The PGA TOUR heads to England this week for the final major of the season. Royal Liverpool will host the 151st Open Championship and measures as a 7,383-yard par 71, featuring a blend of Fescue, Bent and Poa greens.
Below I have outlined my two favorite bets for the week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Hovland has turned into a machine. He’s now 15-for-15 in made cuts this season with two wins and eight top-10 finishes. His work in majors has started to give off a Brooks Koepka feel as well, as he’s seemingly always finding himself in contention these days. Dating back to last year’s Open Championship, Hovland has three top-seven finishes in four major starts.
He’s now the fifth ranked player in the world, and that feels like a floor for him over the next five years. The scary part is that he might have figured out his short-game woes, as he ranks 14th in this field in SG: Around-the-Green and 29th in SG: Putting across his past 24 rounds. If that part of his game has truly been addressed he’s going to win a lot of tournaments moving forward, hopefully starting this week at Royal Liverpool.
Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy have pushed everyone’s betting number down a bit, so the fact we can get Hovland in the 20s on DraftKings Sportsbook feels like stealing. A poor first round took him out of contention at the Scottish Open last week, but he still clawed back to finish T19. If Hovland opens with a round in the 60s this week, watch out. So far in two Open Championship appearances, the Norwegian has finished T4 and T12, so this absolutely feels like the major he would win first. There is almost nothing to nitpick about Hovland’s game right now, and I expect him to be live to win come Sunday.
If you would have said Tony Finau would be 55/1 to win a golf tournament this time three months ago, you would have been laughed out of the building. Golf is a cruel game, and since Finau’s win at the Mexico Open back in late April (just six starts ago), he’s failed to post a single top-20 finish. Even with that being the case, and even with the strength of this field, Finau should simply never be 55/1 at any tournament he tees it up.
If you go back a few months to the late Fall/early Winter, Finau was a top-10 machine. Obviously there is something wrong with his game right now (mostly the putter), but that’s all baked into this price, and his experience on links golf courses cancels all of that out for me. This will be Finau’s seventh Open Championship appearance, with the first six resulting in finishes of T28, T15, third, T9, T27 and T18.
If you take a wide view of Finau’s numbers, you’ll see he’s still very much elite, ranking sixth in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green, fifth in SG: Approach and 16th in SG: Total. That total strokes number would be higher if he did not sit 111th in the field in SG: Putting. As we know, however, putting can be extremely volatile, and if Finau could just putt to a zero this week, he could very well find himself in contention at a track that should suit his game quite nicely.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.