The Open Championship, or the British Open as it’s sometimes referred to here in Canada, is headed to the Carnoustie Championship Course this week for the third major of the golfing season. Leading up to the tournament it looks like the course is going to be baked out, which could reduce the benefit of the long ball hitters this week.
Dustin Johnson is the favourite heading into the tournament, as usual, but the odds for the top golfers in the world are a little bit longer than they typically are for these majors. I think that has a lot to do with how the course is shaping up to play, and also simply that no elite players have really separated themselves from the pack this season. I’m personally looking for punt plays on shorter hitters who can play in difficult situations and knock down putts after short approach shots this week.
I’m using the best odds available for each player from any of our top rated betting sites, which I’ve listed in the table below.
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Dustin Johnson 12/1
I think this tournament could be a crap shoot with the burnt out fairways and balls rolling out for a hundred yards, but I still can’t not pick DJ to win. He’s the kind of player who can figure out all golf courses and plays well regardless of the conditions. In my opinion he’s the best player in the world and another Major win is just around the corner for him. He’s playing great golf this season and I expect him to bounce back from his tough US Open where he couldn’t get things going on the weekend.
This isn’t a tournament where I’m really looking at favourites, but DJ is my exception. At 12/1 I still there is value in DJ because you know he’s most likely going to be in contention on Sunday and he has the ability to go very low and win tournaments.
Zach Johnson 100/1
The first of the shorter hitting long shots that I’m targeting is Zach Johnson. He’s quietly been having a solid season and he has the ability to take his game to another level at majors. He has especially seen success at The Open with a win in 2015 and 5 top 20’s at the tourney over the past 6 years. ZJ has shown the ability to play well in difficult conditions and the baked out course at Carnoustie fits that narrative.
Brandt Snedeker 150/1
Snedeker posted on twitter last week that he hit a drive 427 yards on a baked out fairway at Carnoustie in a practice round. This shows that there really won’t be much of an advantage for long ball hitters this week, which I think gives Sneds a great chance. He’s one of the best putters on Tour and his game seems to be rounding into form with a T3 at The Greenbrier a couple weeks ago, which included a 64 round on Sunday.
If Snedeker can keep the ball in the fairway and allow the baked out grass to run him up to much more manageable approach shots than normal, then I think we can see him draining birdie putts all tournament long.
Jason Dufner 250/1
Dufner is another player who I think the baked out fairways could help. He has a terrific approach game and if he can keep the yips out of his putting stroke for the entire tournament he has as good a chance as anyone to win on Sunday. At these odds of 250/1, I think Dufner is a solid punt play.