Wednesday, August 17, 2022

2022 British Open odds, picks: Rory McIlroy stands as favorite to win historic 150th Open at St. Andrews

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Rory McIlroy entered this week as a clear favorite to win the 150th Open Championship — no surprise given that he owns three straight top-10 finishes in the 2022 major championships to this point — at the course that perhaps fits him better than any of the others. As the week has progressed with Round 1 action nearly underway, McIlroy maintains his spot atop the oddsboard at 9-1, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

McIlroy, interestingly enough, has never finished in the top 10 at all four majors in a single season — something he probably doesn’t care much about unless that statistic includes a victory but nonetheless remains an achievable mark this week at the Old Course at St. Andrews. He missed The Open the last time it was held at St. Andrews in 2015 with a soccer injury. He almost certainly would have entered as the favorite that year as well after winning two of the prior four majors. In 2010, he infamously opened with 63 but shot 80 in Round 2 only to finish T3 behind Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood.

“For me, [this Open Championship] feels more consequential because I’ve played really well the first three majors,” McIlroy told CBS Sports this week. “I got off to a great start at Southern Hills, couldn’t really keep it rolling. I had a decent chance at the U.S. Open as well. I finished second at Augusta [National], but I felt like I never had a chance that week. I’ve had three really strong finishes in the majors without getting over the line. I think, for me, that’s why it feels more consequential. I’m going in knowing that I’m playing good golf, so it’s another really good chance for me to break this drought I’ve been on for quite a while.

“As well, I missed the last Open at St. Andrews because I was injured. I never got a chance to defend my title from the previous year. I never got a chance to go to the champions dinner. Never got a chance to do this champions challenge — the four-hole challenge — on Monday. I really missed not being there in 2015, and I’ve had to wait seven years since then to get back. For me, personally, that’s why it’s more consequential.”

Let’s take a look at the entire Open Championship oddsboard via Caesars Sportsbook. Plus, take an early look at some sleepers to win the 150th Open from our CBS Sports experts.

2022 Open Championship odds

Favorites

  • Rory McIlroy: 9-1
  • Xander Schauffele: 14-1
  • Jon Rahm: 16-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 16-1
  • Jordan Spieth: 16-1
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: 18-1
  • Justin Thomas: 18-1

Does McIlroy deserve to be this big of a favorite? Probably. He and Schauffele are clear of the rest of the field when it comes to strokes gained over their last 20 rounds, and only Will Zalatoris has been better in the aggregate across the 2022 majors. McIlroy doesn’t represent the most value, though. That would be either Scheffler (and his four wins so far this year) or Spieth (who absolutely destroys at Open Championships). Starting in 2015 with his T4 at St. Andrews, Spieth is on a run that includes six straight top 30s with four of those being top 10s. After flirting with the top spot at last week’s Scottish Open, it would be a stunner if he didn’t at least contend this week.

Contenders

  • Shane Lowry: 20-1
  • Collin Morikawa: 25-1
  • Will Zalatoris: 25-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 22-1
  • Cam Smith: 22-1
  • Dustin Johnson: 30-1
  • Tyrrell Hatton: 35-1
  • Brooks Koepka: 40-1
  • Tommy Fleetwood: 28-1

These numbers are too short for Morikawa (last year’s champion), Zalatoris (this year’s aggregate major leader), Johnson (a two-time major winner who has occasionally destroyed here) and Koepka (a four-time major winner who has finished T6 or better in three of his last four Opens).

Sleepers

  • Louis Oosthuizen: 40-1
  • Viktor Hovland: 40-1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 40-1
  • Sam Burns: 40-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 45-1
  • Max Homa: 40-1
  • Justin Rose: 50-1
  • Tony Finau: 40-1
  • Tiger Woods: 60-1
  • Bryson DeChambeau: 65-1
  • Ryan Fox: 60-1
  • Sungjae Im: 65-1

The names that intrigue at these numbers are Burns, a top 10 player in the world playing just his second Open Championship, and Homa, who made the cut at four straight majors and contended last week at the Scottish Open. Tiger is either far too short or far too long, and the oddsmakers clearly have no clue what to do with Bryson DeChambeau, who has the length to bring this place to its knees but might not have the touch to contend at an Open. (His best finish is T33 and he has just two top 10s at majors.)

Everyone else

  • Corey Conners: 80-1
  • Cameron Young: 90-1
  • Robert MacIntyre: 80-1
  • Seamus Power: 80-1
  • Gary Woodland: 80-1
  • Adam Scott: 80-1
  • Marc Leishman: 80-1
  • Billy Horschel: 80-1
  • Patrick Reed: 80-1
  • Abraham Ancer: 90-1
  • Sergio Garcia: 100-1
  • Mito Pereira: 100-1
  • Paul Casey: 100-1
  • J.T. Poston: 100-1
  • Thoma Pieters: 100-1
  • Lucas Herbert: 100-1
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 100-1
  • Webb Simpson: 125-1
  • Cameron Tringale: 100-1
  • Keegan Bradley: 100-1
  • Harold Varner III: 125-1
  • Victor Perez: 100-1

Any of these players could win, but the one with the biggest firepower-to-odds ratio is Thomas Pieters. He’s not been immense at Opens, but he’s playing solid golf this year and can hit a heater as quickly as anyone. Pereira and Bradley have also been playing terrific major championship golf for the last few months and are nice picks on these numbers.

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