The final major of the 2021 PGA Tour season, here are five best bets for the 2021 Open Championship. Hosted at Royal St Georges Golf Club in the United Kingdom this year, look for the longest and most accurate players off the tee in the field to be rewarded. Known for the different humps and bumps on the course, wayward tee shots can quickly find the rough.
Frustrating even the world’s best players, the course has played host to multiple Open Championships in the past. Last, in 2011, current PGA Champions Tour member Darren Clarke captured the Claret Jug after defeating runners-up Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson by three strokes. US Open winner Jon Rahm currently leads all participants at 7-1 odds to capture his second straight major title.
Five Best Bets for the 2021 Open Championship
Red hot since giving becoming a father to a baby boy in April, Rahm was victorious at Torrey Pines a month ago. Along with this, the current world number two led the Memorial Tournament heading into the final round. Forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19, the 26-year-old has finished inside the top ten in four of his last seven starts.
A monster off the tee this season, he ranks third on tour in strokes gained from tee to green with 1.82 per round. Furthermore, he also leads the field in scoring average at just over 69 strokes per round. Successful at links-style courses in the past, the current world number two has won the Irish Open twice in his young career. Able to take advantage of his long driving distances, Rahm has enjoyed stellar iron play of late with 72.6 percent of fairways hit over his last 33 rounds.
Missing the cut at the Scottish Open last weekend, Mcilroy has continued to enjoy an up and down year. Finishing inside the top 20 in his last three PGA Tour events, the Northern Ireland native will look to snap his seven-year major drought. A winner at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, the current world number 11 finished 49th at the PGA Championship before landing inside the top ten at the US Open.
Currently 25th in the Fed Ex Cup race, Mcilroy has remained consistent from tee to green. He ranks 2nd on tour in driving distance with over 318 yards averaged per drive. However, the 32-year-old has been streaky with his putter all season long. Averaging just 0.136 strokes gained on the greens, look for his chances at winning 2nd tour event this season to come down to his ability to make clutch putts.
Names to Watch
As consistent as they come during the 2021 season, Morikawa placed inside the top 15 in each of his last five tour events. Making his debut at the Open Championship this weekend after it was canceled a year ago, the current world number four will look to add to his resume after winning the 2020 PGA Championship. Placing inside the top eight in three of his six major starts to begin his career, the 24-year-old remains one of the best iron players in the world.
According to Sportsline, he currently heads into the weekend with 40-1 odds to capture the tournament. Look for him to hold an advantage with his accuracy off the tee. Hitting 69.8 percent off his fairways in regulation, the University of California alumn has also hit nearly 72 percent of greens in regulation. A bright young star on the verge of entering superstar status, he comes in as the third member on our five best bets for the 2021 Open Championship list.
Beginning to play better since undergoing knee surgery, Kopeka finished alone in second place behind Phil Mickelson at Kiawah Island. The 31-year-old also finished inside the top five at both the Travelers Championship and the US Open. Already a four-time major champion, he has three top-five finishes in his four previous starts at these events. Still searching for his first Open Championship victory, the West Palm Beach native has both the skill and composure to deal with links-style golf.
One of the best around the greens this season; he ranks 15th on tour in scrambling percentage from 30 yards out. Furthermore, he ranks 1st on tour in scrambling percentage from ten yards out. With his best finish at the event coming at Royal Portrush in 2019, look for Koepka to be among the final pairings on Sunday.
The Long Shot
Narrowly missing out on a playoff at the Travelers in his last start, Leishman heads into the weekend in solid form. Ranking 5th at the Masters in April, the 37-year-old has finished inside the top six in three of his last six starts at the Open Championship. Additionally, the current 33rd ranked player in the world has placed inside the top ten four times during his 20 tour events during the 2021 season.
He is an intriguing pick at Royal St Georges due to his low ball flight. The Australian native can drive the ball without playing into the howling winds associated with links golf. One of the better putters in the field, Leishman is an intriguing option at his current 55-1 listing as the final member on our five best bets for the 2021 Open Championship list.