The British Open tees off on Thursday at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, and it’s a familiar cast that’s receiving top billing at Las Vegas sportsbooks.
For the third consecutive major, Dustin Johnson, the world’s top ranked player, comes with the shortest odds. But at 12-1, he’s somewhat long compared to his lines at the Masters and US Open.
A disappointing summer has led oddsmakers to lengthen DJ’s line, and that’s likely an attractive development to many bettors in Nevada. Jordan Spieth, who won at the Travelers earlier last month, is also at 12-1, per the Westgate SuperBook.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia, fan favorite Ricky Fowler, and budding star Jon Rahm round out the top five with their odds at 15-1.
The last Open Championship at Royal Birkdale came back in 2008 when Padraig Harrington won his second consecutive Claret Jug. The back-to-back feat came a year after Paddy became a major champion at Carnoustie. This week, Harrington is at 125-1.
The Open, the oldest of the four majors, dates back to 1860.
Mickelson-Stenson Rematch? Odds Say No
The 2016 Open was one of the greatest duels in the tournament’s storied history. Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson entered Sunday separated by just one shot, with their nearest competitor five back.
It quickly became apparent that the day would be a two-horse race. By the time they reached the fifth tee, they were tied at -14 and nine shots clear of third. Stenson would go on to shoot 63 to Mickelson’s 65, and win at -20, a record score.
Fast forward to today, and bettors apparently don’t have much faith of another back-to-back winner at Birkdale. The SuperBook has Stenson at 25-1.
Mickelson has played some good golf over the last few years, but he hasn’t won since 2013. The victory came at this week’s major championship, when Lefty took the title at Muirfield. Ironically, Stenson came in second place that week, losing by three shots, the same margin he would win by in 2016.
For 2017, Mickelson is at 30-1 to win his second Claret Jug. It will be his first major with brother Tim on the bag, after ending his long relationship with Jim “Bones” Mackay last month.
Bettors Licking Chops
The British Open odds present many opportunities for bettors willing to take some risk.
One enticing line comes from Rory McIlroy. Once a perennial favorite at majors, the 2014 Open winner is at 20-1. Now ranked #4 in the world, McIlroy is winless in 2017. Hideki Matsuyama, golf’s second ranked player and the runner up at last month’s US Open, is also at 20-1.
US Open champ Brooks Koepka’s powerful game might not lend itself to links golf, as he’s at 30-1 to win his second major in as many tries.
As for the longshots, Long John Daly found the winner’s circle for the first time on the Champions Tour earlier this year. But don’t look for him to be victorious this week. The 1995 Open winner is at 1000-1.
The longest odds (3000-1) are on 59-year-old Sandy Lyle, the 1985 Open winner who is using his second to last year of eligibility (past champions aged 60 and under automatically qualify).