How to Get Rich Betting Golf (but Probably Not): 5 Long Shot Odds to Win the 2018 Open Championship
I know what you're thinking. Actually, I have no Idea what you are thinking so the previous statement was a complete lie. Forgive me.
However, you might be thinking "Wow, I just succumbed to a really click-baitey title that promises pseudo riches betting on a sport that I have very little interest in."
Or, "Hey I'm an impulsive gambler and a casual golf fan, how about I give some legitimate credence to this random schmoe on Hub Pages writing his very first article."
The truth is, I am all of the things described in the latter description of the hypothetical reader, as well as said readers assumptions about myself as a writer.
Never the less, I am here to entertain, inform, and possibly even persuade the fine-tasted readers who were kind enough to click on my article, and read thus far (suckers); to perhaps take a flier on one of these 5 long shots to win the upcoming 2018 Open Championship (I will undoubtedly refer to it as the British Open at some point in this piece) at the Carnousite Golf Links, Scotland.
First, a wee bit of history surrounding this particular championship course of Scottish fulcrum. The Carnoustie Golf Links is viewed by many as the most difficult and unnerving course in the Open Championship rota (if not all of championship golf at large. "Car-nasty" as it is dubbed, is flat, drab and left very much exposed to the elements. The fairways are bendy and narrow. It's bunkers abundant and vast. The roughs, deep. It's greens, firm. Not to mention if the weather does pick up it would come as no surprise if the entire field failed to score under-par for entire rounds at a time.
However, if the current dried out course conditions preside over the tournament, then the fairways will play even faster than usual. That is to say Carnoustie will certainly reward the precision player over the powerful, something to factor when placing your bets.
With that being said, here are some of my favorites picks and value props that may possibly make you the semi-big shot you've always dreamed you could be.
1. Tommy Fleetwood (20/1)
Tommy Fleetwood is my favorite to win the Open and represents a more than decent value proposition at 20/1. No he doesn't have a major title on his resume (yet), but he finished a stroke off the lead in the last major with a terrific close in the final round of the US Open (63). That Sunday at Shinnecock, Fleetwood displayed the deft touch and steely nerve that it's going to take to win at Carnousite.
Fleetwood is young, has every shot in his bag, and is primed for his first major at his national championship. Oh yeah, and he set the round record at Carnoustie (63) last year at the Dunhill Links Championship. I'm just saying, the kid is due.
2. Sergio Garcia (28/1)
Sergio, Sergio. How I cringe waching you implode at majors oh Sergio. The waning Spanish pro has had quite the tepid history at this tournament, finishing in the top 10 ten times in his career including his best finish, an "oh so close, I can't believe he didn't win" playoff loss in 2007, after leading the tournament at the close of every round going into the final, before giving up 6 strokes to the eventual champion Padraig Harrington.
What course did this happen at you ask? Well Carnousite of course (the last time the Open Championship was played here in fact). So in a way, what better time could it be for Sergio to slay his demons at this major than with a win on the links that have no doubt haunted him the most. Also, with two top 12 finishes at his last two tournaments, Sergio isn't playing to shabby either.
3. Tony Finau (50/1)
Finau was my dark-horse to win the US Open (at a whopping 125/1 no less), and he nearly made summer 2018 personally one of the most memorable summers of my young life. He did this by entering the final round at Shinnecock with a share of the lead, as I wept tears of jubilance upon the bet-slip that bore his name. Although both his first major championship and my big payout were not to be, Finau is a young golfer that has impressed me all year with his grit and big game play.
Let's not forget his performance at this year's Master's where he finished in the top 10 (his first time out at Augusta mind you), by shooting a phenomenal 66 in the final round. Oh yeah he did his after FULLY DISLOCATING HIS ANKLE and POPPING IT BACK INTO PLACE, HIMSELF! This the day before starting 72 holes of a major tournament. Seriously, that is the singularly most impressive thing I have ever seen in golf, and I stand by now what I said then: "This guy is going to win a major this year," and I'll be damned if I'm not there to cash in when he does.
4. Zach Johnson (66/1)
This two time major winner already has a recent Open Championship title in his bag from 2015 at St Andrews. Although the old course is much more generous with scoring than Carnoustie, Johnson's excellent short game and legendary wedge play set up rather nicely under current course conditions.
Coming off a nice weekend at the John Deere classic (where he shot 67,64), Johnson might groove nicely into the Open Championship and get off to a hot start. At 66/1, the 2015 champ offers some of the best value in the field.
5. Lee Westwood (90/1)
At last my dark-horse and the best/worst chance at striking the big time this weekend. At 90/1, Westwood is the grizzled, old English pro looking to win his first major in his national championship event. Westwood was an Open Championship runner up in 2010 (reaching world #1 status later that year in fact) and has finished in the top 3 six times across all the majors in his career. Not quite washed up, but not quite in his hey day either; this may be Lee's last chance to make another real push at the Claret Jug.
With 42 professional wins. Westwood is considered one of the greatest golfers to have never won a major. Yes this is mostly a sentimental pick. I admit to rooting for narrative as much as I root for the golfers themselves. This is Westwood's chance to go out in a blaze of late career glory much like John Elway or Dirk Nowitzki, and I make no apologies for wanting to see it happen.
However, don't simply dismiss this pick as fairy-tale fantasy. Westwood is a very fit, very healthy, very consistent 45 year old. He did qualify for the tournament without the former champions exemption after all; and Lee has played rather well in his last two European tour events (the Irish Open and Scottish Open respectively), despite struggling for much of the season prior.