Best Future Bets To Place For The Open Championship of Golf

Best Future Bets To Place For The Open Championship of Golf

Barry Devoe
2 years ago
5 min read
Rory McIlroy laughs on the 17th hole at the Open Championship golf tournament at St. Andrews Old Course

For four marvelous days, golf fans will absorb the history and beauty of the Old Course at St Andrews. But at the end of the day, everyone wants to know who will become the 150th Open Champion.

While there’s no secret formula to winning the Open Championship, the players who succeed in the end share a few things in common. First, nearly every winner — St Andrews or not — has to have an excellent putting performance.

Next, accuracy and distance off the tee are crucial in avoiding unfavorable lies and the treacherous bunkers scattered throughout the course.

Finally, there’s the experience factor. Collin Morikawa’s victory as a debutant last year was an outlier, not the norm. So having experience playing on links-style courses is a valuable trait to have heading into this week’s tournament.

All that being said, below are a few players who meet all of the above criteria and stand a good chance at conquering the Old Course.

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Rory McIlroy to Win (+1000)

Yes, McIlroy is the betting favorite, which isn’t always the most fun option to bet on. However, his stats and Open history make him an incredibly logical betting option.

Entering this week, Rory is third in SG: off-the-tee, eighth in SG: putting, and first in total strokes gained. In a nutshell, he’s arguably been golf’s best player this season, finished 2, 8, and T5 in the last three major tournaments.

In addition, McIlroy’s Open Championship history is impressive. Even though his last two showings have been poor, the Irishman strung four straight top-five performances together between 2014-18. He also finished T3 in the Open Championship at the Old Course in 2010, shooting a 63 in the opening round.

If his putter looks how it did at last month’s U.S. Open, Rory could be in line for his second Open Championship victory and first major victory since 2014.

Jordan Spieth to Win (+1600)

2015 was the year of Spieth. After winning the Masters and U.S. Open, Spieth finished T4 at the Old Course. Seven years later, he has a good chance to avenge that loss.

While Spieth is an American, few players have displayed as much prowess on the links. Following his T4 finish in 2015, the 28-year-old captured the Open title in 2017, finished T9 in 2018, and was the sole runner-up behind Morikawa last year.

Fresh off a top-10 finish at last week’s Scottish Open, Spieth has another advantage on his side — dominance at Augusta.

Nine of the last 10 Open Champions at St Andrews previously posted top-three finishes at the Masters. Spieth has one win, two second-place finishes, and two third-place results at golf’s first major.

Spieth isn’t close to Rory in some of the key stats like putting and driving accuracy. But he’s clearly shown his ability to tackle the Old Course and should do so again this week.

Tony Finau to Finish Top 20 (+160)

Betting golf isn’t always about finding the outright winner. Sometimes, it’s worth it to find value in a player finishing inside the top five, 10, or even 20. In this case, no player has more value than Finau.

While every golf diehard knows about Finau’s failure to win a major title, he actually has a fairly strong Open Championship record. In five starts dating back to 2016, the 32-year-old has never missed a cut, never finished worse than T27, and has two top-10 finishes, including a solo third in 2019.

Like Spieth, Finau also has the track record at Augusta on his side after two T10s and a T5. He also ranks inside the top 20 in SG: off-the-tee and ninth in SG: tee-to-green. However, his putting can often be hit or miss.

Even if the putting is average, Finau’s game off the tee and his solid track record at Open Championships should allow him to finish reasonably on Sunday. Even if he doesn’t capture that elusive victory, betting him to finish within the top 20 at plus money is a no-brainer.

Shane Lowry to Finish Top 20 (+130)

This is a classic example of analyzing the odds and pinpointing a weakness.

Lowry won the Open Championship in 2019 after four straight missed cuts from 2015-18. While that initial victory was a surprise, the 35-year-old has demonstrated success in subsequent majors, finishing T12 at last year’s Open and T3 at this year’s Masters. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect that he plays into the weekend at the Old Course.

Next, Lowry’s season-long stats are noteworthy. He’s 36th in putting, which is actually a huge leap above Spieth and Finau, and he’s 41st off the tee. Not only that, but the Irishman enters the tournament with top-10 ranks in approach, tee-to-green, and overall strokes gained.

Lowry is +2000 to win it all, giving him better odds than all but six players. However, he’s plus money to finish inside the top 20, with players like Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay ahead of him despite having worse “winner” odds. Bet on a top-20 finish from the Irishman.

Sam Burns to Win (+4500)

Let’s face it; every betting slip needs at least one longshot bet. Of all the options, Burns is easily one of the most intriguing.

Burns is one of golf’s most underrated players. The 25-year-old has three victories this season, most recently at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Memorial Day weekend. As a result, he ranks second in the FedEx Cup standings and 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

One of the best aspects of Burns’ overall game is his putter, which ranks 13th in strokes gained. He’s also 12th in SG: approach and ninth in SG: total, making him one of the sport’s most well-rounded competitors. His weakness, however, boils down to experience, as his T76 last July was his only taste of Open Championship golf.

Burns’ 67 on the opening round at the Scottish Open proved he has the talent to succeed at a links-style course. And when you consider that five of the last six Open Champions entered the tournament at +2500 or higher, he makes sense as a flier bet, if nothing else.

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