The Claret Jug is waiting for its next recipient and what a long wait it has been. The wait hasn’t bothered Shane Lowry, who won the 2019 Open Championship in a very emotional scene for the Irishman at Royal Portrush.
The focus is now on Royal St. George’s where the 2021 British Open will take place. COVID-19 has already had an impact on the field for this one, as we’ve seen several withdrawals, including Zach Johnson, Matthew Wolff, and Bubba Watson.
Odds have been up for this one for a long time, as the odds are always up early for major tournaments. We’ll grab them from MyBookie Sportsbook for the event and see if we can pick out the winner of the fourth and final major of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season.
2021 British Open Betting Odds
The players will be aiming for a piece of the $11.5 million prize purse and first place is worth over $2 million for the first time ever. We’ll put the betting odds down below the body of the article with so many players in the field.
Jon Rahm is the +800 favorite, with Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth all at +1800. Dustin Johnson is +2000. Nobody else is lower than +3000. You know how it goes with majors. You have to beat the best of the best to win. You might be a few of them, but topping all of them is not easy.
Because of the strength of this field, we wind up with some great players at really good numbers, like Collin Morikawa at +3500, Patrick Reed at +4000, Justin Rose at +5500, Webb Simpson at +7000, and a guy like Corey Conners all the way up at +12500.
Royal St. George’s Golf Club
The Open Championship is at Royal St. George’s for the first time since 2011. It will play as a par 70 of 7,211 yards, as it has been lengthened a little bit since the last visit. This is your typical British Open layout. Open, treeless, windy, bumpy, and full of bunkers.
It takes a lot of luck to win a golf tournament, but with all of the undulations and hills on the course, an extra element of luck would help this week. Bad bounces could spin balls into bunkers. Guys will be hitting with the ball below their feet and above their feet.
Open Championships are notorious for bad weather conditions and really thick fescue. To be safe, you probably want to try to find guys with low ball flights that will hit fairways and greens as often as possible.
Yay or Neigh?
Well, course form data is virtually non-existent here. Most of the favorites and the world’s top players were not in the field back in 2011. Even Tiger Woods won’t be here.
There are a few things we can put under this heading, though. This is a links golf course and there are some players that just play better at those than others. Naturally we have a lot of European Tour influence in this field, so guys like Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Henrik Stenson come up a lot as having success on courses like this.
Major championship events are also a good barometer. Those courses have the toughest setups of any during the season. Guys that play well in majors, like Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm, Harris English, Scottie Scheffler, Brooks Koepka, and the like are all guys that should be under consideration this week.
These links courses are so much different from what we regularly see with the PGA Tour, where the world’s best players often play.
Speaking of links, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship event is a good one to compare with, an event won by Tyrrell Hatton twice recently and also Victor Perez this year. Harbour Town Golf Links in the U.S. isn’t a bad comp down in Sea Island, GA. A few players, including Harris English, are residents in that area, so they’ve been exposed more to courses like this.
Even recent form this week is limited in its value because the John Deere Classic, Travelers Championship, and Rocket Mortgage Classic are played on easy courses and simple layouts. English did win the Travelers, though, so he’s in good recent form. Jon Rahm won the U.S. Open and would have won the Memorial, too.
Last week’s Scottish Open is a pretty good benchmark of what to look for as well. While Min Woo Kim won, Matthew Fitzpatrick was second. Ian Poulter was fourth along with Ryan Palmer. Rahm was seventh, with Justin Thomas eighth and Xander Schafuffele 10th. Scheffler was 12th.
The guys that played at Renaissance Club last week should be at an advantage, especially with some of the travel woes and charter issues that PGA Tour players have had. Also, any links golf experience is good to have.
2021 British Open Picks
There are two short prices to really like this week. The first is Dustin Johnson at +2000. Maybe DJ isn’t in the greatest form, but he remains the best player on tour at manipulating the golf ball to get the shot shape that he wants. On an unpredictable track like this, that skill is enormous.
Another one is Viktor Hovland at +3000. The question is whether or not Hovland can putt well enough. Another question could very well be whether or not he can stare down the leaderboard on Sunday and win easily the biggest tournament of his life. As far as his game goes, he is ninth in SG: Total on the PGA Tour this season in 54 measured rounds and fourth in birdies per round in the European Tour. He’s also top-five in Par 4 Scoring and top-10 in Par 5 scoring. He’s played 21 rounds across the pond.
Webb Simpson at 70/1 is a good bet as well. He’s first in Sand Save%, a stat that will likely come in handy here. He’s top 20 in driving accuracy and top 30 in GIR. He is not in good recent form, hence the big price, but seems to have a good skill set for playing well here. He has five top-10 finishes in majors over the last four years.
Lots of betting options this week, but just remember that this tournament starts very early Thursday morning, so you’ll have to have everything in basically by Wednesday night.
2021 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING ODDS
|ERIK VAN ROOYEN||+20000|
|RAFAEL CABRERA BELLO||+25000|
|DANIEL VAN TONDER||+50000|
|LOUIS DE JAGER||+50000|
|HAO TONG LI||+75000|
|RICHARD T LEE||+150000|