While it seems like just yesterday that Brooks Koepka won his second straight U.S. Open title, the season’s third major has already arrived.
Ahead of the Open Championship in Scotland, unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of rain have caused baked-out fairways at Carnoustie, setting up a firm and fast test this week.
With a pleasant forecast expected for the entire tournament, the historic event could turn into a shootout, with low scores required to walk away victorious.
Here are a few players from the betting board that should thrive in that scenario:
Favorite to watch (odds shorter than 25-1)
After betting on Rahm at the U.S. Open only to see him blow up and miss the cut, we’re a little hesitant to pull the trigger with the Spaniard yet again in the season’s third major. However, his game is a great fit for Carnoustie, and Rahm should contend for his first major come the weekend. There are few players better in the world from tee to green than the former Arizona State star, and his plan to use the driver as much as possible should see him approach a ton of greens with a wedge in his hands. That could lead to a number of birdies, and with excellent conditions expected, that’s what it’ll take to win.
Odds to win: 22-1
Top-5 odds: 4-1
Second tier (odds 25-1 or longer)
Leishman at 45-1 might just represent the best value on the board this week at Carnoustie. The Australian has been a machine at The Open in recent years, with three top-six finishes in his last four starts at the event. The 34-year-old thrives on firm and fast layouts, and that’s exactly what’s facing the players this week. Leishman hasn’t played in a couple weeks, but he posted a solid 13th-place showing in his last event at the Quicken Loans National.
Odds to win: 45-1
Top-5 odds: 8-1
Long shot (odds 50-1 or longer)
It hasn’t been an exceptional season for Thomas Pieters, but the Belgian is beginning to show flashes of his incredible talent. He has posted three top-20 finishes in his last five starts, including a sixth-place showing last week at the Scottish Open. Those conditions will be very similar to what the players face this week at Carnoustie. At 75-1, it’s worth a long-shot bet that Pieters will keep his strong play going and contend this weekend.
Odds to win: 75-1
Top-5 odds: 14-1
Super long shot (odds 80-1 or longer)
Adam Scott has been a standout performer at The Open throughout his illustrious career, with four top-10 finishes in his last six starts. The 38-year-old’s game has been hot and cold of late as he battles putting issues, but the slow greens at Carnoustie should be a welcome sight for the Australian. Scott’s elite ball-striking should keep him out of the numerous traps that will face players this week, and a run up the leaderboard isn’t out of the question. At 125-1, he’s a solid pick.
Odds to win: 125-1
Top-5 odds: 16-1
Hit this bet, buy a car (odds 125-1 or longer)
While Dylan Frittelli has played a number of events on the PGA Tour this season, the South African does his best work across the Atlantic.
That’s one of the reasons to back him for a strong showing at Carnoustie. The best part of Frittelli’s game is his iron play on approaches to the green, and that will be crucial this week to avoid the endless trouble the historic course can present. The 28-year-old is worth a couple bucks at 200-1 in hopes of a massive payout.
Odds to win: 200-1
Top-5 odds: 33-1
Last event’s results
Zach Johnson: T-16
Wesley Bryan: MC
Patrick Rodgers: T-43
Bill Haas: MDF
Daniel Summerhays: MC
Season record (27 events)
Wins: 7 (Paul Casey 25-1, Bubba Watson 50-1, Dustin Johnson 15-2, Jon Rahm 8-1, Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy 40-1, Bubba Watson 28-1, Francesco Molinari 22-1)
Top 5: 14
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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