The 2019 Open Championship, aka the “British Open” or simply the “Open”, is set to tee off with the worlds greatest golfers vying for the legendary title and possession of the Claret Jug trophy for one year. The top tier of the favorites list is packed with big-name pro golfers starting with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka who are the only two players coming in under the +1000 mark.

McIlroy enters play at +800 while Koepka follows at +900 according to odds from Intertops. McIlroy, of Northern Ireland where the Open is being played, has two victories in 2019 with the PLAYERS Championship and the Canadian Open. He’s currently ranked No. 3 on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) list. Koepka also has two wins this season – the PGA Championship and the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Currently, Koepka holds the No. 1 OWGR spot.


Golf Glance: McIlroy seeks major glory in native land


There is good news in case you’re wondering about the one year that the winner is allowed to keep the trophy. According to the tradition of the Open, the winner must return the Claret Jug prior to the next Open. But they are awarded a copy. Here’s a look at the top-five favored players who now have copies of the Claret Jug entering the opening round of the Open with odds and current OWGR ranking.

 

Rory McIlroy+800No. 3
Brooks Koepka+900No. 1
Dustin Johnson+1400No. 2
Jon Rahm+1400No. 8
Tiger Woods+1600No. 5

 

Course Could Come into Play

The famed links of Royal Portrush is the host to this years Open and as usual with this event, the course will be a factor more than ever when compared to PGA events in the states. The course is near the sea, open to the elements, features a variety of grasses and plenty of rolling hills and mounds. Royal Portrush was laid out in the 1920s by Harry Colt and hosted the Open in 1951 It originally played around 6,800 yards as a par 72 but by the time the site hosted the 2012 Irish Open was just at 7,000 yards playing par 70. Now the course, for the Open, is set as a par 71 at 7,340 yards. 

The two opening rounds will test players from the states from the outset but many have been in Ireland for a week or more getting in as many practice rounds as possible. Since the Open Championship is played at different venues every year it’s hard to look at statistics from previous tournaments. But, that’s the same variable found when looking at the US Open. Here are the past five winners of the Open Championship.

 

2018Francesco Molinari
2017Jordan Spieth
2016Henrik Stenson
2015Zach Johnson
2014Rory McIlroy 

 

Predicting the Open Championship

One thing is certain, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are the favorites for a reason. McIlroy is from the area and has a wonderful history with the course. Fourteen years ago he famously shot a 61 at the course during qualifying rounds for the North of Ireland Championship shattering the course record. And, Koepka’s caddy, Rickey Elliott, knows Royal Portrush like the back of his hand as it’s his hometown course. 

How history and a caddy with plenty of knowledge about the course play into the actual tournament is hard to determine. But it has to help. What probably helps the two players the most is that they are both playing extremely well in 2019 and have not shown too many weak spots in their games this season.

An obvious player to keep an eye on is Tiger Woods who has played a very light schedule since winning the Masters earlier in the year. His practice rounds in Ireland have not been spectacular but also showed no real trouble spots. He has been seen practicing with two styles of Scotty Cameron putters this week indicating he’s still working on what he wants in his bag. But that’s normal, the only reason it’s all over Golf media its because is Tiger Woods.



The Open Championship will probably come down to golf basics. Good shots off the tee, hitting landing areas, nailing approach shots, and avoiding too many missed puts. The only luck that may come into play is if a shot lands behind one of the humps in the rolling terrain or in front so that it can roll for extra yardage.

As for the greens and putting, word is that the greens at Royal Portrush are playing slow. The golfer that masters the greens the earliest may have the advantage. If that’s the case then Rory McIlroy may be at a disadvantage. According to current stats posted by the PGA, he’s ranked No. 42 in the putting category at .318 percent overall. But he should not be worried too much as Koepka comes in at T95 on the list.

Odds to win the 2019 British Open Outright

 

Rory McIlroy+800
Brooks Koepka+900
Dustin Johnson+1400
Jon Rahm+1400
Tiger Woods+1600
Justin Rose+1800
Francesco Molinari+2200
Xander Schauffele+2200
Tommy Fleetwood+2500
Rickie Fowler+2800
Adam Scott+2800
Henrik Stenson+2800
Patrick Cantlay+2800
Justin Thomas+2800
Jordan Spieth+2800
Jason Day+3300
Hideki Matsuyama+3300
Matt Kuchar+3300
Bryson DeChambeau+3300
Louis Oosthuizen+4000
Matt Wallace+4000
Paul Casey+4000
Bernd Wiesberger+5000
Marc Leishman+5500
Shane Lowry+5500
Gary Woodland+5500
Sergio Garcia+6000
Graeme McDowell+6600
Ian Poulter+6600
Matthew Fitzpatrick+6600
Tony Finau+6600
Rafael Cabrera Bello+6600
Eddie Pepperell+6600
Tyrrell Hatton+6600
Patrick Reed+7500
Webb Simpson+7500
Phil Mickelson+7500
Danny Willett+8000
Lee Westwood+8000
Brandt Snedeker+10000
HaoTong Li+10000
Thorbjorn Olesen+10000
Erik Van Rooyen+10000
Branden Grace+10000
Alex Noren+12500
Bubba Watson+12500
Andy Sullivan+12500
Abraham Ancer+12500
Kevin Kisner+12500
Padraig Harrington+12500
Byeong-Hun An+12500
Zach Johnson+12500
Russell Knox+15000
Dylan Frittelli+15000
Keegan Bradley+15000
Billy Horschel+15000
Chez Reavie+15000
Thomas Pieters+15000
Joaquin Niemann+15000
Michael Lorenzo-Vera+15000
Jim Furyk+15000
Aaron Wise+15000
Emiliano Grillo+15000
Cameron Smith+15000
Lucas Bjerregaard+15000
Sung-Jae Im+15000
Rory Sabbatini+15000
Jorge Campillo+20000
Kyle Stanley+20000
Lucas Glover+20000
Adam Hadwin+20000
Tom Lewis+20000
Joost Luiten+20000
Si-Woo Kim+20000
Luke List+25000
Jason Kokrak+25000
Ryan Palmer+25000
Andrew Johnston+25000
Justin Harding+25000
Charley Hoffman+25000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat+25000
Robert Rock+25000
Andrew Putnam+25000
C T Pan+25000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout+25000
Adri Arnaus+25000
Paul Waring+25000
Andrea Pavan+25000
Kevin Streelman+25000
Oliver Wilson+25000
Romain Langasque+25000
Benjamin Hebert+25000
Brandon Stone+25000
Alexander Bjork+25000
Jimmy Walker+25000
Adrian Otaegui+25000
Jazz Janewattananond+25000
Chris Wood+25000
Keith Mitchell+30000
J.B. Holmes+30000
Ryan Fox+30000
Corey Conners+30000
David Lipsky+30000
Richard Sterne+30000
Nate Lashley+30000
Doc Redman+30000
Mikko Korhonen+30000
Sunghoon Kang+30000
Brandon Wu+30000
Shugo Imahira+35000

 

 

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