NY Betting Odds Report – 7/16/19: British Open Primer, Patrick Cantlay Best Bet

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Although most of this column will focus on Betting Odds from a NYC perspective, today is an example of occasion we look outside the shores of Hudson Bay, previewing The 2019 British Open. Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

US British Open Preview

Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim, Northern Ireland UK
More than any other year the purists of the old Scottish game will be up in arms about the proper nomenclature of their biggest annual event.

For the first time since 1951, “The Open Championship” *Cough: the British Open* will be held on the shores of Northern Ireland.  Fitting with the new location – we are expected to have off and on rains throughout the weekend, accompanied by blistering 15-20 MPH winds and mild temperatures.

The 2019 winner of the Claret Jug will have been the golfer to most successfully navigate these conditions – and it will likely be the player that best thinks the golf course, rather than the best ball striker.  Before I break down my favorite plays, let’s take a Birdseye view of recent trends for the tournament.

Past and Recent Success A Strong Indicator

Much more than the other 3 Grand Slams in Golf, the British Open tends to be won by players that have recently won tournaments and have won Grand Slam championships in the past.

5 of the last 6 Open Championship winners have won at least 1 event in their previous 5 starts.  The one exception in the past 6 years was Zach Johnson, who had been no slouch with 5 Top 10 finishes in 5 tournaments leading into the event.  Moreover, 4 of the last 6 Open Championships winners have won at 1 least event of their previous 2 starts.

8 of the last 14 Open Championship winners had previously won a Grand Slam Event.

Familiarity with an Unfamiliar Course

The majority of golfers entering this tournament will have never played on this golf course.

That cannot be said of tournament favorite (8-1) Rory Mcilroy.  Mcilory grew up in Northern Ireland and set the course record at Royal Portrush at the tender of age 16.  Although he has never won the British Open, Mcilroy has been one of the most consistent performers at the event throughout his career.  He has 4 top 10  finishes over the past 5 Open Championships – with the only miss coming due to injury that prevented him from participating.  Despite missing 20% of the last 5 British Opens,  Mcilroy has the best aggregate score, best scoring average, 2nd most rounds in the 60’s, 2nd most birdies and 2nd most Eagles of any golfer over the past 5 years.

Although he doesn’t have a tournament win recently, he has been as good as any golfer this season.  Rory has finished top 10 in 11 of his 14 starts.
2nd favorite for the Clarett Jug, Brooks Koepka, will lean on his caddie to familiarize him with this Links course. His caddie, Ricky Elliott, is a native of Portrush and played the old Dunluce course as a junior. That can only help Koepka.  There have been past examples of a caddie proving crucial in helping a golfer win on an unfamiliar golf course.  Take the 2015 US Open.  That year Jordan Speith’s caddie, Michael Greller, had grown up working on the Chambers Bay , also a relatively unknown course.  Speith leaned on Greller’s expertise to win the tournament.

Tournament Favorites and My Pick

Here are your 2019 British Open Favorites and my best bet:

Rory McIlroy 8-1
Brooks Koepka 10-1
Dustin Johnson 10-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Tiger Woods 18-1
Justin Rose 20-1
Francesco Molinari 20-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Rickie Fowler 25-1
Patrick Cantlay 25-1
Tommy Fleetwood 25-1
Justin Thomas 25-1
Adam Scott 30-1
Louis Oosthuizen 30-1
Henrik Stenson 30-1
Matt Kuchar 30-1
Hideki Matsuyama 40-1
Jordan Spieth 40-1
Jason Day 40-1

Best Bet: Patrick Cantlay 25-1

Patrick Cantlay may be the best golfer you’ve never heard of.  From 2011 into 12, Cantlay was ranked as the #1 amateur golfer in the world for 54 consecutive weeks – often listed ahead of names like Justin Thomas and Jordan Speith.  After missing three years with a back injury, Cantlay is back to showing that same promise he did as amateur with UCLA.   Cantlay has recorded 8 top 10 finishes in 16 starts so far this season, and has proven to be one of the most consistent putters on tour.   For 2019, Cantlay is second in strokes to par, only behind tournament favorite Rory McIlroy.