The Open Championship will take place starting early Thursday from the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England. With no tournament during the 2020 calendar year, Shane Lowry comes in as the defending Open champion. Jon Rahm is getting all the love as the betting favorite for the tournament and in every matchup he faces this weekend. Despite that, we think there may be some bets online to take against him. Let’s take a look at some of the best matchups to look at for the 2021 Open.
Rahm Holds all the Momentum
Rahm was a big winner at the US Open, and was very emotional and had this to say to the NBC crew following his win: “I’m a big believer in karma and after what happened a couple of weeks ago, I stayed really positive knowing big things were coming. … I just felt like the stars were aligning. I knew my best golf was to come and I have a hard time explaining what just happened because I can’t even believe I made the last two putts and I’m the first Spaniard ever to win a U.S. Open. This was definitely for Seve (Ballesteros). I know he tried a lot, and usually we think a lot about him with The Masters, but I know he wanted to win this one most of all.”
Jon Rahm -180 vs. Justin Thomas +160
Rahm is the favorite so, of course, he is favored against some of the best players in golf. This one is an interesting matchup as Thomas seems to be a little overlooked. Remember, he is still one of the best players in all of the world. Thomas just finished with a 65 in his final round at the Scottish Open, which placed him in the top 10. Thomas is due and eager to get back on track as a champion. He has made a move to a new putter, which he is very confident about right now. Thomas finished T-11 at the event in 2019 and looks for improvement here. Take a little risk that Thomas will find his groove and Rahm falls back a bit, and get solid golf odds here.
Tyrell Hatton -145 vs. Tommy Fleetwood +125
Two guys who are going to get some talk this week. Hatton recorded a two-day total of six-over at the U.S. Open and missed the cut. He fared better at the Scottish Open, but his confidence is something that is fragile right now. Fleetwood is a guy that is familiar with the courses, and a guy that has the ability to rattle off several birdies in a row when he is right. Fleetwood finished 17th at the Irish Open and 26th at the Scottish Open. Look for more of that from Fleetwood, while Hatton struggles to find his footing. Take Fleetwood as the underdog.
Shane Lowry +140 vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick -160
Lowry is not getting any love for being the defending champion. Quite possible that the season off makes a big difference, but when push comes to shove, this guy still knows how to compete at the top here. Fitzpatrick’s best finish at the Open Championship is T-20, but his confidence comes from his runner-up finish at the Scottish Open last week. In fact, Fitzpatrick has made the cut in each of his five events. For Lowry, his fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship, followed by sixth at the Memorial, have him in the right mindset. Lowry finished 23rd at the Irish Open before taking last weekend off. The defending champion is being overlooked here, so take Lowry as the underdog.
Justin Rose -105 vs. Sergio Garcia -115
There are some metrics out there that show Justin Rose is a threat to win this event. The eye test shows Rose is ready to compete. Take the U.S Open out of the picture, and Rose has been right there. He finished in the top 10 at the PGA and had solid showings at the Schwab and Travelers. Rose has the ability to put up a top-five score at a course with which he is familiar. Garcia is a big question mark. We have not seen him play since the end of June at the BMW Open. Look for some rust to play a factor in this one. Rose tops Garcia and threatens to win the event this weekend.