Royal St. George’s Golf Club is the site of the 149th playing of The Open Championship, the 15th time the English venue has hosted the oldest golf tournament in the world. The last time the event was played at Royal St. George’s, Darren Clarke posted a five-under par total of 275 to defeat Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by three shots in capturing his only major title.
Last year’s Open Championship was canceled due to Covid-19 and Shane Lowry was the winner the last time the tournament was played in 2019 when he rode a third round 63 to a six-shot victory in his native Ireland at Royal Portrush. The global pandemic is still having an effect on the championship, with several prominent players withdrawing for a variety of Covid-19 related issues.
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy arrives at Royal St. George’s at +1200 odds to win.
At par 70 and just over 7200 yards, Royal St. George’s may be considered short by modern standards, but in 2011 only four competitors were able to break par and Clarke was the only player in the field to avoid shooting around 70. In 2003, Ben Curtis surprised all experts, firing a one-under par 69 at Royal St. George’s in the final round to outlast Thomas Bjorn, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, and Tiger Woods to win by a shot with a three-over par total of 283.
United States Open champion Jon Rahm hasn’t played since his victory at Torrey Pines on June 20th and he will be seeking to become just the seventh player in golf history to win both titles in the same year, adding his name to the prestigious list of Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, and Tiger Woods. The 26-year-old Spaniard out of Arizona State dropped into second place behind Dustin Johnson in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) this week after four weeks at the top but is still the favorite entering the Open Championship.
Betting Odds Leaders
Rahm is a clear frontrunner at +650 and he tied for 11th at Royal Portrush in 2019 after missing the cut at Carnoustie in 2018 following a disastrous second-round score of 78. Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is next at +1200 as he attempts to grab his first major title since winning the 2014 PGA Championship, which followed his Open Championship victory a month earlier at Royal Liverpool.
Brooks Koepka and world number one Dustin Johnson are next on the odds list at +1600, with Koepka the winner at the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open and Johnson picking up his second major title in record fashion at the 2020 Masters Tournament in November. The winner of the 2017 Open Championship and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth is joined at +1600 by four-time PGA Tour champion Xander Schauffele.
Just behind them is Justin Thomas, third in the OWGR at +2000, but the former PGA champion has been struggling since his win in the Player Championship earlier in the year. Another player of note is 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen at +2200, who has placed second in each of the last two majors.
Bryson DeChambeau, with a new caddie on the bag, is at +2700, and Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood are at +3100. Phil Mickelson, the 2013 Open champion is at +6000, along with Rickie Fowler who is looking to break out of an extended slump at a course where he finished tied for fifth in 2011.