As America awakens on Saturday morning, the Open Championship has been in full swing for several hours. Here’s what you need to know as Moving Day begins.
New odds favorites: Brooks Koepka is the expected favorite at +550 (bet $10 to make $55), but even with him is England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Close behind: Shane Lowry (+650) and Justin Rose (+750). Spain’s Jon Rahm is a 12-1 bet, while co-leader JB Holmes is even with Jordan Spieth at 14-1. All odds via Bovada.
New major champion? The four leaders at the turn — Holmes, Lowry, Fleetwood and Lee Westwood—have exactly zero majors between them, but plenty of heartbreak behind them. They’ve come very close; Holmes has finished as high as third in a major, and the other three all have second-place finishes in their history. Could this be the weekend one of them ends that drought?
Late-early draw wins: It’s always a guessing game which part of the Open Championship draw will get the good weather and which will suffer. This time around, the late Thursday-early Friday players seemed to get the benefit, taking advantage of gentle conditions Friday morning to carve up the course. As this chart notes, there was more than a three-stroke swing between draws depending on when they teed off:
Advantage to late-early draw in the first two rounds. Here's the scoring average for each quarter of the field (listed in order of Friday tee time):
— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) July 20, 2019
All of the players atop the leaderboard were in that late-early draw, but players like Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler managed to survive the tougher draw with -3 scorecards.
Local knowledge: Tournament favorite and Northern Ireland icon Rory McIlroy missed the cut thanks to a horrid Thursday, and Portrush’s adopted hero Darren Clarke missed after a heartbreaking late stumble. But Portrush’s own Graeme McDowell is still in the hunt, and he’s hearing support from the crowd around him.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 20, 2019
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