The big Championships have come thick and fast in 2021 and this week sees the fourth and final major tournament of the golfing year. The Open makes a welcome return to the calendar after its enforced absence in 2020 and the usual strong field is in place for the Royal St George’s course in the south of England.
Thirty of this week’s competitors were involved when the tournament was last held here in 2011 while many found good form at the Scottish Open last week. It’s a tough task in such a strong field but let’s see if we can tip some winners with our 2021 Open Championship golf predictions and picks for this preview.
Jon Rahm started as the clear favorite to win the Scottish Open and he maintains his position at the top of the outright betting odds markets. The Spaniard is our newest major champion, having taken out the US Open last month and he is available with the sportsbooks at general odds of 7/1.
Rahm finished in a solo 7th place at the Scottish Open on Sunday so his form continues and he ranks highly in some key stats including Adjusted Scoring.
Behind the favorite, three golfers can be backed at 14/1 in places. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are the trio in question and all three will attract interest. While all three men are multiple major winners, Rory is the only former Open Champion having won at Royal Liverpool back in 2014.
The Northern Irishman was also one of four runners up behind Francesco Molinari three years ago but a missed cut in the Scottish Open last week isn’t exactly encouraging. Johnson has been resting while Koepka has that reputation for lifting his game at the majors and he has three top 10 finishes at The Open.
The next group in the odds are headed by Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth at best odds of 20/1. Spieth tasted Open Championship success at Royal Birkdale in 2017 but that victory led to a long trophy drought that was only broken at the start of this season.
Thomas was our tip for the win at the Scottish Open last week and he remained in contention until a subdued final day.
Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Louis Oosthuizen are all available at 25/1. South Africa’s Oosthuizen was an Open champion in 2010 and, more recently, has secured single digit finishes in each of his last two majors. Hatton is consistent on both main Tours while Hovland is making his Open debut.
Then comes Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa are all listed at 33/1. DeChambeau’s booming drives won’t offer too much if he can’t combine them with pinpoint accuracy and that is why he’s at a relatively long price. Morikawa is interesting and he has finished inside the top 20 in each of the three Majors so far in 2021.
Patrick Reed kicks off a long list of outsiders at 40/1 and he is joined at those odds by Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood. Fitzpatrick will attract interest as one of two players to lose out to M.W. Lee in a playoff on Sunday. The Englishman has enjoyed a consistent two years and is threatening to deliver a major breakthrough.
Next up is defending champion Shane Lowry, who is quoted at best odds of 45/1. The Irishman triumphed by a mighty six strokes in 2019 and could well have the game to mount a successful defense at Royal St George’s.
Also at 45/1 are Paul Casey, Tony Finau and Scottie Scheffler. Casey has given us a number of top 10 finish profits across several Tour seasons while Scheffler was in good touch at the start of the Scottish Open before dropping to a tie for 12th on the final day.
Other names to consider in the outside bunch include Lee Westwood at 60/1, Marc Leishman at 66/1, Justin Rose at 70/1, Webb Simpson at 70/1, Cameron Smith at 70/1, Ian Poulter at 80/1 and Will Zalatoris at 80/1. There is a good mix of quality golfers in that list, including some who come into Thursday in good form from last week.
Our Open Championship Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
The Open returns to Royal St George’s in Kent, England for the first time in 10 years. Back in 2011, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke came through as a 100/1 outsider while Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson tied for second, three shots adrift.
The course is a par 70, but it has some length at a shade under 7,200 yards and it will offer all the usual challenges that links golf provides. In 2011, the scoring average was just above 73 and a similar test is likely even if clear and sunny weather is expected.
Greens in Regulation and Scrambling are among the key stats required on a course where there are just two par-5s.
We’re repeating ourselves by nominating Justin Thomas as our winning pick for this preview this week. JT was solid for three days in North Berwick last time out and maybe just needed a major trophy to inspire him on the final day. Previously, we’ve staked on a golfer to win and then missed out as they’ve gone on to succeed in the following week and it’s easy to see Thomas winning with just a small lift in form.
Add in these three top other players for top 10 finishes and we’ll hopefully be looking forward to a thrilling and profitable four days on the southern English coast. So these are the predictions against the bookies:
- Justin Thomas to win @ best odds of +2350 (23.5/1) with Bookmaker.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (best odds in brackets): JT (+210 BetOnline), Collin Morikawa (+350 BetOnline), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+300 BetOnline) and Scottie Scheffler (+400 Bovada, Intertops, BetOnline).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.