The final major of the 2021 season is officially upon us as we head across the pond for the 149th edition of the Open Championship in Sandwich, England. In what will be the 15th time the Open Championship has been here, Darren Clarke won most recently in 2011.
As far as the Open Championship goes and picking a winner, 14 of the last 15 winners have a prior top 10, and 37 of the last 38 major winners ranked inside the world’s top 50 at the time.
The Open Championship was the only major canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the first time it hadn’t been held since World War II. With players eager to get back to the United Kingdom with one final shot at glory this season on the line, let’s take a closer look at where the value remains.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Bet $1, to Win $50 if ANY GOLFER Birdies at the Open Championship >>
Previous Winners of The Open Championship
2018: Francesco Molinary
2017: Jordan Spieth
2016: Henrik Stenson
Course Preview (Royal St George’s Golf Club, England)
One of the most storied histories in Open Championship golf, Royal St. George’s is the oldest Championship venue and will be familiar to many golf fans as soon as the TV comes on Thursday. Though adding to the difficulty of handicapping the course, players often reference the random bounces the ball can take on its uneven yet immaculate fairways.
Littered with par 4s in the 410-460 range, the course’s biggest challenge is that it features blind shots for many of the approaches. It also is home to some of the deepest bunkers the players will see all season, including the deepest on hole #4
Relevant Betting Stats
Greens in Regulation
Outright PGA Betting Picks
Brooks Koepka (+1800 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
For many years I had a rule. When you can get Koepka at greater than 10/1 at a major, play it. It worked out quite well. In his three majors this season, Koepka has a T7, T2, and T4, all with supposedly a still-recovering knee.
Coming into this one with The Open Championship and Masters being the only majors missing from his collection, he has four top 10s across the pond, including a T4 in 2019. Additionally, the last time we saw him on the course at the Travelers in late June, he finished with a T5 and has since taken time off to prepare for this one.
A closer look at the advanced metrics shows no one in the field better at Links style courses as well, as Koepka ranks #1 in both total strokes gained and stroked gained average per round. And as pointed out by @JustinRayGolf on Twitter, Koepka is a combined -84 at majors since 2016, a full 63 strokes ahead of the closest #2 (DJ and Xander Schauffele).
Long-shot Betting Picks
Dustin Johnson (+2250 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Since finishing T25 at the Travelers, DJ has been preparing for this tournament as he looks to get back on track following what has been a down back half of the season (by his standards). That said, he’s still the world’s highest-ranked golfer for a reason and, at over 22/1 odds here, is too good to pass up on.
The highest placed player in the field the last time the tournament was played here in 2011, Johnson finished that week with #2 with a -2 on a week the course played especially brutal. I think we see again here his length, still in the top 10 on driving distance on Tour, combined with his propensity to go low at majors, set DJ up once again to bring it home come Sunday.
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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.
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