Greg Logan’s Open Championship Best Bets

The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool tees off July 20-23 with interest in world-class professional golf at an all-time high. Read Greg Logan to find out more.

LONG ISLAND, New York – Heading into the 151st Open Championship scheduled July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool, the stars would appear to be in alignment for Rory McIlroy, who won the last British Open played at a course known more familiarly as Hoylake in 2014. McIlroy is coming off an impressive victory in the Scottish Open last Sunday that made him the first man to win the national opens of Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

The victory was McIlroy’s second of the season, and he has finished in the top 10 in 10 of 14 events. He slumped briefly at midseason when he missed the cut in the Masters and finished 47th at the Wells Fargo Championship, but he has six straight top-9 finishes, including a second in the U.S. Open and the win last week. His recent hot streak and his 2014 victory at Royal Liverpool have set him up as the Open favorite with relatively short odds of +650 for a $100 bet.


But it would be pretty rare to go back-to-back in the same season and then back-to-back over the same layout in the Open nine years later. In fact, McIlroy won the PGA in 2014 after the British Open for his fourth major title, and he has not won a major in his past 34 appearances.

So, while McIlroy has earned the top spot as the betting favorite, the odds of a double-repeat must be weighed. The next five players behind McIlroy in the odds include Scottie Scheffler (+700), Jon Rahm (+1200), defending Open champion Cameron Smith (+1600) and recent PGA champion Brooks Koepka and non-major winner Viktor Hovland, both of whom are listed at +2000.

Ace golf handicapper Greg Logan has selected Victor Hovland as the winner of the 151st Open Championship.

Lower in the odds on the list of contenders, I like Rickie Fowler (+2200), who recently ended a four-year drought without a victory and who was tied for second at Hoylake in 2014. I also favor 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry, who has only one T-10 finish this year but has been T-20 in six of his past nine events, and I like surprise U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark, who missed the cut at the PGA before winning the U.S. Open and has finished T-12 or better in six of his past 11 events.

Based on strong performances at Hoylake in 2014 coupled with current form, a few other players merit consideration. Adam Scott and Marc Leishman were T-5 in 2014 at Hoylake, five strokes behind McIlroy, the aforementioned Lowry was T-9, Keegan Bradley, who has been hot lately, was T-19 and Justin Rose was T-23. So, they have strong records over the 7341-yard, par-72 Royal Liverpool layout. Everyone will experience a new hole, the tiny 134-yard, par-3 15th, which has a green less than the size of a postage stamp that falls off to all sides.


In the end, I don’t think McIlroy will end his major wins drought, and as much as I love the fact Smith said he and his mates will drink from the Claret Jug two years in a row, I don’t think he will pull it off. Fowler just won for the first time in four years and Clark is a first-time major champion. I like Lowry’s +3500 odds but I don’t think he’s getting across the finish line first.

My pick to win the 151st Open Championship and his first major title is Victor Hovland. He has won twice this season and has eight T-10 finishes, including T-3 at The Players, T-7 at The Masters and T-2 at the PGA plus a very respectable T-19 at the U.S. Open. In other words, he saves his best for the biggest moments, and I believe Hovland, who has a T-12 and a T-4 in the British Open, is due to win his first major championship.

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