2022 British Open Power Rankings: The Top 50 Players at St Andrews
Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood.
If you’re going to list the prohibitive favorite in the top spot for a major championship player ranking – and spoiler alert, I’m about to do just that – then you’d better back it up with some less chalky plays down the line.
That’s the case for any event, really, but none more than The Open Championship, which so often yields a few leaderboard surprises.
All of which is why, even though you’ll see plenty of big names at the top of this top-50 ranking, I’ve also listed a bunch of longshots and sleepers along the way, too.
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2022 British Open Odds
|Harold Varner III||+15000|
|Si Woo Kim||+20000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+20000|
|Min Woo Lee||+20000|
|Jorge Fernandez Valdes||+100000|
|Justin De Los Santos||+100000|
|Lars van Meijel||+100000|
1. Rory McIlroy
It’s been eight years since his last major victory, but McIlroy has finished inside the top-10 at each of the first three this year and owns seven consecutive top-20 results overall. If there’s ever a time for all the stars to align, it would be this week for the pre-tourney betting favorite.
2. Jordan Spieth
It’s no secret that the Old Course will bring out a player’s creativity and none are more creative than the 2017 champion. We’ll undoubtedly witness the full Spieth, with moments of brilliance interrupted by bouts of discouragement, but the positives will greatly outweigh the negatives.
3. Tommy Fleetwood
It’s taken awhile for Fleetwood to regain some semblance of his past elite-level status, but he appears to be gaining confidence by the day. Fresh off a T-4 at last week’s Scottish Open, Fleetwood is showing the form which yielded four top-fives in majors, including a runner-up at this one in 2019.
4. Cameron Smith
Since his PLAYERS Championship win and subsequent third-place finish at the Masters, Smith has been relatively quiet, but it’s hardly like the game is suffering. His usual weak spot is driving accuracy, however the massively wide fairways of St. Andrews should curb that issue.
5. Shane Lowry
Playing perhaps the best golf of his career this year, Lowry disappointed in missing the cut at last month’s U.S. Open, yet a return to links golf could be exactly what the winner of this event three years ago at Royal Portrush needs to get back on track in the big ones.
6. Xander Schauffele
Coming off victories in each of his last two starts – plus a pro-am title in between – Schauffele has taken over the fickle title of “world’s hottest golfer” for the time being. It’s tough to keep a heater going, but Scottie Scheffler proved at the Masters that it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
7. Robert Macintyre
Not only has the 25-year-old Scotsman made the cut in all nine major championship appearances of his young career, he’s finished 6th-8th in two Open starts. Though it hasn’t been a great year to date, as he’s fallen outside the world’s top-100, a return to familiar surroundings should suit him well.
8. Viktor Hovland
While he ranks inside the top-30 this season in strokes gained off the tee, on approach shots and putting, Hovland remains dead last around the greens, though his disadvantage in that department should be negated with such large greens and an ability to putt from off of them.
9. Scottie Scheffler
At this point, it sort of feels like the world’s No. 1-ranked player is playing with house money, as he already has a green jacket in the closet and three other titles. A missed cut last week might seem like a small setback, but remember: The last time he MC’d, he reached a playoff the following week.
10. Patrick Cantlay
We’ve been waiting for a breakthrough performance at a major from Cantlay; maybe it’ll come at the one where we least expected it.
11. Tyrrell Hatton
Few players own such a high-ceiling/low-floor combination, as it’s equally probable he contends for the title and misses the cut.
12. Max Homa
Not only has he added two more titles this season, he’s reached the weekend in all three majors and is ranked inside the world’s top-20 for the first time.
13. Thomas Detry
The big-hitting Belgian is still seeking his first DP World Tour win, but nine career top-three finishes proves he has plenty of game.
14. Jon Rahm
When he’s on his game, few players own as much talent, but it’s clear that he’s not quite firing on all cylinders right now.
15. Louis Oosthuizen
A victory in 2010 and playoff loss in 2015 prove that Oosthuizen has unlocked a few key secrets to finding success at St. Andrews.
16. Joaquin Niemann
It won’t be long until Niemann places himself firmly in the “best player without a major” conversation – unless he wins one first.
17. Adam Scott
At the 2015 edition here, Scott missed a one-foot putt on 14, then played the final four holes in 4-over to miss out on a playoff by five.
18. Collin Morikawa
The defending champion quickly went from zero links experience to the Claret Jug last year, but it’ll be difficult to replicate that performance.
19. Sam Burns
In nine major championship starts, he’s yet to finish better than 20th, but that should be the next step in his evolution as a top player.
20. Thomas Pieters
A player with a reputation for being, let’s say, combustible on the course, Pieters has shown some remarkable consistency so far this year.
21. Justin Thomas
After WDing prior to the Travelers Championship with a back injury, the PGA Championship winner shot 10-over through two rounds at last week’s Scottish Open.
22. Ryan Fox
This is one of those “sneaky” plays which really isn’t so sneaky if you’ve been paying attention to Fox’s strong play these past few months.
23. Hideki Matsuyama
Past Masters champion has been one of the least predictable players this year, with two top-fives, an MC, a DQ and a WD in his last seven starts.
24. Matt Fitzpatrick
“I’ve kind of grown out of enjoying links,” he said this week. Fitzpatrick has a rep for playing his best in tough events, but this one might not be to his liking.
25. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Like Fitzpatrick, he tends to play some of his best golf when grinding pars means more, though he can certainly pile up some birdies, too.
26. Jordan L. Smith
If he was flying under the radar previously, he’s not anymore, following a week when he made a hole-in-one and was in contention entering the final round.
27. Tony Finau
In five career Open starts, he’s finished 27th-or-better each time, including a best finish of solo third three years ago.
28. Bryson DeChambeau
Trust me: I don’t love this, either, but I can’t help but think that a somewhat healthy Bryson can mash his way to some low scores here.
29. Dustin Johnson
He owns a half-dozen career top-15 results at this event — and a half-dozen other starts where he hasn’t finished inside the top-30.
30. Tiger Woods
This one has been circled on his calendar for months, the one major where Tiger knows it’s an easier walk and experience truly matters.
31. Marc Leishman
A playoff participant the last time this tournament was at St. Andrews, Leishman is a low-ball specialist who excels in windy conditions.
32. Adri Arnaus
Up-and-coming Spaniard owns a ton of offensive firepower. Owns three top-three results in his last 13 starts.
33. Will Zalatoris
Undoubtedly a popular play this week based on his major record, it remains to be seen whether he can figure out links golf, much like Morikawa last year.
34. Lucas Herbert
The Aussie is a solid links player who won last year’s Irish Open and followed with a T-9 just a few weeks ago.
35. Billy Horschel
No American player has embraced tournament golf on the other side of the pond like Horschel, who won last year’s BMW PGA Championship.
36. Sahith Theegala
A late entry into the field when Daniel Berger withdrew, Theegala won’t be missing any more majors for the next decade or two.
37. Corey Conners
One of the game’s better iron players, Conners finished T-15 in his second career Open start last year.
38. Gary Woodland
Armed with an impressive stinger off the tee, it’s surprising he owns just one finish better than 30th in nine career Open appearances.
39. Seamus Power
Enters this week in tremendous form, having finished inside the top-30 in seven of his last nine starts.
40. Justin Harding
Prior to joining LIV Golf, Harding had finished inside the top-seven in three of his previous five starts.
41. Brooks Koepka
Don’t look now, but the man who flips the switch at majors has gone MC-55th-55th at the first three this year.
42. Keith Mitchell
One of the game’s better players off the tee, he’s coming off a closing 66 at the Scottish Open on Sunday.
43. Sergio Garcia
In the 16 years from 2001-’16, Sergio posted an impressive 10 top-10s at this tournament, including a pair of runner-up finishes.
44. Joohyung (Tom) Kim
If the 20-year-old wasn’t on everyone’s radar previously, he is now, after finishing in third place last week and jumping to 39th in the OWGR.
45. Thriston Lawrence
Yet another player who’s been a bit overlooked despite enjoying an extremely fruitful campaign, with nine top-25s this year.
46. Kevin Kisner
One of four runners-up in this event four years ago, he’s only missed the cut once in six career starts.
47. Jason Scrivener
Last week’s T-16 epitomized an undervalued, impressive year so far, with five top-25 results.
48. Scott Vincent
Before joining LIV Golf last month, Vincent had won back-to-back events on the Japan and Asian tours in his previous two starts.
49. Dean Burmester
Big-hitting South African is coming off a T-10 finish last week, which was enough to get him into this week’s field.
50. Kazuki Higa
Ranked 75th in the world, Higa owns two victories on the Japan Tour this year and is starting to show he can hang on the DP World Tour, as well.