More than six decades later, the Open Championship is headed back to Northern Ireland.
This year’s tournament, typically called the British Open by Americans, will take place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951. Max Faulkner won the last title there in 1951.
This year’s Open tees off on Thursday, July 18 at 1:30 a.m. Television coverage will be broadcast on NBC and The Golf Channel.
And for those looking for some betting action on the event, there are plenty of options.
Brooks Koepka is the current favorite
Bettors for the Open Championship can now make their wagers either online or at one of Pennsylvania’s retail sportsbooks.
According to PlaySugarHouse.com and BetRivers PA online sportsbook, U.S. Open runner-up Brooks Koepka is the favorite to win the Open Championship at +700. Northern Ireland native Rory McIlroy is second at +800. Masters champions Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson are +1,200.
Futures odds are available on numerous golfers
Beyond the favorites, some notable players offer strong returns on futures bets. England native Justin Rose is +1,600. Last year’s Open champion Francesco Molinari is +2,000. Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are both +2,500. Sergio Garcia is +4,000 and Phil Mickelson is +5,000. Other futures odds are available on almost the entire field.
Furthermore, betting options and odds should continue to update and expand as the tournament approaches.
Unique course should challenge sports bettors
The rare venue for the Open Championship does not provide much course history for golfers, or for gamblers either.
According to the Open site, the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club feature a rugged landscape with frequent changes in elevation and wind direction.
Links-style golfers should have an edge
Bettors are probably wise to favor golfers who have been successful on links-style courses. Another option could be to favor European golfers who are experienced in the kind of conditions expected at Royal Portrush.
Padraig Harrington is a native of Ireland and has won the British Open in 2007 and 2008. Other prominent European players would include:
- Rose (England)
- Molinari (Italy)
- Jon Rahm (Spain)
- Tommy Fleetwood (England)
- Henrik Stenson (Sweden)
Graeme McDowell is also a native of Northern Ireland and qualified for this year’s open.
Could a caddy make the difference?
And finally, according to a Golf Digest article, Brooks Koepka’s caddy grew up in Northern Ireland. Ricky Elliott, who carries Koepka’s clubs, often played at Royal Portrush in his younger years and may have some insider knowledge on the course.
But beyond those theories, it’s anyone’s guess.
And that’s what should make the tournament so fun.