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Koepka follow through

Open Championship outright odds (As of July 15)

Rory McIlroy: 9.00
Brooks Koepka: 10.00
Jon Rahm: 15.00
Dustin Johnson: 15.00
Tiger Woods: 17.00
Justin Rose: 20.00


Rory McIlroy had the best odds to win the Open Championship at the start of this week, however, bettors are back on the Brooks Koepka Train days out from the opening round at Royal Portrush.

McIlroy’s outright odds for the Open Championship were 9.00 at PlayNow.com on Monday, placing him as the favourite slightly ahead of Koepka. It’s easy to understand why McIlroy would have the best odds: He’s from Northern Ireland, where this year’s final major will be held, and he held a course-record 61 at the Dunluce links when he was only 16 years old.

Given where this tournament is being played, and his past history at that course, McIlroy should have plenty of motivation and confidence going into the Open Championship, which he last won in 2014.

As of Monday morning, about 9.46 per cent of money wagered on the Open Championship outright market was on McIlroy to win.

The bettors have been favouring Brooks Koepka, who seems to find a new level to his game when playing at a major.

Koepka has four major wins to his credit – a two-time winner at the U.S. Open and a two-time winner of the PGA Championship, most recently the 2019 event in May.

He was also in the hunt for the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but ultimately fell just short in the final round. When the stakes are at their highest in golf, Koepka – currently the world’s No. 1-ranked player – seems to turn into a machine.

He can crush the ball off the tee, sitting 12th among PGA players in driving distance. He can score well, with the sixth best scoring average. He gives himself chances to score well, with the sixth best percentage for greens in regulation.

Koepka’s odds to win the Open Championship were, as of Monday, 10.00 at PlayNow.com. Just under 25 per cent of money wagered on the outright market, however, was on Koepka as of Monday morning.

Again, when a major tournament rolls around, Koepka seems to turn into a nearly unstoppable hybrid of power and precision, and bettors are keen to the possibility of his fifth career major happening this weekend.

Koepka’s “worst” finish at a major this year was a tie for second at The Masters in April.

Now, the Open Championship can present golfers with different challenges or factors that you may not see to the same extent at other majors: pot bunkers, thick fescue and weather that can change drastically overnight from sunny and pleasant one day to driving rain, cold temperatures and gusty winds the next.

Per PGA.com, the weather this weekend at Royal Portrush is likely to be cloudy and cool, with some wind and a chance of rain showers for all four rounds.

While bettors seem to be leaning toward Koepka, there is about 8.9 per cent of the total stake on Tiger Woods to win. After challenging in majors during his 2018 comeback season, Woods drove golf fans into a frenzy by winning the opening major of the 2019 calendar, claiming the green jacket at the Masters.

It was also a victory for sports bettors that day, as they cashed in.

Since then, Tiger has played in only three events, with rather underwhelming results. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship a month after the Masters, and tied for 21st at the U.S. Open in June, having been largely unable to get anything going at Pebble Beach for most of the week.

Woods’ odds to win the Open Championship were 17.00 at PlayNow.com as of Monday morning.

Last year’s Open Championship winner, Francesco Molinari, has had a difficult time the last few months. He had the lead in the final round at Augusta in April, but fell apart on the back nine, giving up the lead to the eventual winner, Tiger Woods. Molinari hasn’t really bounced back, with his best finish since mid-April being a tie for 16th at the U.S. Open.

Molinari currently has odds of 22.00 at PlayNow.com to win the Open Championship, with only 2.1 per cent of money wagered on him to claim the final major of the year.

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