The 148th Open Championship is set to take place at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim next month, and while qualification for the final major of the year is still taking place, let’s take a look at the early front-runners to win the golf Open Championship 2019.
Rory McIlroy – 7/1F
After finishing as joint runner-up last year at The Open in Carnoustie, what a welcome back it would be for Rory McIlroy to add to his 2014 title in his home country.
The 30-year-old is still one major championship away from a career grand slam, and hasn’t won any of the four major tournaments since 2014 – the year he won both The Open and the PGA Championship. McIlroy has 15 PGA Tour wins to his name and has already won The Players Championship and the Canadian Open this year.
Looking back at his performances in major tournaments this year, McIlroy finished T21 at the Masters, before a T8 finish at the PGA Championship. The US Open at Pebble Beach is later this month and McIlroy will be looking for a better performance than the last three years, which have seen him fail to make the halfway cut.
Brooks Koepka – 9/1J
Brooks Koepka’s best finish at The Open may have been T6 in 2017, but the American has four majors to his name to date, and believes he has a secret weapon to give him success this year – his caddy. Ricky Elliott was born and raised in Portrush and has played the course around 1,000 times.
Earlier this year, Koepka retained the PGA Championship, two strokes ahead of fellow countryman Dustin Johnson and he goes into the third major of the season looking to make it a hat-trick of wins, having previously won the US Open the last two years.
Koepka is clearly in good form, but having never been to Portrush before, the world number 1 will be relying on his caddy’s knowledge of the course to secure his first Open title.
Tiger Woods – 9/1J
Tiger Woods is a record-breaker – not only does he have the most PGA tour wins in the modern era (81), he’s one of five golfers to ever reach a career grand slam and has 15 major championships to his name.
Woods defied the odds earlier this year, winning the Masters for the first time since 2005, which was also his first win on the PGA tour in six years. Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship, but is already looking ahead to Pebble Beach.
He hasn’t won The Open since 2006, beating Chris DiMarco by two strokes, but don’t rule him out – he could well spring another surprise on the pack come the final round.
Other ones to watch
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are both at odds of 12/1. The former will be looking to win the championship for the first time, with his best finish coming back in 2011 (T2). However, Spieth has won The Open before, and is another player one major short of a career grand slam. You’ll find last year’s winner Francesco Molinari at slightly longer odds of 16/1.