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Jul 9, 2018
Jul 9, 2018

2018 British Open betting preview

British Open winner odds: the favourites

Who could offer value?

Carnoustie or 'Carnasty'?

2018 British Open betting preview

Golf heads to Scotland’s Carnoustie Golf Links on July 19 for the 147th British Open. Where is the value in the 2018 British Open odds? Read on for an insight into the 2018 British Open betting.

2018 British Open: What you need to know

DateJuly 19-22
Location Carnoustie Golf Links
Most British Open victories Harry Vardon (six)
Course best round (at a major tournament) Tommy Fleetwood (63)

2018 British Open: Carnoustie

Shinnecock Hills most certainly made things difficult for golfers during the US Open, and don’t be surprised if that trend continues at Carnoustie.

In fact, no one finished with par or better in New York, and Carnoustie offers similar challenges. Frequent strong winds, narrow fairways and deep bunkers, ‘Carnasty’ can push even the best of the game to their limits.

Its reputation as one of the British Open’s hardest courses is well deserved, as Jean van de Velde’s proved back in 1999, where the Frenchman lead the British Open comfortably going into the 72nd hole.

A triple bogey, which included van de Velde taking off his shoes and evaluating a shot from the stream running through 18 on the home walk took it to a playoff, which Paul Lawrie eventually won. It was a capitulation of the highest order.

The final few holes at Carnoustie are some of the hardest in world golf and where the winner of the Claret Jug is often decided. In 2007, the last time the games oldest major was contested at the Scottish links course, the 18th ranked as the second hardest hole in the world, with players averaging 4.611 on the par 4. The 16th and 17th (par 3 and par 4 respectively) are difficult tests in their own right.

Fairways are long yet unforgiving and the rough either side can punish inaccuracy. The tee shots will need to be pin-point for players to stay in the race on Sunday. Unless the field in front crumbles, it is difficult to catch up with a performing front pack due to the difficult final third, so a strong start to a round is a must.

2018 British Open winner odds: The favourites

I cannot remember the last time that Dustin Johnson didn’t sit at the top of the major betting odds. The American is the best player in the world at the moment and in his prime.

We saw, for three of the four days at least, how his low-ball flight and accuracy off of the tee took out many off the issues Shinnecock’s high winds can cause players; A similar issue that will be present at Carnoustie.

Since the 2015 PGA Championship there have been nine first-time major champions.

DJ has eight top 10 finishes in just 12 PGA Tour events this year (the best record on the Tour) and has the highest strokes gained total of 2.587. If he can bring all elements of his game together at the same time, then there is no player who can match him.

Bringing all those elements together has been the issue for Johnson, however. Poor putting cost him at Shinnecock and poor decision making cost him at Whistling Straights, can he bring all parts of his game together in Scotland? If you believe he can, then 14.660* may not be as high as some other names on the list, but just may be the smart bet.

What a difficult weekend Rory McIlroy (14.660*) had at Shinnecock. An opening day of 80, levelling his worst ever score at a major, a missed cut, and another chance to win a major in 2018 slipping once again.

This has done little to waiver his odds though, probably because some of the best around him has similarly treacherous experiences in New York. Both Spieth and Mickelson struggled around the ‘American links.’

McIlroy is too fine a player to be posting an 80 in one of golf’s most illustrious events. Only Trey Mullinax has outdriven McIlroy on the PGA Tour, with the Northern Irishman averaging 317 yards. If he can keep his driver accurate, it will be a potentially Jug-winning tool in his arsenal.

It does feel as though McIlroy has only been splashing world-class moments recently, and consistency looks to be missing. There is no doubt that he has the talent to contest on Sunday, whether he will is another matter.

Another player who came away from Shinnecock in a daze is Jordan Spieth (17.310*). The current British Open Champion posted a 78 and, similarly to McIlroy, didn’t make the cut.

The signs have been concerning for a player who is renowned for consistently accurate putting, who somehow is statistically one of the PGA Tour’s worst in 2018 from inside three feet (201st).

To compound his misery, Spieth has hit the ball off the tee well and has consistently been in the top 20 for his approach to green play, so his ball-striking has been more than good enough and if it wasn’t for his putting, could have challenged plenty this season.

Yet with the Claret Jug in his possession along with Masters and US Open wins in 2015, Spieth has proven time and time again that when the going gets tough, he usually thrives. It must be remembered that Spieth and Jack Nicklaus are the only players in the modern era of golf to have won three of the four majors before turning 24.

2018 British Open winner odds: Potential value

It was 20 years ago that a fresh-faced Justin Rose burst onto the scene by finishing fourth at the British Open as a 17-year-old amateur.

Yet that still remains his highest ever finish at the tournament despite 22 professional wins, an Olympic gold medal and one major title (US Open).

Rose looked good at the US Open until a disastrous Sunday dropped him to T-10. It was a lot of what Rose has come to be famous for; even when his golf isn’t at his best, his scrambling often prevails.

The Englishman rarely has off weeks and it would be no surprise to see him lurching somewhere at the top of the leaderboard once again, so odds of 18.200* could offer value. Competing isn’t winning, however, so he will need to find that extra push that he has been lacking on so many occasions during his career.

The English could offer real competition at their home major this year, most notably Tommy Fleetwood, whose 63 final round at Shinnecock has sliced his odds going into the Open Championship to 19.950*.

Fairways are long yet unforgiving and the rough either side can punish inaccuracy.

He is certainly the Briton pushing hardest to get into the major winner’s club, finishing second overall after surging through the field from T-35 headin into the final round. The 27-year-old from Southport looks increasingly ready, with an ability to reel off birdies in a row, such as his four on the back nine at the US Open.

A full weekend of clean golf is what Fleetwood has been lacking so far. Since the 2015 PGA Championship there have been nine first-time major champions, could Fleetwood make that 10 at Carnoustie?

Other notable outsiders include Henrik Stenson (29.940*), who played one of the greatest weekends of golf ever the last time the British Open was played in Scotland, finishing a record 20-under-par.

Patrick Reed, who birdied five of his first seven holes on Sunday at Shinnecock but eventually came up short. His record at the British Open isn’t great, but his contention in New York shows he has the tools to take on a links, and Captain America’s odds of 45.300*may offer value.

Get the best British Open odds online at Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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