You know summer is flying by when the last major of the golf season is about to start.
When the first group hits their tee shots at 6:35 am (that’s 1:35 am on the East Coast and 10:35 pm if you live in the vicinity of our fearless leader Aaron Torres) at St. Andrews to start “The
Open” Championship, golf fans have four rounds left to enjoy a major tournament.
St. Andrews is the home of golf and it’s certainly an appropriate host for the 150th Open Championship.
Can Rory win a second Claret Jug?
Will one of the LIV golfers be in contention and if so, how will the crowd react?
Can Matt Fitzpatrick win back to back majors, this one in his home country?
Can Tiger make a run at a course he loves and best suits his game?
Will anyone hit the hotel instead of the fairway on the infamous road hole?
Can any payer avoid all 110 bunkers at St. Andrews? Yes, that’s an average of over six bunkers on each hole.
We will get these answers and hopefully some drama and an exciting finish when a champion is crowned on Sunday afternoon.
Below we have some winner picks, Top 10 and 20 selections and some head-to-head picks to contemplate. None of these include Tiger Woods, but Tiger will make the cut and play four rounds this weekend. It only makes sense for Woods to make the cut at the 150th Open Championship.
As always, odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook:
Who can win The Open at St. Andrew’s?
Sure, it would be easy to go with betting favorite Rory McIlroy, which is the exact reason we are not. Can we see him winning? Sure! But let’s go with some other options with greater value.
Scottie Scheffler (+1400)
All Scheffler has done this year is win four times and his first major at The Masters. What a perfect way to bookend the major season with a win at St. Andrews. He leads the PGA Tour in Greens in Regulation (GIR). He finished second at the US Open. He missed the cut at the Scottish Open last week, only to give him extra rest and prep time not to mention motivation. A win takes his year from amazing to all-time great.
Jordan Spieth (+1600)
Spieth’s track record in the Open is impressive. He won in 2017. He was second last year. He has four other top 10 finishes. The last time the Open was played at St. Andrews, Spieth had a share of the lead with two holes to play. Having grown up in Texas, windy conditions will not bother him.
Shane Lowry (+2200)
The Irishman would love to make amends for his missed cut at the US Open in June. He plays himself in contention a lot and if he does that this week then his season-long ninth place SG: Approach will help him at St. Andrews. He is also coming off a T9 in Ireland two weeks ago.
Cam Smith (+2500)
Smith enters the Open off three rounds in the 60s last week. He always afres well at Augusta and while on different continents, you need the same skill set to contend in both events. Oh yeah, he is ranked in the top 20 in 15 different putting categories. If he can control his irons, he will be in contention on Sunday.
Who can finish in the Top 10?
Rory McIlroy (+100)
It’s an even-money proposition but he had a four-year run with top five finishes from 2014-2018. A top 10 showing here makes him four for four in the majors in 2022. He shot a 63 at St. Andrews in 2010 so he knows how to go low here.
Xander Schauffele (+150)
Can he win for the third straight time teeing it up? A hat trick in golf is unheard of but a top 10 isn’t out of the question.
Tommy Fleetwood (+300)
Fleetwood comes in off a third-place finish at the Scottish Open last week, where he was second in SG: Approach and third in SG: Tee to Green. A repeat of those statistics would help him cash this.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+200)
Winning two majors in a row is a tough ask, but his confidence is at an all-time high and he followed up the US Open win with a sixth-place showing at the Scottish Open last week.
Who can make a run at a Top 20 finish?
Dustin Johnson (+160)
DJ has a pair of top 10 finishes in the LIV events if anyone cares about that. He did place T14 at St. Andrews in 2010. His creativity around the greens will serve him well.
Max Homa (+170)
Homa will need to survive the circus-like atmosphere that comes with playing two rounds with Tiger Woods, but if anyone who can consistently entertain on Twitter can also avoid the crowd and noise, it is Homa. He has made the cut in all three majors this year.
Seamus Power (+225)
There have been 13 players to make the cut in all three majors to date. Power is sixth in aggregate scoring. Thus, a top 20 finish is not asking too much. He’s also placed 30th or better in seven of his last nine starts.
Robert McIntyre (+350)
These are decent odds for someone who has made the cut in all nine major events he has played in for his career. He has also finished T6 and T8 in the last two Open championships.
Head To Head Matchups to Exploit
Seamus Power (-120) over Adam Scott
See above on the advantages that Power has over Scott.
Patrick Cantlay (-140) over Will Zalatoris
Zalatoris will be a popular pick after his impressive outing at the US Open. However, his high ball flight could be troublesome pending the weather. Cantlay comes in with four rounds of 70 or better at the Scottish Open.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (-120) over Justin Thomas
Given Thomas’ recent health issues with his back and his withdrawal from his last event, the Travelers Championship in late June, Fitzpatrick has all the momentum in this matchup at very decent odds.
Sahith Theegala (-125) over Min Woo Lee
Theegala has been on fire as of late and was in contention at the Travelers until an 18th-hole hiccup with the lead. Has the makings of a multiple-event winner. He got into this field when Daniel Berger withdrew and will take advantage of that opportunity in this matchup.
Tyrell Hatton (+125) vs Dustin Johnson
Hatton was my next man out in the Top 20 category so to grab him at plus odds here is a little bit of a hedge. Hatton has a pair of top six finishes in the last five Open Championships.
For full Open Championship odds via DraftKings, click here.
Follow Stephen Kirck on Twitter @SKirck
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