Looking Ahead to Golf’s Last 2021 Major: The Open Championship

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With the 121st U.S. Open and the third major championship of 2021 in the books, it is time to start looking ahead to the final major of the season. The Open Championship will take place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club from July 14-17. It will be the 15th Open Championship held at Royal St. George’s and the first since 2011 when Darren Clarke won shooting 5-under par. 

While it is nearly three weeks away, there are plenty of golfers who are worth an immediate bet to hoist the Claret Jug in mid-July. The event was cancelled in 2020 unfortunately, leaving the reigning champion as Ireland native Shane Lowry, who won the 2019 event at Portrush by four strokes over Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

The Favorites

There is little reason to look to bet a favorite in a major championship weeks in advance, as their number is not likely to change very much from now until the week of the event. The only favorite that is worth an early wager is Louis Oosthuizen (+2500).

Do not overthink this pick.
Oosthuizen has six major championship runner-ups in his career, as well as finishing runner-up in each of the last two. The 2010 Open Championship winner has had one of the sweetest swings on the PGA Tour for north of a decade, but it is his putter that takes him to another level in major championships. It almost seems like fiction that Oosthuizen has never won on United States soil, but fortunately for him this event will be on more familiar turf across the pond.

He ranks first in 2021 in strokes gained putting, and a large reason why is that he has made over 91 percent of his putts inside of 10 feet this year. He still sits at the outrageous number of 25-1 despite his performance in majors and that is just too much value to pass up.

The Pick
Louis Oosthuizen

The Middle Tier

The middle tier is the best area to target when looking to take a golfer a few weeks out from a major championship, because these are the golfers whose numbers can plummet below 30-1 with solid performances in the tournaments leading into it.

The first golfer from this group to take right now for the 2021 Open Championship is Patrick Reed (+4000). Reed has nine career PGA Tour victories and is capable of winning any week that he is on the course. He could easily find himself in contention in the tournaments prior to The Open, which would drop his number closer to 25-1. Reed has the capability to win at Royal St. George’s for his second major championship. He has one of the best short games on the PGA Tour and he is a great scrambler, making him a good fit on many of European courses such as Royal St. George’s where gusts of wind and rain frequently make playing conditions difficult. At 40-1, Patrick Reed is an automatic bet at any stop, even if it is outside of the United States.

The next golfer to take in the middle tier range before his number drops is Joaquinn Niemann (+4500). The 21-year-old has one win on the PGA Tour already in his short career and owns two runner-up finishes in the 2021 season. He not only owns four top-10 finishes this season, but ranks ninth on Tour in strokes gained off the tee. Niemann is not often thought of as a bomber off the tee box, but he has moved up to ninth in average driving distance in 2021. At 45-1, Niemann is a must-bet to win The 2021 Open Championship.

The Picks
Patrick Reed
Joaquin Niemann

The Longshot

There is only one longshot to look at for the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s. Long-hitting Bubba Watson (+12500) spoke about his battles with mental health before the weekend at the U.S. Open and the golf game he subsequently put on display appeared to be that of a man who has turned a corner.

Please Note:
A pair of weekend rounds of 77 and 76 torpedoed his chance at his first U.S. Open. Watson is playing the Travelers before The Open and he has won that event three times.

A fourth title or even a strong showing would shoot his odds under 100-1 for sure. Take him at 125-1 before the number possibly nosedives, which it will do if he can put together two solid tournaments prior to Royal St. George’s.

The Pick
Bubba Watson

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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