The Open Championship Betting Tips: A look at the favourites for the fourth major of the year at Royal Portrush
There's plenty of key storylines taking shape for the final major of the year, but who has the best chance at walking away with the Claret Jug on Sunday?
Rory McIlroy heads up the bookies favourites for the 148th Open Championship this week at Royal Portrush, but will he pick up his fifth major this week? Will Brooks Koepka and the local knowledge his caddie possesses team up to continue his major streak? Or will Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose or Justin Thomas earn major number two? And then there's the likes of Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay and Tommy Fleetwood, who are all searching for their maiden major title.
But who should you back?
Betting Tips: The favourites
Here, we take a closer look at the recent records of the bookies favourites
Rory McIlroy: 8/1
Rory McIlroy has been one of the most consistent players on any Tour this season, and combined with his home knowledge (that includes a course record 61 he shot at the aged of 16 around Portrush) and recent Open record, it's not a surprise he's the favourite. He may not have won a major since 2014, but he has gone T5-T4-T2 in the last three Open Championships. He finished T34 at the Scottish Open last week, but has two victories and eight other top 10s (including a T9 at the U.S. Open) in 2019. Ranks 1st for both SG: Off the tee and SG: Tee to green, in addition to 2nd for scoring average and 6th for both birdie average and SG: Approach on the PGA Tour.
Brooks Koepka: 10/1
Koepka has proved himself a force when it comes to major championships, and despite a a T57 finish at the 3M Open and 65th place at the Travelers, Koepka is definitely not a man to rule out. In majors this year he is a combined 30-under-par (13 strokes better than anyone else) and has gone T2-1-T2. Then there's the fact the World No.1's caddie is a Portrush local who has incredible knowledge of the course. Two top 10s in his last three Open starts, and ranks 6th for GIR and Scoring average, 9th for birdie average, 11th SG: Tee to green and 13th SG: Approach the green.
Jon Rahm: 14/1
Rahm is one of the most in-form players heading to Portrush, having claimed his second Irish Open title two weeks ago - following a T2 at the Andalucia Masters and T3 at the US Open in his previous two starts. Statistically, Rahm has never performed well at The Open (T59-T44-MC), but with 10 top 10s this season (including his victory at Lahinch), it could well be the place he picks up his maiden major. Ranks 4th SG: Off the tee, 11th birdie average, 13th scoring average and 15th SG: Tee to green on the PGA Tour this season.
Dustin Johnson: 16/1
DJ was the runner-up at both Masters and PGA Championship before going T20-T35-MC in his last three starts. MC at Carnoustie last year but has two T9s and a runner-up finish in his previous seven Open starts, and Ranks 3rd for scoring average and SG: Off the tee, 5th SG: Tee to green, 10th birdie average and 16th for SG: Approach.
Tiger Woods: 18/1
Woods hasn't played much since claiming his 15th major title at the Masters, missing the cut at the PGA before a top 10 at Memorial and T21 in his last start on Tour at the U.S Open - but his iron play (he ranked 3rd SG: Approach last season) will be a huge asset here. The three time Open champion also finished T6 at Carnoustie last year, and will be hoping this week helps him get to major number 16.
Justin Rose: 18/1
Rose arrived early at the weekend to get some practice in with Portrush local Darren Clarke, having rested since a T3 at the U.S. Open. He's looking for a second major title this week, has five top 10s and a victory in 2019, and finished T2 last year at Carnoustie. Ranks 4th SG: Putting and 8th for scoring average on the PGA Tour.
Xander Schauffele: 22/1
Schauffele has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in major championships, and looks to be on the verge of a breakthrough (four top 10s in his last seven majors, including a T2 at this year's Masters and T3 at the U.S. Open last month). In two Open starts he has finished T20 ('17) and T2 ('18), though hasn't teed up since Pebble Beach. Ranks 11th scoring average, 13th birdie average and SG: Off the tee, 14th SG: Tee to green and 28th SG: Putting.
Francesco Molinari: 25/1
The defending champion claimed his maiden major last year with an impressive final round at Carnoustie, and had a chance to claim his second major at the Masters early this year before a final-round collapse left him tied for 5th. Since then, he hasn't bettered a T16 at the U.S Open, so will be hoping to turn it around here. Best stat on the PGA Tour this season is 2nd for sand saves, followed by 36th for driving accuracy.
Patrick Cantlay: 25/1
Cantlay hasn't finished worse than T24 since March, counting three consecutive top 10s and a victory in his last six starts. Last teed up at the Travelers Championship, where he was T15, and finished in T12 on his Open debut at Carnoustie last year. In majors this year, Cantlay has gone T9 (Masters)-T3 (PGA)-T21 (U.S Open). Ranks 1st scoring average, 4th SG: Tee to green, 5th for birdie average, 10th SG: Off the tee, 12th SG: Approach and 13th for SG: Around the green.
Tommy Fleetwood: 25/1
Fleetwood grew up on links courses (evident by a T8 at the British Masters in his home of Southport and a couple of runner up finishes at the Dunhill Links over the years) but until last year's T12 at Carnoustie, he'd not always upheld that form in the Open. Followed up a T13 at the Travelers with a T23 at the Irish Open a couple of weeks ago. Ranks 16th SG: Tee to green and 18th for both SG: Off the tee and scoring average.
Adam Scott: 25/1
Having something of a resurgance in form, Adam Scott hasn't finished worse than T17 in his last five starts on Tour, which include a T8 at the PGA Championship and T7 at the U.S. Open. Scott was T17 in the Open last year but has four top 10s in his last seven starts, including the agonising runner-up finish in 2013. Ranks inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour for scoring average, SG: Approach, SG: Tee to green and SG: Around the green, as well as 12th for birdie average and 23rd for SG: Putting.
Henrik Stenson: 25/1
The 2016 Open Champion comes in to this year's tournament in excellent form, having posted three top 10s in a row that include a T8 at Pebble Beach at a T4 last week at Renaissance. Followed up his victory at Royal Troon with a T11 at Birkdale and T35 last year. Ranks 1st SG: Approach, 5th for driving accuracy and 23rd for scoring average.
Who else to consider
Justin Thomas: 28/1
Thomas proved that despite a bad record at the Open (T52-MC-MC) he can perform at a links golf with the perfect warm-up of a T9 at last week's Scottish Open, which was his first top 10 since returning from a wrist injury. His iron play was excellent last week, and his stats this year give him a good chance of overturning that bad Open record. Ranks inside the top 10 on tour for scoring average, birdie average, GIR, SG: Approach the green and SG: Tee to green.
Matt Kuchar: 33/1
Five top 10s in his last nine starts make Kuchar a serious one to watch this week, especially considering he's finished 2nd ('17) and T9 ('18) in his last two Open Championship starts. The FedEx Cup leader was T20 at the Scottish Open last week, and has gone T12-T8-T16 in the first three majors of the year. Ranks 5th Scoring average and GIR, 10th SG: Approach, 11th driving accuracy, 13th SG: Tee to green and 17th birdie average.
Jordan Spieth: 33/1
Spieth has been having a battle with his game off the tee which has meant he’s played his way in to contention and out of it plenty of times this year, but did post three top 10s in a row before a T65 at the U.S. Open and MC at Travelers. He also loves links golf, and has a victory and two top 10s in his last four Open Championship starts. Ranks 7th SG: Putting, 20th birdie average.
Hideki Matsuyama: 35/1
Flying under the radar this year, Matsuyama comes in to this year's Open in great form, having not finished worse than T33 in his last 15 starts on Tour that includes five top 10s (the latest coming at the 3M Open). Best finish in the Open was a T6 in 2013. Ranks 2nd SG: Approach, 3rd SG: Tee to green, 8th Scoring average, 12th birdie average and 20th for SG: Around the green this season.
Bernd Wiesberger: 50/1
Having recovered from a wrist injury that side-lined him for most of last season, Wiesberger has had an impressive return to form that includes a runner-up finish in Ireland and victory at last week’s Scottish Open – in addition to a further win in Denmark. The only real drawback/gamble here is that in five Open appearances Wiesberger has T64-CUT-T68-CUT-T74. Leads Race to Dubai and ranks 6th GIR and 16th SG: Approach.
Marc Leishman: 55/1
Leishman started the season with a win and has five further top 10s in 2019, including a T5 at Memorial before a T35 at the U.S. Open and T21 at the Travelers. In his last five starts at the Open Leishman has three top 10s - including a runner-up finish in 2015 when he lost in a play-off to Zach Johnson. Ranks 23rd for SG: Approach the green and 29th on the PGA Tour for scoring average.
Eddie Pepperell: 60/1
After taking a few weeks off Pepperell returned with a T4 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open a couple of weeks ago, which was his second top 10 on a links course this year after a runner-up finish at the Betfred British Masters – and has always performed well on this type of course. Was T6 at the Open last year. Ranks 12th scoring average on European Tour this season.