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The Open 2023: Bernard Gallacher’s preview

Golf Care, 11th July 2023

The 151st Open Championship is taking place at Royal Liverpool from 16-23 July.

We sat down with three-time Ryder Cup captain and Golf Care ambassador Bernard Gallacher to discuss the tournament and who he expects to stand out.

the open 2023

I’m expecting huge crowds to turn up in Liverpool—it may even rival St Andrews for a record number of spectators. The course is a magnificent test and always produces outstanding winners, and I’m confident this year will be no different.

A strong case could be made for at least twenty players, who all have a chance of winning the last, and arguably most prestigious, Major of the year.

However, here are the players I fancy the most to be in the mix come the final day, vying for that famous Claret Jug and hoping to be crowned Champion Golfer of the Year.


The Open 2023: Bernard’s top picks

the open 2023

Rory McIlroy

Rory was the winner last time in Liverpool in 2014, and it’s only a matter of time before he wins another Major.

We all know he had a disappointing Masters earlier this year, but he bounced back with a T7th in the USPGA at Oak Hill and finished runner-up in the recent US Open. If I were a betting man, I’d have a small wager on Rory repeating his 2014 heroics here.

Jon Rahm

Reigning Masters champion and world number 2, there are no weaknesses in Rahm’s game. He’ll be determined to follow in the footsteps of his hero and fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros and win an Open. Maybe this will be his year. 

Brooks Koepka

Koepka is what you could call a serial Major winner!

He won the recent USPGA Championship on the difficult course at Oak Hill, taking his total Major tally to five. He’s a fantastic driver of the ball and putts well under pressure—he’s definitely a favourite for the Open.

Cameron Smith

Defending Open champion Cameron Smith is always going to be a threat in the big events. He drives beautifully straight and has a terrific temperament, as proved last year when he won at St Andrews.

He currently plays on the LIV Tour, which means he doesn’t play as many tournaments as those on the PGA Tour. We’ll have to see if this impacts his competitiveness.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is another player from the LIV Tour, so it’s difficult to assess his form. However, I still fancy him to do well because he has a strong game and an enviable, relaxed attitude which has stood him in good stead over many years.

He’s a former US Open and Masters winner, so he knows what it takes to win a ‘big one’. He could win it if he’s in the mood.

Scottie Scheffler

As the current world number one, Scottie Scheffler has to be in contention.

A long straight hitter off the tee and a good putter with an excellent attitude, he’ll definitely be around for the tournament duration. He’ll do well if he gets his putter going and can adapt to the seaside conditions.


The Open 2023: outside chancers

  • Victor Hovland – recently won at the Memorial Tournament, so will be hungry for more success

  • Rickie Fowler – rediscovered his game recently after returning to former coach Butch Harmon. He won the recent Rocket Mortgage Classic and has a good record at Royal Liverpool, finishing T2nd last time in 2014  

  • Tommy Fleetwood – I feel it’s not if but rather when he’ll win a Major. His game is in great shape, having finished strongly in the recent US Open, and hailing from nearby Southport, he’ll benefit from strong local support in Liverpool

  • Tyrell Hatton – his game has improved a lot since joining the PGA Tour full-time, and he  definitely has the potential to win a Major. He’s a tough, gritty performer who won’t back down if he gets a chance to win.


Who are you tipping for the Open 2023? Do you agree with Bernard? Get in touch on social media and let us know!


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