This time next week, the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Course will be in full swing with the top players in the world vying for the Claret Jug and a chance to be named “The Champion Golfer of the Year.” The tournament will be the 149th version of the Open Championship.
Shane Lowry is the defending champion after a stellar performance in 2019 gave the Irishman his first and only major victory. Lowry was a huge longshot to win in 2019, with odds at +8000 to win. The 2020 Open Championship was canceled due to travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. With all that being said, let’s take a look at our Open Championship update along with their PGA Tour odds.
PGA Tour Betting – The 2021 Open Championship Preview
Predicting The Open Championship
To predict the 2021 Open Championship, we must first understand the history at the par-70 golf track that has hosted 14 Open Championships, the last in 2011. The 2011 champion was unlikely victor Darren Clark, a +15000 favorite according to many sportsbooks. Clark finished the tournament at 5-under par and staying three shots clear of runner-ups Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
The course was established in 1887, and the golf course possesses many features fans are used to seeing at an Open setup. Fairways will be firm and fast with rolling his and tough lies. Royal St. George’s is known for its blind shots and, most notably, the deep bunker complexes around the complex. Strategy and precision will be the key here.
Digging into the odds and who the sportsbooks give the best chances to, Jon Rahm (+900) and Dustin Johnson (+900) have emerged as the betting favorites to many. Rahm won his first major championship last month with a historic finish at the U.S. Open.
D.J. won the fall-version of the Masters last year and sat as the #1 player in the world for months. Johnson has only placed in the top-10 in one event over his last ten starts. Course knowledge helps here, with a second-place finish in 2011.
Behind the two favorites is Rory McIlroy coming in at +1100. A win at the Wells Fargo in May and T7 finish at the U.S. Open gives McIlroy fans hope that the four-time major winner and 2014 Open Champion has returned to the form of old.
Rahm is a chalky pick, but of the top three, we like his chances to take home his second major victory this season.
Who Could Upset in the Open Championship
Given the recent history of the Open Championship, four of the last ten winners have had odds of +8000 or worse heading into the tournament. There are dark horses out there down the odds board to target for the week.
Billy Horschel (+9000) is still searching for his first major victory, and the 34-year old heads across the pond playing solid golf this year. Horschel won the WGC Match Play in March and has four other top 10 finishes this season.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson (+12500) finished T30 on the course in 2011 and has a pair of top-20 finishes in his last two starts. Watson’s best finish in this tournament came the following year when he logged a T23 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.