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Power Rankings for the 2021 Open Championship

| July 13, 2021 10:16 am PDT

Jon Rahm arrives in South East England as the overwhelming favorite to hoist the Claret Jug. The 26-year-old Spaniard is priced at +700 to win at some of the top sites to bet on golf, although you can latch on at +900 by diligently surfing British Open odds.

It goes without saying that “Rahmbo” occupies the top slot in this edition of Open Championship power rankings. As for how the rest of the top 15 shakes outs, let’s take a look.

15 – Tommy Fleetwood 

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 2nd (2019)

It’s been a relatively quiet year for the Englishman, but he’s found some form of late on the heels of four straight-made cuts. And while some of the top contenders will have to deal with getting adjusted to links golf, Tommy has situated himself nicely. 17th and 26th, the last two weeks at the Irish Open and Scottish Open, respectively, and how about his track record at this event?

Tommy Fleetwood – Heating Up at The Open
Year Result
2017 27
2018 12
2019 2

Head to BetUS, where Fleetwood’s +4000 price tag to win is worth a look. 

14 – Bryson DeChambeau

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 51st (2018)

Granted, Bryson hasn’t teed it up in an Open Championship since he transformed his body, but nothing about his performances across the pond suggests he’s in line for a good week. Two missed cuts and a T51 in three starts in this event, plus DeChambeau rambles into Royal St George’s after a missed cut in Detroit and with a new caddie carrying the bag.

Having said all of that, DeChambeau’s prowess off the tee and on the greens are too prominent to look past. Nobody would be surprised to see Bryson throw his hat in the ring on Sunday. 

13 – Patrick Cantlay

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 12th (2018)

Since triumphing at Jack’s Place to kick off the month of June, all Patrick has done is post-back-to-back top-15s at the US Open and Travelers Championship. The FedEx Cup points leader sits 2nd in scrambling and 2nd in par-4 scoring average – a couple of noteworthy statistics to pay attention to at this week’s par-70 layout.

Weaknesses in your game and lapses in mental judgment get exacerbated at the Open Championship. Fortunately, Cantlay possesses no flaws and is as even-keeled as they come.

12 – Tony Finau

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 3rd (2019)

Don’t skim past Tony Finau just because he’s missed his last two cuts. Both of those instances came in the states; Finau has been brilliant during his time competing in the UK. Case in point –  Tony has finished 27th or better in all four starts at the British Open. To take that stat a step further, Finau’s the only golfer who’s logged top-10s in each of the last two Opens.

Inconsistencies with his flat stick have inevitably held him back, but the slower greens presented in links golf play right into his hands. Also working in Tony’s favor is the fact that’s he’s 4th in proximity from the sand and 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green.

11 – Rory McIlroy

  • Best Open Championship Finish: Won (2014)

Perhaps slotting Rory 11th in my power rankings for The Open Championship is a little harsh. McIlroy has posted five top-5s in this event, including a victory in England (Royal Liverpool) back in 2014. When firing on all cylinders, he’s as world-class as it gets.

On the flip side, it’s hard to be “over-the-moon” encouraged, considering Rors placed 59th at Mount Juliet (Irish Open) and MC’d at The renaissance Club (Scottish Open). On the contrary, this man knows how to bounce back after being sent home on a Friday.

Assessing Rory’s last nine missed cuts, he’s followed with a victory in his next start on three occasions. He’s landed inside the top 20 (in his next start) all but once.

10 – Dustin Johnson

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 2nd (2011)

The consensus is that Dustin has been playing poorly – that’s simply not the case. DJ saunters into the 2021 British Open riding three straight top-25s – he just hasn’t contended for the hardware on a Sunday. That could change at Royal St George’s, although just one top-10 at The Open since 2013 isn’t exactly promising for potential backers.

What will entice bettors is Johnson’s unheard-of +2200 number lurking at one of the top golf sportsbooks. Head to BetOnline now to capture his juicy odds.

9 – Viktor Hovland

  • Best Open Championship Finish: N/A

Forget about having zero prior appearances at The Open. You can put any concerns about Viktor’s eye issue that resulted in a WD at Torrey Pines to bed.

Last time out, this man was busy taking down a stellar field at the BMW International Open. The Norwegian sensation carded 24 birdies and an eagle en route to his third worldwide victory in the last 17 months; I think we can agree his game is in a good place.

Something else almost everyone in the golf community would agree on?

Hovland winning a major is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

8 – Matthew Fitzpatrick

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 20th (2019)

Despite his focus being on getting to Wembley in time for the Euro Cup final, Matthew Fitzpatrick found time to shoot 18-under-par and get into a playoff at the Scottish Open. The 2020 DP World Tour Championship winner has racked up seven top-11 finishes in 2021 and finds himself among the six locks to be on the European Ryder Cup roster.

He’s deadly accurate off the tee, he’s a lights-out putter, and what we saw in North Berwick (67 or lower in all four rounds) hints that a breakout performance could be in store.

7 – Collin Morikawa

  • Best Open Championship Finish: N/A

Set to make his tournament debut, this Taylor Made staffer’s game is “tailor-made” to thrive at this venue. As Justin Ray has pointed out, only three times at the British Open was the field average for GIR under 56%. Two of those instances were at Royal St George’s (2003, 2011).

Translation – it’s really hard to hit greens at this golf course.

Know that Collin is the runaway leader in SG: Approach and clocks in 2nd in GIR % (was passed by Cameron Percy this past week). For good measure, Morikawa leads the tour in birdie average.

Rather than get caught up with his T71 at the Scottish Open, remember that Collin has been surging over the last two months.

Collin Morikawa’s Last Four PGA Tour Starts
Date Event Finish
5/23/21 PGA Championship 8
5/30/21 Charles Schwab Challenge 14
6/6/21 Memorial Tournament 2
6/20/21 US Open 4

6 – Louis Oosthuizen

  • Best Open Championship Finish: Won (2010)

2nd in each of the last two majors has Louis hungry for more. Here’s a guy who leads the tour in SG: Putting yet is known for having arguably the silkiest swing on tour. To reiterate Oosthuizen’s prominence as a ball-striker, know that he’s sandwiched between Rahm and Schauffele in the SG: Total category.

Landing as the bridesmaid at Kiawah Island and Torrey Pines indicates a hot golfer, but Louis’s brilliant form extends well beyond the last two majors. Since finishing 26th at the 2021 Masters, Oosthuizen has gone 2nd-8th-2nd-18th-2nd in five appearances on the PGA Tour.

5 – Jordan Spieth

  • Best Open Championship Finish: Won (2017)

No starts since the US Open has some forgetting about Jordan’s torrid pace this calendar season. Allow me to refresh your memory.

Across his last 13 starts in 2021, Spieth’s cracked the top-20 11 times. That includes a win, a runner-up, two 3rds, and two 4ths. He’s made all 13 of the cuts.

Need any more evidence that Jordan belongs in the top-5 of the British Open power rankings?

Ok, how about the fact that he’s locked into a rhythm with his irons or that he’s 7-7 at the Open Championship?

4 – Justin Thomas

  • Best Open Championship Finish: T11 (2019)

Despite no top-10s in America since winning at TPC Sawgrass in March, Justin Thomas is in a prime position to strike. Bogey-free 65s bookended Justin’s week at The Renaissance Club (T8); he made just five bogeys all week long.

The guy is littered in the top-10 across several major stats and is undeniably one of the best iron/wedge players on the planet. In other words, JT should be firmly on the radar of anyone betting The Open Championship online.

3 – Brooks Koepka

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 4th (2019)

Forgive Brooks for missing the cut at Congaree following a T2 at the PGA Championship. He’s rebounded with a T4 at the US Open and a T5 at the Travelers. After his latest showing in Cromwell, Koepka was outspoken about how he views majors versus regular events.

“I’m going to be flat-out honest. I can’t focus. A major I get excited and I feel stuff on the first tee; I just struggle to do that in regular events.”

This isn’t all talk either – “Brooksie” has more than backed up his brash attitude time and time again.

Koepka has tallied top-10s in three of the last four British Opens, including a career-best T4 at the most recent iteration at Royal Portrush.

2 – Xander Schauffele

  • Best Open Championship Finish: 2nd (2018)

Xander acquitted himself nicely at the Scottish Open (T10) in his first start since tying the knot. Tack on his 14 top-18s in 17 PGA Tour starts, and you’ll see the only thing missing on Schauffele’s 2020-21 game log is a victory.

With three runner-up finishes and a T3 at Augusta, Xander is pounding on the door to pick up his next win.

I’d allude to a shortcoming and talk about where he’s vulnerable, but there’s nothing substantial to point toward. As rock-solid as he is throughout his bag, his “no excuses” mentality is his greatest asset.

1 – Jon Rahm

  • Best Open Championship Finish: T11 (2019)

Reminiscent of Tiger’s heyday to some extent, we haven’t seen this large of a favorite at a golf major in quite some time. Then again, the world’s #1-ranked player has been on an absolute terror and cruises into the year’s final major with little to no doubts.

The PGA Tour’s leader in total driving has leaned on his big stick as his main source of weaponry for the better part of his career; now, his short game and putting are catching up, and his attitude has turned the corner.

This is great news for Rahm supporters and bad news for everyone else on tour.

Open Championship Betting Picks in 2021

Limiting Open Championship power rankings to 15 names means not touting guys like Patrick Reed or Tyrell Hatton. It means not shining a light on Scottie Scheffler’s multiple blemish-free rounds in North Berwick. There was no time to reference Webb Simpson or the defending champ.

No disrespect to Shane Lowry, but this post was designed to hone in the most genuine contenders to lift the Claret Jug. For the best bets for the Open Championship, head to our golf picks section.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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