British Open 2019: Rory McIlory Returning Home
- Bovada lists Northern Irleand's Rory McIlory as the +800 favorite to win the 2019 British Open.
- McIlroy holds the course record at Royal Portrush, this year's host course.
- World No. 1 Brooks Koepka, who's won three of the last five majors, is the second betting choice at +900.
When Rory McIlroy was 16 years old, he tamed Royal Portrush. He fired a 61 on that day 14 years ago, a tally that remains on the books as the course record. Can he conquer the course again as it plays host to the most prestigious golfing event in Europe, if not the entire world, the British Open?
McIlroy will not be without his challengers. American Brooks Koepka has never won the British Open Championship but he has captured three of golf's last five majors.
Fellow American Jordan Spieth is always in the hunt at the big events, and can you ever count out Tiger Woods going into any significant golf tournament?
Among the top European stars, Italy's Francesco Molinari will be seeking to be the first two defend his British Open title since Ireland's Padraig Harrington won back-to-back championships in 2007-08. Spain's Jon Rahm and England's Justin Rose are others to watch.
McIlroy will be required to end a lengthy drought if he is to lift the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush. The last player to win the British Open on his home soil was Scotland's Paul Lawrie at Carnoustie in 1999.
British Open Odds 2019
Let's look at the top contenders to win the 2019 British Open Championship, with their British Open Odds provided by Bovada:
Rory McIlroy (+800) - It's been five years since McIlroy won the 2014 British Open title at Royal Liverpool. He followed up that year win a win in the PGA Championship. McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus, Woods and Spieth as the only golfers to win three majors by their 25th birthday.
The problem is that McIlroy hasn't won another one since. Can familiar surroundings put McIlroy back on top of the golfing world? He's certainly proven to be the most consistent golfer out there this season. McIlroy has posted 11 top-10 finishes in 14 PGA Tour starts, with two victories.
With his victory at the Canadian Open, he became the sixth player to hold golf's so-called career triple crown, wins in the three oldest national championships in the sport - the British, Canadian and U.S. Opens.
Brooks Koekpa (+900) - The British Open has rarely been kind to Koepka. He shows a pair of top-10 finishes on his resume – tied for 10th in 2015 and tied for sixth in 2017. But he was tied for 39th last year, tied for 67th in 2014 and failed the British Open Odds to make the cut in 2013.
He has won four of the last nine majors, though, albeit all on American courses. This season, Koepka was second at the U.S. Open, won the PGA and was tied for second at the Masters. Since 2015, the British Open is the only tournament in which he's finished outside the top 10.
A key for Koepka in this year's British Open is the guy who'll be carrying his bag. Koepka's caddie Ricky Elliott was raised in Portrush. He grew up playing this course, which could give Koepka the advantage of local knowledge that few outside of McIlroy figure to have in this tournament.
BABB Pick: Brooks Koepka (+900)
British Open Odds to make the cut
Some of these players could easily upset the form charts and beat the British Open odds. And some of them might struggle to beat the British Open Odds to make the cut.
Tiger Woods (+1400) - All eyes will be on Tiger, no matter where he stands on the British Open leaderboard. The charismatic Woods won the Masters earlier this year, fueling speculation that the old Tiger was back.
But the fact of the matter is Tiger simply doesn't play enough golf to win the battle of attrition that is the British Open. He's averaging about one stroke-play event per month over the past year. That's not enough.
Jon Rahm (+1400) - The No. 1 player on the European Tour, Spaniard Rahm simply has never delivered the goods in a British Open. His best finish is a tie for 44th. He missed the cut last year.
Dustin Johnson (+1400) - Ranked No. 2 in the world, he's never come close at the British Open since a tie for 2nd in 2011. His best finish in the past seven years was a pair of ties for ninth. He also missed the cut in 2018.
Xander Schauffele (+2000) - He finished second in last year's British Open and was tied for the lead on the final day this season at the Masters. Schauffele has finished in the top 10 in five of his last 10 majors.
Justin Rose (+2200) - The English Rose tied for second at last year's British Open after barely making the cut and was tied for third at this year's U.S. Open.
Francesco Molinari (+2200) - The British Open title has been successfully defended by 15 men. Since 1960, the list includes Arnold Palmer (1961-62), Lee Trevino (1971-72), Tom Watson (1982-83), Woods (2005-06) and Harrington. That would be some pretty heady company to keep.
BABB Longshot Pick: Justin Rose (+2200).
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