Not only are we in for prestige in the 2019 Open Championship this weekend, but we’re also in for some history. This year will just be the second time ever that the Open will be held at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland (the last time and only time was all the way back in 1951), and it is slated to be held July 18-21. As far as the odds are concerned, Brooks Koepka currently holds the top spot as the favorite to win the tournament.
According to Bovada, Koepka’s top-dog figure is currently set at +750. Following Koepka, we have Rory McIlroy in the No. 2 spot at +800, followed by Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods in a tie for the third position at +1200. Taking us to the end of the top five is another tie, this time between Jon Rahm and Justin Rose at +1400. Up next for the No. 7 position, we have yet another tie between Francesco Molinari and Jordan Spieth — they’re both placed at +2000. In ninth place, we have Xander Schauffele with his +2200 figure, and then rounding out the top 10 for us, we have Rickie Fowler and his +2500 odds.
At the U.S. Open last month, Koepka had an opportunity to win five major championships in nine appearances, but he would fall just short of the victory falling to Gary Woodland to end his winning stretch — as well as a winning streak, he had an opportunity to three-peat at Pebble Beach. You have to marvel at the success that Koepka has had in major tournaments. In the last five majors that he’s competed in, he’s either finished first or second in four of them. In the Open Championship, he has two top 10 placements in the last three years.
THE QUEST TO REPEAT
Francesco Molinari may not be as elite as he was in the 2018 season, but whenever the PGA Tour plays in Europe, you can always expect Molinari to put up a top-notch performance. He did have one performance in 2018 that stuck out though, and that was his victory in the Open Championship. This year, Molinari will be defending his title in a quest to repeat.
Other than him being a solid European player, another reason to possibly invest into Molinari is due to his performances in major tournaments this year — he’s done well in two of the three majors held this year. Molinari would post a T-5 tally in the Masters Tournament while placing T-16 in the U.S. Open. In the PGA Championship, he would have an 8-over-par T-48 on the stat sheet.
ABOUT ROYAL PORTRUSH
Royal Portrush Golf Club is a 7,344-yard course and is a par 71, and has a hefty reputation of being a tough challenge for any golfer, even the best in the world. This is due to the nature of the course, constantly changing in both elevation and direction because of the classic rugged links. The last major event to be carried at Royal Portrush was the 2012 Irish Open. Portrush is expected to host the Open at least two more times by the 2040 PGA season. This year’s Open has a purse of $10,750,000.
The Open Championship kicks off on Thursday, July 18 and will be carried throughout Sunday, July 21, and will be nationally televised on both GOLF and NBC. The first tee times on Thursday are 1:35 AM ET and will include Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland), Charley Hoffman (United States of America) and James Sugrue (Ireland).
As I’ve previously mentioned, this is just the second time in history that the PGA Tour’s Open Championship has been held at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. With that being said, we have no choice but to go thoroughly by the recent form of each golfer heading into the Open. No loopholes to use here, ladies and gentlemen — just straight-up betting. In his last five tournaments, Brooks Koepka has shown that he only brings his A-game for the big lights. In mid-level events, he’s non-existent somewhere in the middle of the pack. If it’s a major, however, Koepka is ready to go.
For example, let’s take a look at his non-major results: He would finish in 65th place at the 3M Open, and the month prior, Koepka would take the 57th tally at the Travelers Championship. A couple of events before, he would finish 50th in the RBC Canadian Open.
Now let’s review the two major tournaments that he was in within the last five events, which was the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. In the U.S. Open, he would fall just short with an elite second-place finish. At the PGA Championship, he would achieve ultimate glory with a victory. So as you see, you can fully expect Brooks Koepka to be among the leaders when everything is said and done with the Open Championship.
Without a doubt, Rory McIlroy will be among the leaders when the tournament nears its end, and that’s evident of his last five appearances. In four out of his last five performances, McIlroy would tally elite finishes with each one hitting the top 10, and he would win one of those events. Most previously for McIlroy, he would take a ninth-place finish at the major of the U.S. Open, and prior to that, he would achieve victory at the mid-level RBC Canadian Open. The week before, McIlroy would shockingly miss the cut for the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide, but we’ll go ahead and chalk that up as a fluke.
In the PGA Championship, it would be business as usual for McIlroy with an eighth-place tally, and he would repeat that feat placing eighth in the Wells Fargo Championship. With the exception of the missed cut, he has nothing but top 10 placements and a victory in his last five performances, and that’s massive momentum to carry into this year’s Open Championship, which by the way is being held in his home nation of Northern Ireland. Massive momentum AND home-spirit? Yeah, go ahead and give me Rory McIlroy for the victory to be your 2019 Open Champion.
Dustin Johnson would do fantastic in the PGA Championship, putting up a second place tally in the tournament. After that, however, Johnson hasn’t really done much. I’d personally keep my money away from him. In his most recent event of last month’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Johnson wouldn’t qualify for the tournament and would miss the cut altogether. Two weeks prior, he would finish below the top 30 with a 35th placement. In the event before, he would crack the top 20, but it would be an average 20th place finish, obviously just hitting the top 20 mark. In the RBC Heritage, Johnson would nearly fall out of the top 30, but would just make it with a 28th place result. With those numbers and not even making the tournament in his last appearance, why on earth would I take Dustin Johnson to win the Open? I’m not.
In his last five performances, Tiger Woods has two elite performances on his resume, and that would be a ninth-place finish in the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide, and he would achieve ultimate glory with a victory in the Masters Tournament — he would win his fifth green jacket. As far as his other three performances are concerned, it shows obvious inconsistency with Woods to make him risky to bet on. In his most recent showing at the U.S. Open, Woods would place himself in 21st. At another major, this time the PGA Championship, he wouldn’t make the tournament with a ‘missed cut’ label beside his name. In THE PLAYERS Championship, he would barely crack the top 30 with a 30th place finish. As you can tell, Tiger Woods in 2019 is either hit or miss.
Jon Rahm is a weird one, especially in his last five tournaments. He either does one of two things: 1. Puts up an elite showing. Or 2. He doesn’t even make the tournament and misses the cut altogether. Tiger Woods is inconsistent, Jon Rahm is potently inconsistent. In his most recent event, he would finish in the top 3 with a placement of third in the major tournament U.S. Open. The previous two events, the Charles Schwab Challenge, and PGA Championship, those are the two events where he would miss the cut. In the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Rahm would secure his third career PGA victory. The earliest out of the five, the Masters Tournament, he would crack the top 10 with a ninth-place tally. Extreme hit or miss, for sure.
Yet another golfer who can be considered a hit or miss, Justin Rose has either been elite or just average, and he also has a dismal finish mixed in with his last five. In his most recent, the major U.S. Open, he would put himself in the top 3 with a third-place finish. Prior to that, it would be an average 13th tally in the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide, and before that, he would place below the top 50 with a 58th place finish in the Charles Schwab Challenge. From 58th to 13th to 3rd, as you see, it’s been steady improvement, and that kind of momentum could carry into the Open Championship. With that being said, however, he’s done this before. After a third-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, he would drop down to 29th on the leaderboard in the PGA Championship. A bit risky, but Rose would be a solid pick to make after his U.S. Open performance.
And here enters last year’s champion of the Open Championship, on a quest to defend his title and repeat as the winner of the prestigious British Open. There’s just one problem: The 2018 Open Championship was held at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland. This year’s tournament will be held at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. With that being said, this year’s Open Championship is wide open.
I’m not seeing a repeat here. Especially when you consider Molinari’s last five results. Last month, he would place in 57th in the Travelers Championship, and the week prior, it would be a 16th place tally in the U.S. Open. In the Charles Schwab Challenge, he would position himself below the top 50-mark in 53rd, and it wouldn’t be much better the week before with a 48th place finish in the PGA Championship. It was even worse in April’s RBC Heritage: He wouldn’t even make the tournament, missing the cut altogether. With that being said, Molinari always seems to do well in European events. I expect him to do well, but I’ll pass on him getting the victory.
At a time, Jordan Spieth would go on a stretch with nothing but elite finishes, but as of late, he hasn’t done so great. Starting with the first of his last five, he would tally a third-place finish at the PGA Championship, and the week after, he would secure the No. 8 position at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Going further another week, he would put up another top 10 performance, this time a seventh-place post at the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. After that though, things got a bit sticky for Spieth. At the major tournament of the U.S. Open, he would place below the top 60 putting himself at No. 65 on the leaderboard, and in his most recent, he would completely miss the cut at the Travelers Championship. Look for Spieth to break out with a solid performance in the Open, but I’d keep my money away from him as far as a victory.
Xander Schauffele would be a solid long shot pick to make due to his profitable +2200 odds and he’s done a solid job in his last five — including an elite performance in his latest event that will bring momentum into the Open Championship. With the exception of missing the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and taking the 63rd place finish at the RBC Heritage, Schauffele has done decently. He would take a No. 16 tally at the PGA Championship, and would improve a bit more finishing 14th at the Memorial Tournament pres. by Nationwide. But here’s the performance by him that you need to an eye on the most: His third-place finish at the U.S. Open, obviously giving him previously mentioned momentum for another major: the Open Championship.
Rounding out the top 10, we have Rickie Fowler and his +2500 odds, but I see no value here. Keep your money away from the 30-year-old. Starting with his most recent, he would take a 46th place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Two weeks prior, it wouldn’t be much better taking the No. 43 position at the major U.S. Open. Before that, Fowler would do decent with a 14th place finish, but that’s about as decent it would get for him. He would begin his latest stretch with the Charles Schwab Challenge, where Fowler would miss the cut altogether, and he placed 36th in the PGA Championship. As I said, there’s no value here. Keep your money away.
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