The 18th hole at Royal St. George's, home to this year's Open. From this angle, it looks pretty easy.
The 18th hole at Royal St. George's, home to this year's Open. From this angle, it looks pretty easy.@TheOpen on Twitter

Bet The British Open: Lots of good odds as Kern picks Oosthuizen, Reed, Morikawa and longshots on the links

The (British) Open tees off Thursday at 3:03 am EDT.

Last week, we gave out Ryan Moore as a longshot, at 66-1. And he finished second, which meant you should have gotten either 12-1 for a top five, or half that for a top 10, if you backed it up like I always suggest we should. Just in case. So I hoped you at least got something for your troubles.

Now it’s on to the last of the four majors, the British Open, which wasn’t played last year. It’s at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, on the southeast coast of England. It’s the place where James Bond played Mr. Goldfinger. The last time it was played there, in 2011, Darren Clarke was a surprise winner. The time before that, in 2003, Ben Curtis was an even bigger surprise winner. So there is that. And the scores in both tournaments weren’t that low.

So much for the history lesson. Jon Rahm, who of course just won his first major at last month’s U.S. Open, is the overwhelming fave, at 7.5-1. As he should be. He’s been in the top five of three of the last four majors. But not many guys win consecutive majors. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played well though.

Brooks Koepka is next, at 16-1. He almost always plays well in majors, even though he’s said he doesn’t really like this course. Oh well. He was right there at the PGA in May. And yes, he’s played better in the PGA and U.S. Open, both of which he’s won twice. Still looking to break through in the two others.

Xander Schauffele, who has nine top 10s in the past 17 majors, is also 16-1. But he too has done much of that damage in the U.S. Open, though he did nearly win the Masters in April.

Jordan Spieth is 18-1. He’s been in the top 10 in five of his last eight starts. But he’s only won once. And that was his first win since he won this major in 2017. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are also 18-1. Rory seems like he’s in a funk. His last major was the 2014 British. And Justin’s only major came four years ago. He hasn’t had a top 10 since winning the Players in March.

Tyrell Hatton, who seems like a guy who’s on the verge of something bigger, is 22-1. As is Viktor Hovland, which somehow seems a bit low. Dustin Johnson is also 22-1. He tied for second here in 2011, but hasn’t had a top five since winning the Masters last November.

Louis Oosthuizen is 25-1. He was in position to win both the PGA and U.S. Open. His lone major was 11 years ago in this one, at St. Andrews. Patrick Cantlay and Paul Casey are 28-1, along with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Patrick Reed. In his last six starts Reed has had four top 15s, which includes a win.

Bryson DeChambeau is 33-1. If you can figure him out you’re a better person than me. So I’m staying away. Colin Morikawa is 33-1 as well. He’s finished no worse than 18th in his last six, including a second at the Memorial, a fourth at the U.S. Open and an eighth at the PGA, where he was the defending champ. Shane Lowry, the defending champ from 2019, is 35-1. Tony Finau is 40-1. He’s been in the top 10 in nine of the last 13 majors.

Tommy Fleetwood is 40-1 too. Ditto Sergio Garcia and Scottie Scheffler, who made a run at the Masters. Daniel Berger, Marc Leishman, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are 50-1. Oops, forgot Webb Simpson. Leishman has been top six in three of the last six Opens. Scheffler was third at the Memorial and eighth at the PGA. Harris English, Lee Westwood and Branden Grace are 55-1. A friend of mine has Grace in a futures bet. Along those lines, I have McIlroy in my yearlong pool, which often isn’t a good sign.

Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann are 66-1. Niemann has three seconds this season. Jason Day and Cameron Smith, who just got his first PGA Tour victory, are 70-1. Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, Jason Kokrak, Will Zalatoris, Adam Scott, Ryan Palmer and Robert MacIntyre are all 80-1.

Lucas Glover, who won last week for the first time in a decade, is 90-1. Stewart Cink, who won this in 2009 over Tom Watson, is 100-1. Phil Mickelson, who just won the PGA, is triple figures as well.

So which way to go? You know I try to look for value. And there appears to be a lot of value picks out there. Just have to find the right ones.

Brooks Koepka at 16-1 in any major is hard to pass up, but I didn’t like what he said about the layout. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Along those lines, I could almost always back Xander Schauffele in a grand-slam event. So maybe the way to go here is just play a few guys to only finish in the top five or 10. But that’s not as much fun. So we press on.

I’m going to throw out a few guys in the middle tier. Going with Louis Oosthuizen again could be pushing it, because he might not have another good run left in him this year. But at 25-1, and 5-1 for a top five, why not? It’s probably worth the shot. I also think Patrick Reed at 28-1 (and 5-1 for a top five) and Colin Morikawa at 33-1 are enticing enough. And Colin is +650 for a top five.

Looking further down the board, I think Marc Leishman is underpriced at 50-1. And he did lose this thing in a playoff in 2015. He’s also 10-1 for a top five, half that for a top 10.

I’ll give you one more longer shot: Joaquin Niemann, at 66-1 (and 11-1 for a top five, 6-1 for a top 10). He’s been playing well, and might be do for something like this at some point. Maybe this is that point. We’ll find out.

As always, happy picking. There’s also the Barbasol Championship for those who didn’t qualify for this, but I’m not going there. I never seem to do well in those satellite events. I’d rather get up way too early to watch what’s going on from across the pond. Because there’s really nothing better. See you next week.

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