The 149th edition of the Open Championship, the oldest golf tournament in the world, takes place this week at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in England at Sandwich, Kent. It’s the 15th time the Open Championship has been contested at Royal St. George’s and the first since 2011 when Darren Clarke defeated Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson by three shots.
The tournament was canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and although the 2021 event is set to be played, the effects of the global pandemic are still having an impact, with several high-profile players forced to withdraw, including Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Kevin Na. A full complement of 156 players is still expected, with alternates filling the vacated spots in the field.
Royal St. George’s will play to a par of 70 at about 7,200 yards depending on the way the course is set up. Clarke’s winning score in 2011 was five-under par 275, with the course providing a considerable challenge to players familiar with shooting low scores at regular PGA and European Tour events.
Shane Lowry is the defending champion, having lapped the field by six strokes at Royal Portrush in 2019, after firing an eight-under par 63 in Saturday’s third round to take control. Unless the Irishman finds a way to defend his title, he’ll be relinquishing the Claret Jug for the first time since his victory two years ago.
Englishman Justin Rose comes in at +4500 odds to win the Open Championship.
Betting Odds at Royal St. George’s
U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm will be making his first start since capturing his initial major championship and is the favorite at +650 odds to become the seventh player to win both tournaments in the same year. He is followed on the odds list by four-time major champion and 2014 Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy at +1200.
Another four-time major winner, Brooks Koepka is at +1400, along with two-time major titleholder Dustin Johnson, both of whom are looking for their first Open Championship victory. Xander Schauffele at +1600 is in search of a major championship and Jordan Spieth at the same odds has won three majors but none since this event in 2017.
Bryson DeChambeau at +2700, despite teaming with quarterback Aaron Rodgers to win The Match last week, has seen his performances decline over the last couple of months and will be trying a new caddie to turn things around at Royal St. George’s. Other players of note include Phil Mickelson at +6000 and Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner and runner-up in the last two majors is at +2200.
Englishman Tyrell Hatton is at +2700 as a borderline underdog, but the home country advantage might be all he needs to get over the major championship hump. Another British player who has been playing well is 48-year-old Lee Westwood, who at +3100 would like to finally notch a major title into his tournament belt, following Mickelson’s lead by winning at an advanced golf age.
Staying with the United Kingdom theme, former U.S. Open and Olympic champion Justin Rose could make some noise at +4500 odds by adding a second major title in his native land. It was in this tournament that Rose burst onto the international golf scene as a teenager, tying for fourth as an amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998.