The 2018 British Open – they simply call it the Open Championship overseas – is the end of an era of sorts. It’s currently the third of the four major championships on the PGA Tour/European Tour schedules but will become the last starting in 2019 as part of major changes on the PGA Tour schedule. The PGA Championship, which is next month outside St. Louis, will move to May starting next year.
The final few spots in the British Open field were up for grabs on Sunday at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic and European Tour’s Scottish Open. South African Brandon Stone punched his ticket into the British Open field in style by winning the Scottish Open by four shots. He shot a final-round 60 on Sunday, just missing a birdie putt on No. 19 to shoot the first 59 in European Tour history. It was the 19th round of 60 ever on the European Tour. The PGA Tour record is 58 set by Jim Furyk in the 2016 Travelers Championship.
No player will likely approach a 58, 59 or 60 this week at the British Open because it’s played at the very tough Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, a par 71 measuring 7,402 yards. Tiger Woods played there over the weekend and called Carnoustie “probably the most difficult one we play in the whole British Open rotation.” Much of that is due to the weather in Scotland. It’s Tiger’s first British Open since 2015, and he’s +2200 to win the Claret Jug for the fourth time and first since 2006 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The weather will very much determine whether the winning score is even under par. It was relatively tame in 2007 when Carnoustie last hosted and Irishman Padraig Harrington won at 7 under (beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff). There were horrendous conditions when the Open was held there in 1999 as Paul Lawrie, Justin Leonard and Jean van de Velde all finished at 6 over, with Lawrie winning in a playoff despite starting the final round 10 shots back of van de Velde. The Frenchman had one of the great collapses in sports history, needing only a double bogey on the 72nd hole to win – he tripled.
American Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, is the +1200 favorite on the 2018 British Open odds followed by Rory McIlroy (+1600), Justin Rose (+1600), Rickie Fowler (+1600), Jordan Spieth (+2200), Jon Rahm (+2200), Justin Thomas (+2200), Brooks Koepka (+2200) and Tommy Fleetwood (+2200).
McIlroy won the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool. Spieth did last year at Royal Birkdale. Fowler is arguably the best active player yet to win a major championship. No Englishman, as Rose and Fleetwood are, have won their national tournament since 1992.
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Source: Heavy Sports