Posted on July 17, 2019, by Travis Pulver

The last major of the season tees off Thursday morning across the pond in Northern Ireland at the Royal Portrush. It has been 68 years since the Open Championship (aka British Open) has taken place at Royal Portrush. The Dunluce Links course, which the Open Championship will take place on, is considered by many to be one of the best courses in the world.

Okay—so, who is going to win?


It is important to remember to factor the weather into any predictions for the Open Championship. Like most years, the conditions are going to be far from ideal this week with rain expected every day and 9-13 MPH winds.  

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But predicting the winner is never easy to do for a golf tournament, but especially when it comes to the majors. When it comes to a major, the field is comprised of the best golfers in the world. So, when it comes time to predict a winner, there are multiple guys that good arguments can be made for.

For instance, Brooks Koepka will likely be a popular choice this week since he seems to play his best golf during the majors. However, he has not had the best of luck at the Open Championship. Last year he finished t39, but the year before he was t6 and in 2015 he finished t10. But in 2014, he finished t67 and the year before he missed the cut.

While Koepka is one of the betting favorites, his odds (+1000) are not the shortest. That honor goes to Rory McIlroy, who once shot a 61 at Portrush when he was just 16; the fact that he has been playing excellent golf this year probably factored into his odds (+800) as well.

But is picking the winner really the best way to bet on a golf tournament? We pick winners because we are more interested in who comes in first rather than second. But from a gambling perspective, you are almost better of flipping a coin.

The best golfers in the world often win; that is how they got to be ‘the best.’ But they usually do not win. Brooks Koepka is currently the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world, but he has only won twice this season and finished in the top ten on just six occasions (out of 16 tournaments).

Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, is ranked No. 3 in the world. He has won twice in 14 events but also finished inside the top ten 11 times.

Over 30 different golfers have won tournaments this year, so how are we supposed to be able to predict who wins this week? It’s a crapshoot—but what if we could put our money on who is going to place in the top five, top ten, top 20, or just make the cut?

You will not win as much money, but you are more likely to win some cash (which is always better than losing). According to, the odds on some of the favorites to finish in the top 5 are as follows:

  • Rory McIlroy      +200
  • Brooks Koepka  +240
  • Dustin Johnson +350
  • Jon Rahm             +325
  • Tiger Woods       +375
  • Justin Rose         +450
  • Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele   +550
  • Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay +600
  • Jordan Spieth     +750

The real money is going to be with picking the winner and cashing in on the longer odds, but it may not be a bad idea to hedge your bets by putting a little something on whether a golfer finishes in the top five, ten, or 20.

You will not win as much, but at least you are a lot less likely to lose (betting on a few guys to finish inside the top 20 would make for a great parlay).   

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