Royal Portrush Golf Club - Dunluce, Portrush, Northern Ireland
July 18th - 21st, 2019
The Open 7-18-19, Free PGA Expert Picks and Odds
Its that time of year again as we head across the pond for The 148th Open Championship. We find ourselves at Royal Portrush for only the second time in Open history, yet it is not an unfamiliar course to many of the tour players competing this weekend. More specifically they will be playing the Dunluce course at Portrush, a par 71 playing just over 7,300 yds in length that is revered as one of the most challenging links courses in the world. With the weather looking to be on the rainy side and getting worse as the weekend progresses we will be in for a doozy. So let's jump in and see who we expect to play well this weekend.
Rory Mcilroy (+800)
Rory comes in this week as our favorite at odds of 8-to-1, and well deserving with how he has played this year. He currently ranks 1st in overall strokes gained (SG) in 2019 and is holding 1st down in both SG Off-the-tee and SG Tee-to-Green. It will also be extremely beneficial to Rory since he grew up playing this course. He does, after all, have the course record of 61 which he shot back when he was 16. He also plays incredibly well at The Open, with a win in 2014 and T5-T4-T2 over his last three appearances. Mcilroy's putting has been a little behind in comparison to other aspects of his game in 2019, but even so he ranks 40th in SG Putting. Of the 14 tournaments Rory has played this year he has made 13 cuts, with 12 of those being top 25 finishes and an impressive 11 of those being top ten finishes. He looks like he is heating up just in time to catch a dub back home in Ireland.
Brooks Koepka (+1000)
Coming in at 10-to-1 we have Brooks Koepka, who is having himself another incredible year when it comes to Majors. Since 2017, Koepka has 4 Major wins in back to back fashion at both the US Open (2017/2018) and the PGA Championship (2018/2019). If you do the math, thats 33% of the Majors over the last three years that have gone to him. And it isn't like he plays poorly in the others; this year alone he has a T2 at the Masters and the US Open! Brooks has a huge advantage in his caddie, Ricky Elliot, who grew up playing Royal Portrush. If there is anything that concerns me here it is his putting, in which he is currently ranked 99th in SG. So if he can hole a few putts and stay in the fairways I think he has a great shot at adding Major #5 to his list.
Xander Schauffele (+2500)
At 25-to-1, Xander is an incredible play this weekend. He has been on an absolute tear as of late, and has the stats to prove it. He is 7th overall in SG for the 2019 season with his strengths coming in from Off-the-Tee and Tee-to-Green. He has placed top 25 or better in 12 of his 16 events this year and is coming off a T3 at the US Open. That momentum mixed with some rest and time to tweak his game should benefit Xander well, and I wouldn't be one bit surprised if he sat atop the leaderboard this weekend.
Hideki Matsuyama (+4000)
Hideki has been sneaky good all year, and honestly I think 40-to-1 odds are a little offensive to how he has been playing. He hasn't placed worse than the mid-30's since early January and has made the cut a perfect 18 out of 18 times in 2019. He's also went -15 and -16 in his last two starts respectively so its safe to say he is dialed in. He currently ranks 5th in overall SG, with his strengths falling towards Tee-to-Green and Approach. Hideki has also placed top 20 in three of his six starts at The Open Championship which is another good sign for the 27 year-old Ehime native.
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