The 149th British Open takes place this week at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England. Below, we look at the fantasy golf power rankings and odds for the 2021 British Open.
The British Open returns to the schedule after the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the 15th time the Open is being held at Royal St. George’s, with the most recent being in 2011. The course measures a little over 7,200 yards and plays to a par of 70.
Jon Rahm, sitting atop the Golfweek/Sagarin world ranking, is the betting favorite for the final major of 2021 after winning the U.S. Open in San Diego.
Fantasy golf power rankings
20. Viktor Hovland (+3000)
Has two PGA Tour victories, but the biggest win of his career was just a few weeks ago at the European Tour’s BMW International Open against a very strong field. He’s fifth among qualified golfers with 1.93 total strokes gained on the field per round for the 2020-21 season.
19. Will Zalatoris (+6600)
Though he has cooled off of late, he’s still sixth among qualified golfers with 0.81 Stokes Gained: Approach per round for the season. We’re getting higher than usual odds following his rare missed cut at the U.S. Open, but he bounced back with a T-26 at the abrdn Scottish Open last week.
18. Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300)
Lost in a playoff in last week’s Scottish Open in his follow-up to a T-55 finish at the U.S. Open. He made the cut in each of the last four majors and finished T-20 in the 2019 British Open.
17. Tyrrell Hatton (+3000)
Was seemingly well poised to make a run at the Claret Jug last year before the season was suspended and the tournament canceled. He has four international wins since 2019 and six career wins on the European Tour.
16. Collin Morikawa (+3300)
The winner of the 2020 PGA Championship tied for eighth in his defense, and for fourth at the 2021 U.S. Open. He leads all golfers by a sizable margin in SG: Approach per round. The only knock is that the California native has never played in a British Open.
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15. Justin Rose (+5000)
Has played rather sporadically while battling a couple of injuries in 2021, but he still has three top-10 finishes through 11 international events, including a seventh-place showing at the Masters. He’s just 133rd in sand save percentage but is better used to his native pot bunkers.
14. Tommy Fleetwood (+4000)
Once ranked as high as ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), he has tumbled to 35th entering this week but showed much better form in a T-26 finish at the Scottish Open last week. His iron play is well-suited to the rolling fairways of links courses.
13. Lee Westwood (+5000)
The veteran’s 58 career rounds played in the British Open are tied for the second-most in this year’s field, and he has averaged 1.66 strokes gained on the field per round in the tournament. The 48-year-old missed the cut at St. George’s in both 2011 and 2003 but has played great golf in 2021 with two runner-up finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.
12. Scottie Scheffler (+4500)
Tied for 12th at the Scottish Open in a rare European Tour appearance ahead of his first British Open. He finished T-8 or better in three of his last five majors.
11. Jordan Spieth (+1800)
Three top-10 finishes and six straight made cuts since returning to the winner’s circle at the Valero Texas Open. His last major win was at the 2017 Open Championship. He’s 12th on the PGA Tour in par 4 efficiency from the key distance of 400-450 yards.
10. Bryson DeChambeau (+3000)
His usual advantage off the tee won’t carry as much weight at Royal St. George’s, but it’s a good opportunity for his underrated putting and short game to shine at inflated odds.
9. Justin Thomas (+1800)
Seventh among qualified golfers in SG: Approach and sixth in total strokes gained on the field per round. Tied for 11th at the 2019 British Open for a career-best finish in the tournament.
8. Webb Simpson (+6000)
Tied for first on Tour through 57 measured rounds in par 4 efficiency from the key distance of 400-450 yards and leads all golfers in scrambling and sand save percentage. Enters the week 19th in the Golfweek rankings and is a tremendous value bet at these odds.
7. Louis Oosthuizen (+2800)
The 38-year-old is playing the best golf of his career with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. His lone career win on the PGA Tour was at the 2010 British Open. His putter is a greater advantage at the shorter major venues.
6. Patrick Cantlay (+2800)
Meets a lot of the same criteria as Simpson this week but at half the odds with two victories on the 2020-21 PGA Tour season. He’s second in scrambling and T-1 in par 4 efficiency: 400-450 yards. He tied for 12th at the 2018 Open Championship.
5. Dustin Johnson (+2000)
Back to No. 1 in the OWGR despite not playing on either side of the Atlantic last week. Not typically considered as a big threat for the British Open, but he has three career top-10 finishes, including a T-2 at Royal St. George’s in 2011.
4. Xander Schauffele (+1600)
Tied for second at the 2018 British Open but finished just T-41 in 2019. He’s second to Rahm in total strokes gained on the field per round this season, but he has been experimenting with his putting style of late.
3. Jon Rahm (+750)
The only real argument to be made against the betting favorite and top-ranked player in the Golfweek rankings is that no one has gone back-to-back at the U.S. Open and British Open since Tom Watson in 1982. The courses and conditions aren’t comparable, but there isn’t an international venue that has seemed to have much defense against Rahm.
2. Brooks Koepka (+1400)
Leads all golfers with an aggregate score of minus-84 in majors since 2016, but he’s on record as saying Royal St. George’s isn’t his “favorite venue” on the British Open rotation. He has three top-10 finishes in his last four appearances at the British Open, and he finished in the top five of the last two majors this year.
1. Rory McIlroy (+1800)
The 2014 Open champion previously tied for 25th at Royal St. George’s in the 2011 British Open. He returned to form this year with victory at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he tied for seventh at the U.S. Open. The shorter venue should allow him to play more conservatively off the tee and avoid some recent trouble he has had.
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