. Rose’s iron play has me particularly intrigued, as he ranks seventh in this field in approach over the past two months, and is one of the best long-term players from 175-plus yards in this field, too. Rose also possesses one of the most trustable short games in this field, and he has a proven track of record success on links golf courses, with nine top-25s in 19 Open starts, including a runner-up at Carnoustie in 2018. Avoiding landmines and keeping the ball in play is the name of the game at Royal Liverpool, and Rose’s track record at TPC Sawgrass and PGA National leaves me feeling incredibly optimistic that the 42-year-old can navigate a course littered with hazards. Coming off a missed cut at the Scottish Open where he still gained strokes on approach, Rose’s number is more than fair this week, and I fully expect him to find his way onto the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon in Hoylake.

British Open picks 2023: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Jordan Spieth (30-1, DraftKings) — He has always played well at The Open, but there’s too many ifs with his possible nagging wrist injury and the missed cut to expect anything inside the top 10.

Mayo: Tommy Fleetwood (25-1, FanDuel) — Maybe if this was to finish exactly fourth we’d be in business. But this short of a price on his breakthrough win is a pass on this end.

Gdula: Collin Morikawa (30-1, FanDuel) — Morikawa has been good to me at the Open in the past, but this time around, the game just isn’t quite there at the current offering of 30-1. The course could play a bit longer with the conditions, so I’d rather look elsewhere.

Gehman: Cameron Smith (16-1, BetMGM) — Royal Liverpool is not St. Andrews. The latter has literally some of the widest fairways in professional golf, which was able to disguise the worst bad of Smith’s game— his accuracy off-the-tee. Royal Liverpool will not be so kind with plenty of trouble lurking for errant drivers. Smith will certainly be able to separate himself in the other facets of the game, but he’ll need to overcome a sizable deficiency to contend this week.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Jordan Spieth (30-1, DraftKings) — I would love for Jordy to prove me wrong, but our caddie brings up too many question marks with his game.

Powers, Golf Digest: Jordan Spieth (30-1, DraftKings) — Up until last week’s missed cut, Spieth was my pick to win this week. But there’s clearly something off, Spieth having now missed four of his last six cuts.

Lack: Cameron Smith (16-1, BetMGM) — I know that this is the most token, obvious reason to fade Cameron Smith, but I simply don’t think he is a strong enough driver of the ball to win this event. If we look at the courses where Smith has had the most success at (Augusta National, Los Angeles Country Club, Kapalua, St. Andrews), they are all extremely wide off the tee and do not do the best job of penalizing wayward driving. Even if we look at his win at TPC Sawgrass, a course that has far more in common with Royal Liverpool than the aforementioned bigger ballparks, Smith lost five strokes off the tee and gained 12 strokes with the flat stick. If the defending Open Champion wants to gain 12 strokes putting again and beat me, I think I can live with that.

British Open picks 2023: Matchups

Caddie: Tommy Fleetwood (+100) over Brooks Koepka (DraftKings) — This will be Tommy’s week.

Mayo: Tom Kim (+100) over Cameron Young (DraftKings) — Kim’s game is starting to peak, and has shown a propensity to elevate his game in links play, while Young has been floundering since Augusta (although he looked better at the John Deere in a glorified Korn Ferry event). Young’s run last year was excellent at The Open, but Royal Liverpool and St. Andrews couldn’t have less in common.

Gdula: Justin Rose (-105) over Tom Kim (Fox Bet) — Rose has some great form over his past 50 rounds, and he makes up for a slightly worse ball-striking profile with a much more complete short game.

Gehman: Wyndham Clark (-110) over Max Homa (Bet365) — Since the start of 2023, Clark has been mopping the floor with Homa in a statistical sense. Clark is gaining 1.26 strokes per round from tee-to-green, basically twice as good as Homa has been. Homa has struggled recently and doesn’t have a strong history on links style courses, while Clark continues to be one of the best players in the world.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Wyndham Clark (-110) over Max Homa (Bet365) — Rick outlines this one well. I’d think books are getting some casual, public money on Homa since he’s a fan favorite, though I know matchups aren’t a public market. Clark had another good finish at the Scottish, so I’d rely on his ball-striking here over Homa.

Powers, Golf Digest: Rory McIlroy (+100) over Scottie Scheffler (DraftKings) — This one will be a roller coaster ride, as it could very well go down to the final putt. Sounds like four days of entertainment to me. Worth it, win or lose.

Lack: Jon Rahm (-130) over Cameron Smith (Bet365) — I love the lack of chatter this week surrounding who I still believe to be the Player of the Year. With all the noise around Scottie Scheffler’s historic ball-striking run, it’s hard to remember that Jon Rahm still has double the wins this season as Scheffler, including the Masters. My numbers actually suggest that Rahm is just as strong a course fit as Scheffler and Rory. He’s a better long iron player and slow green putter than both of the aforementioned favorites. I would have put him closer to -150 in the matchup against Cam Smith, who may struggle immensely off the tee this week.

Matchup Results from the Genesis Scottish Open: Powers: 1 for 1 (Homa (+100) over Clark); Lack: 1 for 1 (T. Kim (-110) over Herbert); Caddie: 1 for 1 (M.W. Lee (-120) over Thomas); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Homa (+100) over M.W. Lee); Mayo: 1 for 1 (T. Kim (-120) over Herbert); Hennessey: 0 for 1; Gehman: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Hennessey: 22-14-1 (up 6.62 units); Gehman: 21-14-2 (up 5.37 units); Powers: 20-15-2 (up 4.81 units); Lack: 15-11-1 (up 2.32 units); Caddie: 18-16-3 (up 0.94 units); Gdula: 16-19-2 (down 5.23 units); Mayo: 14-20-0 (down 6.49 units)

British Open picks 2023: Top 10s

Caddie: Xander Schauffele (+240, DraftKings) — He’s just too good at everything, and this place will reward all-around good play.

Mayo: Dustin Johnson (+300, DraftKings) — Fifth at the U.S. Open tee-to-green, Dustin’s putter has been limiting him all over the world recently, but it’s still led to three straight top 10s between the majors and LIV Tour. And a return to slower, British greens may prove to be the magic elixir. DJ’s constant hot starts at Open’s have never materialized into wins, but he has picked up six top-10 finishes since 2009, including each of the past two.

Gdula: Tyrrell Hatton (+250, FanDuel) — Hatton has all the components of his game working, and it’s supported by great putting splits from within 15 feet. Hatton is striping the ball tee to green and has been top-11 in two of the past three Opens.

Gehman: Cameron Young (+550, DraftKings) — Young possesses a very unique skill-set—the ability to bomb it off the tee and still show touch both on and around the greens. He’s routinely gained multiple strokes off-the-tee in nearly every event this year and is starting to get his short game back on track. He’s gained strokes around the green in five straight while gaining with the flat stick in two of his last three. If everything comes together for Young, he will be quite dangerous.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Russell Henley (+750, FanDuel) — Henley has two good finishes in majors this year (T-4 Masters, T-15 U.S. Open), and his elite accuracy and precise irons should put him in a position to succeed at Royal Liverpool. Some are making TPC Sawgrass comps, and he has stellar finishes there in the past two seasons, too.

Powers, Golf Digest: Rickie Fowler (+250, DraftKings) — While I don’t think Fowler can hang with Scheffler and Rory despite how well he’s playing, he’s certainly game for yet another major top 10. I desperately want him to prove us all wrong, though.

Lack: Si Woo Kim (+800, DraftKings) — Si Woo Kim is unequivocally my favorite longshot this week, and I actually believe he has contending upside. The former Players champion has already shown us that he can come out of nowhere to win a big-time event, and he is a much better player now than when he broke through at TPC Sawgrass. Kim is an incredibly accurate driver of the golf ball, a really solid middle to long iron player and an awesome bunker player. Kim has had a tremendous amount of success at courses such as the aforementioned TPC Sawgrass, Harbour Town and Sedgefield, and I expect him to surgically pick apart Royal Liverpool.

Top-10 results from the Genesis Scottish Open: Everybody: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Gehman: 11 for 37 (up 19.1 units); Hennessey: 7 for 37 (up 5.95 units); Gdula: 9 for 37 (up 5.2 units); Lack: 8 for 27 (up 5.4 units); Mayo: 7 for 34 (down 2.3 units); Caddie: 8 for 37 (down 3.4 units); Powers: 4 for 37 (down 10.9 units)

British Open picks 2023: One and Done

Gehman: Dustin Johnson — Johnson was in the mix at the halfway point in Rochester, but that was fool’s gold, with stats showing how reliant he was with his short-game before fading to a T-55 on the weekend. His stat profile was much more encouraging at LACC, where he finished T-10 thanks to the 7.5 strokes he gained ball-striking. He’s played twice on LIV since the U.S. Open, finishing T-8 and fifth, which makes me quite optimistic about his chances in Hoylake.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo. Sanderson Farms Championship: Sam Burns. Shriners: Taylor Montgomery. Zozo: Sungjae Im. CJ Cup: Matt Fitzpatrick. Bermuda: Denny McCarthy. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Aaron Wise. RSM Classic: Brian Harman. Sentry TOC: Cameron Young. Sony Open: Hideki Matsuyama. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Jason Day. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Scottie Scheffler. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Sungjae Im. API: Rory McIlroy. Players: Jon Rahm. Valspar: Justin Rose. WGC-Match Play: Cameron Young. Valero: Rickie Fowler. Masters: Jordan Spieth. RBC Heritage: Collin Morikawa. Zurich: Kurt Kitayama. Mexico Open: Ben Martin. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland. Byron Nelson: K.H. Lee. PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele. Charles Schwab Challenge: Min Woo Lee. Memorial: Patrick Cantlay. RBC Canadian Open: Tyrrell Hatton. U.S. Open: Brooks Koepka. Travelers: Tony Finau. Rocket Mortgage: Cameron Davis. John Deere: Denny McCarthy. Scottish: Matt Fitzpatrick.

Hennessey: Brooks Koepka — Odds are most people used him at the U.S. Open or the PGA, so hopefully I’ll gain something on the field by using him this week.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Cam Davis. Sanderson Farms Championship: Denny McCarthy. Shriners: Emiliano Grillo. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Sungjae Im. Bermuda: Mark Hubbard. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Jason Day. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Patrick Cantlay. Sony Open: Matt Kuchar. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Will Zalatoris. AT&T Pebble Beach: Seamus Power. WMPO: Collin Morikawa. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Keith Mitchell. Players: Rory McIlroy. Valspar: Adam Hadwin. WGC-Match Play: Tyrrell Hatton. Valero: Nick Taylor. Masters: Scottie Scheffler. RBC Heritage: Jordan Spieth. Zurich: Sahith Theegala. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Xander Schauffele. Byron Nelson: Tyrrell Hatton. PGA Championship: Jon Rahm. Charles Schwab Challenge: Justin Rose. Memorial: Corey Conners. RBC Canadian Open: Tommy Fleetwood. U.S. Open: Max Homa. Travelers: Tom Kim. Rocket Mortgage: Rickie Fowler. John Deere: Adam Schenk. Scottish: Min Woo Lee.

Powers: Rory McIlroy — If not now, when?

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Sahith Theegala. Sanderson Farms Championship: J.T. Poston. Shriners: Sungjae Im. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Tyrrell Hatton. Bermuda: Russell Knox. Mayakoba: Thomas Detry. Houston Open: Sepp Straka. RSM Classic: Davis Riley. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Gary Woodland. American Express: Cameron Young. Farmers: Taylor Montgomery. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Sungjae Im. Genesis: Collin Morikawa. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Will Zalatoris. Players: Patrick Cantlay. Valspar: Justin Suh. WGC-Match Play: Tom Kim. Valero: Matt Kuchar. Masters: Tony Finau. RBC Heritage: Rickie Fowler. Zurich: Robby Shelton. Mexico Open: Luke List. Wells Fargo: Viktor Hovland. Byron Nelson: Tom Hoge. PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka. Charles Schwab Challenge: Tommy Fleetwood. Memorial: Shane Lowry. RBC Canadian Open: Justin Rose. U.S. Open: Dustin Johnson. Travelers: Tom Kim. Rocket Mortgage: Ludvig Aberg. John Deere: Denny McCarthy. Scottish: Adam Scott.

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME.

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13.

Rick Gehman is the founder of and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports