The Open Championship returns after being canceled in 2020 for the first time since World War II.
The COVID-19 pandemic allowed Shane Lowry to enjoy two years as the reigning champion. Now, Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, will welcome 32,000 daily fans to this year’s event.
This will be the 15th time St. George’s has played host to The Open, with Darren Clarke winning the most recent one in 2011.
Tournament notes, betting odds and best bets:
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Course: Royal St. George’s Golf Club (Par 70, 7,189 yards)
Purse: $11.5M (Winner: $2.07M)
Defending Champion: Shane Lowry (2019)
FedEx Cup leader: Patrick Cantlay
HOW TO WATCH
TV: Thursday-Friday, 1:30 a.m.-4 a.m. ET (Peacock), 4 a.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-4 p.m. (Peacock); Saturday, 5 a.m.-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 4-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)
PGA Tour Live: None, the R&A owns all streaming rights. Visit https://www.theopen.com/latest/how-to-follow-the-149th-open
–U.S. Open winner Jon Rahm is looking to become the back-to-back major champion since Jordan Spieth in 2015 and the first to win the U.S. Open and The Open in the same year since Tiger Woods in 2000.
–World No. 4 Collin Morikawa is the highest-ranked player in the field making his debut in The Open.
–The highest-ranked player in the field to have previously won The Open is No. 11 Rory McIlroy.
–Only four weeks remain until the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. No player has ever won The Open and the FedEx Cup in the same season.
–Lowry looks to become the first player since Padraig Harrington (2007-08) to successfully defend at The Open.
–The Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson were among several players who withdrew due to COVID-19. Matsuyama tested positive July 2 while Watson was deemed a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
–Former PGA Tour rookie of the year Sungjae Im opted not to play in order to focus on the Olympics.
–The next three courses in The Open rotation are St. Andrews (2022), Royal Liverpool (2023) and Royal Troon (2024).
–Rahm (+800 at PointsBet) would have a pair of wins and a solo seventh in his past three starts if not for his COVID-19-forced withdrawal at the Memorial. He is second in the field, backed by 7.91 percent of the winning handle and 5.61 percent of the bets at PointsBet.
–Brooks Koepka (+1600) finished fourth at The Open two years ago and the four-time major champion has a T2 and T4 in the most recent two majors. He is the most-backed player at PointsBet (10.28 percent of the handle and 6.03 percent of the bets) and DraftKings (10, 6 percent). He is also the book’s biggest liability at PointsBet.
–Jordan Spieth (+1800) has 11 top-20s and eight top-10s in his past 13 starts. He is third at PointsBet (4.68, 4.61 percent) and second at DraftKings (6, four percent), despite having shorter odds at +1400.
–Xander Schauffele (+1800) seeks his first major title — and his first win of any kind since 2019. He enters with five top-15 in his past six starts and finished T2 at The Open in 2018.
–Dustin Johnson (+2200) “reclaimed” the No. 1 spot this week but has had middling results for the past several months. He did T2 the last time St. George’s played host to The Open. Johnson is not among the top five most popular outright winner bets at PointsBet and not among the top 10 at DraftKings.
–McIlroy (+2200) continues his search for his first major title since 2014. He has won three of his previous nine events following a missed cut. He is being backed by 4 percent of the bets and money at DraftKings.
–Louis Oosthuizen (+3300) won his lone major at The Open in 2010 and has consecutive runner-ups in the past two majors. He is fourth at PointsBet with 3.27 percent of the outright winner bets and fifth with 2.94 percent of the handle backing the South African.
–Branden Grace’s (+6000) best previous finish at The Open was a T6 in 2017 when he set the 18-hole scoring record of 62 in the third round. He won the Puerto Rico Open in February, finished fourth at the Memorial ahead of a T7 at the U.S. Open and is accustomed to playing in all types of conditions having played on multiple worldwide tours.
–Stewart Cink (+12500), a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, is the second biggest liability at PointsBet.
–Field Level Media
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