Who will win the British Open in 2021? Odds, betting favorites, expert picks & more to know
Jon Rahm finally delivered in a major tournament and won the 2021 U.S. Open. Can he win his second just a month later at the 2021 British Open?
The Open Championship is returning after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event in 2020. That will give Ireland’s Shane Lowry a chance to defend his first major title.
The British Open is often difficult and frustrating for bettors to predict. The field is a stacked one as usual, as 19 of the world’s top 20 golfers will participate in the tournament. There’s also usually wind and rain that mess with the players and can get some out of rhythm.
Still, there are some appetizing-looking odds on which bettors will be able to capitalize.
The 7,204-yard Royal St George’s course won’t automatically favor the big swingers like Kiawah Island and Torrey Pines have in recent major tournaments. That gives some new life to some of the more accurate, measured drivers on the tour, especially those that can play well in the wind.
Here’s everything you need to know to bet on the 2021 British Open, including the latest tournament odds and best bets for the event.
MORE: Full TV schedule, tee times for the British Open
Jon Rahm (+700) once against enters a major as a favorite to win. The No. 1 golfer in the world is heavily favored to win The Open Championship and is the only golfer to have better than 10-1 odds, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Jordan Spieth (+1400), Rory McIlroy (+1400), Dustin Johnson (+1800), Xander Schauffele (+1800), Brooks Koepka (+1800) and Justin Thomas (+2000) are the only golfers with 20-1 odds or better in the tournament.
Bryson DeChambeau (+3000) is much lower on the list than usual given his collapse on the back nine at the 2021 U.S. Open and his recent caddie change. Brian Zeigler will caddie for DeChambeau for the first time at The Open Championship.
Phil Mickelson (+8000) is considered a longshot in this event. He last won the tournament at Muirfield in 2013.
The 2021 British Open will be played at Royal St George’s golf course, which is a relatively short course compared to the monster ones golfers have been playing on of late. It’s 7,204 yards and is a Par-70 course, so hitting a massive drive off the tee is less of a necessity. It’s more about landing the ball on the fairway.
As such, the most important stats to pay attention to this week are strokes gained approaching the green (SG:APR) and driver accuracy. The Open Championship always has some wind element to it, so taking players that are able to fly the ball consistently and accurately will prove paramount. Bettors will want to trust golfers that can make sand saves as well, as the British Open courses always feature tricky bunkers.
With those three categories in mind, Collin Morikawa (+2500) stands out as a good bet this week. He’s the best on tour in SG:APR with 1.502 strokes gained per round. The next closest golfer, Paul Casey, is nearly a half stroke behind him. Add in Morikawa’s 11th-ranked driver accuracy and he should have a chance to avoid trouble with the wind. He may be just middle-of-the-pack in terms of driver distance — 114 of 208, 294.9 yards per drive — but that won’t matter much at the shorter Royal St George’s course.
Jon Rahm (+700) is another solid bet even with the shortest odds on the field. He plays very well in the wind and has gained 60.1 strokes in his last 24 rounds in windy conditions, per The Action Network. That along with his seventh-ranked SG:APR game will give him the best chance among big hitters to win at this course. His driver accuracy (65th) and sand save percentage (52.22 percent) are just above-average, but his tee-to-green game and recent performance make him an appealing bet.
Among longshots, Russell Henley (+10000) looks like a nice value pick. He ranks top-10 in SG:APR at 0.901 strokes gained and is also in the top 10 in sand save percentage. His driver accuracy ranks 37th in the field, so he checks all of the boxes. He has top-20 finishes in each of his last three tournaments, including a 13th-place finish at the U.S. Open, so at 100-1 odds, he’s worth a shot.
Henley’s one concern is his 289.6-yard driver distance, which ranks 163rd on the PGA Tour. That could make the longer holes a bit more challenging for him, but he should make up for it with his accuracy and steadiness. Besides, there are only two holes longer than 500 yards at Royal St George’s.
There was no British Open winner in 2020, so the reigning champion is Shane Lowry. The Irishman cruised to a convincing six-stroke lead over Tommy Fleetwood which included a 7-under round of 63 on moving day, which is the new course record at Royal Portrush.
Lowry will seek to become the first back-to-back British Open champion since Padraig Harrington won at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale in 2007 and 2008. Before him, Tiger Woods won the event consecutively in St Andrews (2005) and Royal Liverpool (2006).
The Open Championship will feature 11 previous champions in the field. That includes Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen, among others.
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