Tommy Fleetwood. Not Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Spieth, or even Tiger Woods. In what’s one of the bigger golf betting surprises of the year, it’s Fleetwood who has attracted the most money in Las Vegas ahead of the 2018 Open Championship.
A total of 156 players are teeing off today in Scotland at Carnoustie Golf Links. They include the best golfers in the world, and while Fleetwood (currently ranked No. 10) is certainly worthy of being among the favorites, he’s topped both the ticket count and total money wagered at the Westgate SuperBook.
Golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman tweeted that Fleetwood is their most-bet Open player.
Ticket Count: Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka
Money Wagered: Fleetwood, Koepka, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Fowler
Fleetwood, a 27-year-old from England, is playing in his fourth Open. He missed the cut in 2014-2016, before finishing T27 last year.
However, the Englishman is coming off a T17 at the Masters, T7 at The Players, and runner-up finish at the US Open last month.
Prior to the first round, the SuperBook’s odds had the game’s top-ranked player once again with the shortest line heading into a major. Dustin Johnson leads the field at 12/1.
He’s followed closely by Rose, who has attracted quite a bit of action in the week leading up to Carnoustie. The 2013 US Open winner and UK fan-favorite is at 14/1.
Fowler (16/1), and McIlroy and Fleetwood (18/1) round out the top five.
Defending Open champion Spieth, winner Koepka, and Jon Rahm began Thursday at 20/1, while a slew of players including Woods, Justin Thomas, Stenson, and Sergio Garcia teed off at 25/1.
South Africans Dominate
Kevin Kisner took an early lead Thursday by posting a five-under par 66. Ranked No. 33 in the world, Kisner has never placed better than T54 in an Open, and entered the week at long odds of winning (200/1).
Should the 34-year-old American stay atop the leaderboard and hoist the Claret Jug come Sunday, bettors who took 200/1 will net $20,000 for every $100 they wagered. Kisner’s odds, of course, will shrink greatly after his Round 1 performance.
Two even more severe longshots, South Africans Erik Van Rooyen and Zander Lombard, both opened with four-under par 67s. They were respectively at 300/1 and 500/1 before their Thursday tee times. Fellow countryman Brandon Stone (250/1) is at three-under.
South Africa isn’t exactly known for its success at The Open.
Ernie Els became the first Champion Golfer of the Year from South Africa when he won the major in 2002 at Muirfield. Louis Oosthuizen won in 2010 at St. Andrews, and Els won the Open again in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Meanwhile, betting favorite Fleetwood finished the first round in the middle of the pack after shooting a one-over par 72.