The 145th British Open gets underway on Thursday with the Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland serving as the host. Royal Troon looks like it will be a challenging par-71 links course, which includes a front nine that runs along the sea with a number of holes played into tough coastal winds.
The current betting favorites heading into The Open are Dustin Johnson (+800) and Jason Day (+800). Johnson is the hottest golfer on the tour right now as he's won each of his last two tournaments (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the U.S. Open), and has played fifth or better in four straight events. He's finished fifth or better in seven of his last eight starts. And if you're thinking about betting him, you might want to wait until after the first round or two. He trailed by four after 54 holes at the U.S. Open and by three after 54 holes at the WGC-Bridgestone.
Day is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and probably the best in most categories. He has collected seven wins over the last year and has all of the skills necessary to get the job done here. He has made late charges in the last two majors - the U.S. Open and the Masters - but it wasn't good enough. With a better start, he could be hanging with the leaders on Sunday.
The other two members of golf's Big Four come in next as Rory McIlroy is at +900 and Jordan Spieth is at +1000. McIlroy won the British Open in 2014 but is the only member of the Big Four that hasn't picked up a PGA Tour win in 2016 so far (he's won on the European Tour, though). It's really just putting with him; over the last 12 weeks he's first Off the Tee and second in Tee-to-Green. As for Spieth, he has been up-and-down this season. He's registered two wins on the PGA Tour and six top 10's, but he's finished 18th or worse in four of the last six weeks.
Adam Scott is next in line according to the odds (+2200) and could be an intriguing bet. He tends to bring his best to The Open. He has eight rounds in the 60's over the last five British Open tournaments, which is more than anyone else. He's played well this year with a pair of wins and four consecutive Top 20 finishes. Branden Grace - a name that few casual bettors are familiar with - also shares similar odds. He's one of the hottest golfers on the Tour right now as he's posted five Top 10 finishes in his last six starts.
The next wave of golfers includes Sergio Garcia (+2500), Henrik Stenson (+2800), Rickie Fowler (+2800), Justin Rose (+3300) and Phil Mickelson (+3300). No other golfer is inside of 45/1. We keep wondering if Garcia will ever break through and win a major, and The Open is his best as he's placed second twice (2007 and 2014).
What's interesting to note is that the last six winners at Royal Troon have all been Americans. Keep that in mind when you're laying your bets this week.