The Open

Open Championship 2023 First-Round Leader Tips: 40/1 Lowry to go low on day one

Ireland's Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry is Dave's headline tip

The Open heads to Hoylake and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to be top of the leaderboard come the end of round one...

  • 40/141.00 Shane Lowry is in form and has course history

  • 80/181.00 Talor Gooch has started well in both his Opens

  • 66/167.00 Corey Conners is a proven quick starter in Majors

Weather forecast for Thursday

There are certainly no crazy winds forecast for day one but the current forecast suggests they may pick up in the afternoon, perhaps rising from 8mph at start of play to 13mph.

The skies have offered a bit of everything in the warm-up days. Day one suggests a chance of rain in the morning and a mix of sunshine and cloud in the afternoon.

Rory McIlroy was the first-round leader at Hoylake in 2014 but eight of the last nine players to hold a piece of the 18-hole lead in Opens since then were American. The other was another former Open winner, Louis Oosthuizen.

Overall, there doesn't seem any great bias but I'll go for two early starters in my three-man team.

Shane Lowry @ 40/141.00

Shane Lowry will forever be associated with the Open Championship after his brilliant win in front of adoring fans at Royal Portrush.

He paved the way for that victory in 2019 with a Thursday 67 that put him in second place after day one.

But that wasn't the first time he'd made headlines on the opening day of an Open.

Here at Hoylake in 2014, the Irishman carded a 4-under 68 to end the day in third place, two shots behind leader and eventual winner McIlroy.

In the other modern-day Open at Hoylake in 2006, McIlroy's compatriot Graeme McDowell emerged as the first-round leader after a 66 so those from over the Irish sea have sme excellent FRL form at the Liverpool course.

Links specialist Lowry was sixth after day one of this year's US Masters while in his last five starts he's ended Thursday in the top five at the Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship.

A 12th place in last week's Scottish Open was his third straight top 20 so he looks in just the sort of form to make an early impression.

I like his tee-time too: Lowry goes off at 10.09.

Back Shane Lowry each way @ 40/141.00

Bet now

Talor Gooch @ 80/181.00

Talor Gooch has been one of the stars of the LIV GOLF Series, winning three of his last six tournaments.

Those wins came in Adelaide, Singapore and Spain, the latter at famed Valderrama, so he's been able to excel beyond the confines of the United States.

In the first two, the American led after 18 holes following respective rounds of 62 and 64 while he ended the first day in fourth place at his last two events, Valderrama and the London event at the Centurion Club.

Of course, it's one thing getting off to fast starts in limited-field LIV events but this is a Major.

However, let's rewind back to St Andrews last year when he set off with a 68 to sit fifth after the opening lap.

And on his Open debut at Royal St George's 12 months earlier? Gooch signed for a 69 on day one.

That combination of his current form and two good starts in Opens suggests he's worth a play at 80/181.00 from his 09.14 tee time.

Back Talor Gooch each way @ 80/181.00

Bet now

Corey Conners @ 66/167.00

Open weather forecasts can change so I want someone from the afternoon wave as well.

The player I like is Corey Conners who gets his bid underway at 12.53.

The Canadian has shown he can handle links golf by finishing tied 15th (Royal St George's) and tied 28th (St Andrews) in the last two Opens.

He also banked a top 20 in last week's Scottish Open, shooting a 65 on Friday and a closing 66.

This course which involves strategy off the tee should be a good one for him and he makes definite appeal in this market as well as the outrights.

Conners has been the first-round leader in two of his last 10 starts (Texas Open and Canadian Open) while he was second after 18 holes of the US PGA.

And to hammer home the point that he's good at starting fast in Majors, Conners also led after round one of the 2021 US PGA while he ended the first day of the 2022 Masters in seventh.

Back Corey Conners each way @ 66/167.00

Bet now

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