Open Championship Odds Preview
With the Masters Tournament and U.S. Open in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start thinking about the 146th Open Championship, which is less than a month away. It will be hard to duplicate last year’s epic battle between Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon, but the British Open rarely fails to deliver excitement and high drama.
The tournament moves to Royal Birkdale Golf Club for the tenth time, and the first time since 2008 when Padraig Harrington was the winner. Accuracy will be paramount. Small fairways and sand dunes around the greens make the par-70, 7,156-yard venue a real challenge. Low scores will be scarce. Camilo Villegas’ 5-under 65 was the lowest score from any player in 2008.
Open Championship winners at Royal Birkdale Golf Club
1954 – Peter Thomson
1961 – Arnold Palmer
1965 – Peter Thomson
1971 – Lee Trevino
1976 – Johnny Miller
1983 – Tom Watson
1991 – Ian Baker-Finch
1998 – Mark O’Meara
2008 – Padraig Harrington
The usual suspects are the betting favorites. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is the heavy favorite at +700, followed by Jordan Spieth +1000, Rory McIlroy +1100 and Masters champion Sergio Garcia at +1600.
Other players receiving looks include Rickie Fowler +1750, Adam Scott +2500, Jon Rahm +2000, Justin Rose +1850 and defending champion Henrik Stenson +1800. Fan favorite and 2013 Golfer of the Year, Phil Mickelson is a 27/1 shot.
Will we see another first-time major winner? Brooks Koepka’s win at the recent U.S. Open made it seven straight first-time major winners, dating back to Jason Day’s 2015 PGA Championship win at Whistling Straits. There’s a lot of new blood winning big-time tournaments, which points to the amount of depth and overall parity on all tour’s these days.
Two players that come to mind that haven’t won a major but have been knocking on the door are Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama +1950 and American Rickie Fowler +1750. Both were in the mix late Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Open, and they are arguably the best two players in the world without a major title. Fowler has been close at the British Open, finishing T5 in 2011 and T2 in 2014. Matsuyama finished T6 in 2013, but missed the cut a year ago.
Another player that often flies under the radar is Sweden’s Alex Noren +4000. The 34-year-old is ranked No. 8 in the world, winning five times in his last 25 starts. He made his Open Championship debut at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and sat fourth at the halfway point and fifth after round three, before falling to 19th on Sunday. He’s a former Scottish Open winner and enjoys playing links-style golf, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him be in contention. He offers gamers the best value on the board.
TV Schedule: July 20-21, Thursday – Friday, 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. – Golf Channel. Saturday, July 22 – 4:30-7 a.m. – Golf Channel – 7 a.m.-3 p.m. – NBC. Sunday, July 23, 4-7 a.m. – Golf Channel, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. – NBC.
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