Buckle up, this is going to be one long trip.
The PGA Tour heads across the Pond to Royal St. Georges Golf Club for the year’s fourth major–the Open Championship.
Now this isn’t your ordinary trip. From TPC Deere Run (site of last week’s John Deere Classic) to Royal St. Georges Golf Club in Sandwich, England, is a mere 4,140 miles away. And it’s not just the miles…it’s the time zones.
As an example, if your first-round tee time in the Open Championship is set for noon on Thursday, remember it is 9 p.m. Wednesday on the East Coast in the U.S. (and that’s the night before so be aware and make your bets a little earlier than usual). That’s quite the differential and even though a lot of these guys have made this trip before, getting adjusted to the time changes is no easy matter.
That’s why the guys who grew up and learned the game across the Pond should have an advantage. It might not be a huge one, but familiarity with the courses, the weather, the time zone and the cuisine has to be a good thing.
We will definitely be looking at guys who will be feasting on home cooking…both on and off the course…at least a little this week.
Odds To Win The Open Championship From BetMGM
|2021 Open Championship||BetMGM|
Traveling…Even Private Charters…Takes Its Toll
There’s no doubt that flying private charters will make the transition a little easier on these guys. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be tough.
Whether it’s early in the tournament or late on Sunday (or is it early for these guys?…You decide) there’s no doubt there will be challenges.
The main question we have to ponder is which player…or players…can adapt to the time, weather, and course conditions the best and quickest? It’s only four days of play but the test of getting ready, producing during the rounds, and staying focused is never easy when you’ve not only left the comforts of home but the comforts of the U.S.
Here We Go With Koepka And DeChambeau Again
Looking at the top of the odds in this week’s events, two names stand out…and not in a good way.
Brooks Koepka, the reigning Mr. Major, is at +1400 and Bryson DeChambeau is at +3000. And both rightly deserve to be among the favorites with their play, especially when it comes to the majors.
Koepka has four major wins and DeChambeau recently got his first.
But, and here’s where it gets tricky, both come into this week with plenty of baggage. And we’re not just talking about their clothing for the week.
What Will Be Their Mindset This Week?
Both are coming in with that voice in the back of their mind screaming that something’s wrong.
Koepka admitted a couple of weeks ago that he’s having trouble concentrating when it comes to playing in non-majors. That may be all well and good, but this is a major. The main question is can he turn on his good play with the snap of his fingers?
When it comes to DeChambeau it’s a different story. With his recent split from his caddie, it throws everything out of whack…something DeChambeau can’t be happy with as he looks at a major.
Both players can certainly play well enough to win this week’s Open Championship. But there are certainly more questions than answers for both of them. We’re going to stay away from them this week and let them get things figured out
Maybe It’s Another Foreign Winner This Week
The stats don’t lie: In the last 15 Open Championships, only four winners have been U.S. players. Stewart Cink (2009), Phil Mickelson (2013), Zach Johnson (2014) and Jordan Spieth (2017) have all brought the Claret Jug back to the United States. That’s it.
And we like that trend to continue this week. But it’s not going to be a pick with roots in the area. We’re looking at Spain’s Jon Rahm, the favorite at +750, to win his second major.
He’s playing extremely well right now and even being forced to withdraw with COVID with a near-certain victory in hand didn’t phase him.
Okay, it wasn’t a lock (One betting tip: If someone tells you’ve they have a lock, run away) but the odds were great he would have won the Memorial with a six-shot lead heading into the final round.
In past years he would have fumed and, dare we say it, held a grudge. These days it’s a new-and-improved Rahm who looked ahead rather than looking back.
That kind of attitude will suit him well this week as there will be weather, bounces and other things that can and certainly will go wrong.
His new attitude should help him overcome problems he may run into this week.
And a solid finish in last week’s Scottish Open as a preliminary event certainly won’t hurt his chances.
There Are Longshots Galore With A Chance
While we like Rahm in a big way, there’s no doubting the strength of this field is impressive.
But, longshots can prevail. The last two winners bear that out. Francisco Molinari and Shane Lowry both came out of nowhere to win so it can certainly happen.
Which brings us to the name Tommy Fleetwood. At +4000 he’s a great value and he’s getting closer and closer to winning that first major. He’s got deep ties in the area and has made it no secret that him winning the Open Championship would be an exclamation point on his career.
But don’t count out one other player with ties here. Tyrrell Hatton at +3300 certainly has the game and the drive to win. The only problem he might have is if he’s in the hunt and something doesn’t go his way, keeping his attitude in check has been a problem at times.
Maybe he can take a lesson or two from Rahm when it comes to anger management.
If he does, a major just might be in his future. Will it be this week? Stranger things have happened.