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British Open betting preview: Johnson, Day leading tournament odds

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Dustin Johnson, who is vying to become just the seventh man to win the U.S. Open and the British Open in the same year, is listed alongside Jason Day at the top of the 2016 British Open champion board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With some stereotypical sadistic Scottish weather conditions expected at Royal Troon, Johnson and Day are each listed at +800 odds to win the tournament. Johnson has made the cut at the PGA’s third major of the year six times in a row and been in the top 10 twice. For his part, Day, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, was fourth in the 2015 Open and was one stroke shy of joining a playoff.

Rory McIlroy, who won in 2014 but missed last year’s Open due to injury, is the top European on the board at +900. McIlroy is a four-time major winner and this championship presents an opportunity to get back on more equal footing with Day, Johnson and Jordan Spieth.

Speaking of Spieth, the 22-year-old star is listed at +1000. Spieth finished fifth or higher in five of his last six majors, and being consistent might help with just hanging around if bad weather wreaks havoc with scoring.

For a less daunting proposition than picking a straight-up winner, Day, Johnson, McIlroy and Spieth have +150 odds against the field at -190. Day or Johnson is at +375 against the field at -600.

Five of the eight Open champions at Royal Troon have been one-time major winners. Adam Scott (+2200) owns a Masters green jacket, and has finished fifth, third and second at the last three Opens, meaning he has nowhere to go but up if he’s to continue his streak of climbing the leaderboard.

South African PGA Tour rookie Branden Grace (+2200) had a breakout by cracking the top five last month in the U.S. Open, and has consistently been in the Open’s top 20. Seven of the last 14 British Open champions have hailed from outside the United States.

Among the darkhorses, Louis Oosthuizen (+4500) and Graeme McDowell (+9000) each have a past-champion pedigree they could bring to the fore in tough conditions. Lee Westwood (+5000), who has never won a major, is one of only two players in the field who finished in the top 10 at Royal Troon in 1997 and 2004.

Masters champion Danny Willett is also listed at +5000, which is higher than the +3300 odds he had before triumphing at Augusta National in April.

With the British Open being the season’s third major, it’s also time to consider props on the PGA’s best winning two majors in one year. Johnson is listed at +260 to win a second, while Day is listed at +260 to win either of the remaining two and +2000 to win both.

Jordan Spieth betting favorite heading into the TOUR Championship

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It is mathematically possible for Jordan Spieth to capture the FedExCup title – and the $10-million bonus – without winning the TOUR Championship. Perhaps that might be a prod to look beyond laying chalk for the PGA Tour playoffs’ finale.

Spieth, who’s first in the FedExCup standings, is listed as a +500 betting favorite to win the TOUR Championship, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Like Spieth, four others in the 30-man field converging on the 7,385-yard par-70 layout at East Lake in Atlanta would win the FedExCup automatically by winning the tournament. That includes (in order of seeding, not price), Justin Thomas (+1100), Dustin Johnson (+750), Mark Leishman (+1800) and Jon Rahm (+1200).

Spieth’s average finish since June has been 7.7, so it’s a safe bet he’ll continue his strong play. But a situation could arise where, if none of the other top five seeds are in contention, he might focus on the Cup and not the tournament itself, which has a slightly smaller payout of $8.8 million.

Johnson has been outside the top 15 in his last two starts, so it might be best to fade him. Leishman (+1800) is coming in hot after his five-shot win in the BMW Championship, but do remember this will be just his second time in the event. If you’re basing your pick on recent performance, Rahm has three top-5 finishes in a row and is in the top 20 on tour in strokes gained: approach-the-green, which is a good quality on a long par-70 such as East Lake.

The highest price of any player outside of those top five seeds belongs to Rickie Fowler (+1000). He was 10th at this event in 2015, the last time he played in it, and he’s second on the entire Tour in strokes gained.

Likewise, Justin Rose (+1200) has two second-place finishes at the TOUR Championship in the last four years.

Incidentally, Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) is ninth in the approach-the-green stat, which might make him a wild card this weekend even though his results have been inauspicious of late. Another darkhorse play with an enticing price on the golf betting lines is Matt Kuchar, who has had three top-10 finishes in the last four tournaments and is very steady, a handy trait to have at a par-70 course.

Each of the past seven FedExCup champions has secured it by winning the TOUR Championship. The law of averages would indicate that streak might end sooner rather than later.

PGA Championship Odds: McIlroy, Fowler coming in hot for Quail Hollow

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The combo of a soggy course and a season-long trend of first-time winners could come into play at the PGA championship this week at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Two-time winner Rory McIlroy is the +700 favorite on the odds to win the PGA Championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Jordan Spieth (+800), who’s less than a month removed from his British Open victory, is a close second favorite, with WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winner Hideki Matsuyama (+1100), world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (+1200) and Rickie Fowler (+1600) also high on the board.

Quail Hollow is a fixture on the PGA Tour, hosting the Wells Fargo Championship each May. The course has had an aggressive renovation to get it “major ready.” Rain is also expected for all four days, which could create an advantage for long hitters who don’t need a huge roll from tee shots. A course also plays differently in the summer than it does in the spring.

Playing the chalk is justifiable. McIlroy has two Tour victories on this course and had a strong fifth at the Bridgestone last weekend at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. However the course renovations factor into scoring, he’s still been dominant at Quail Hollow. It’s probably reasonable to fade Spieth, given his wonky putting last weekend. It’s just tough to win two majors in a row.

Among the players with odds in the 10/1 to 20/1 range, Dustin Johnson has simply been too inconsistent to inspire much confidence. Fowler will be playing at the course where he got his first Tour victory and he’s playing well, as evidenced by successive 67s at the Bridgestone. He’s also third in the Tour’s total driving stat, which suggests his strengths are suited to Quail Hollow.

Similar things can be said about Matsuyama, who like Fowler is still in search of his first major championship. The 25-year-old Japanese standout won the Bridgestone in a showing that was a testament to his burgeoning talent, and he’s also 12th in driving accuracy.

If the weather is as wet as promised, it plays to the advantage of Brooks Koepka (+2500), the U.S. Open champion who is sixth in driving distance this season. Koepka’s top-10 finish at the British Open indicates that he is not some big-driving one-hit wonder.

The value pick might well be Daniel Berger (+5500), who has three top-five finishes and a win in his last six tournaments. Berger was also in the top 20 at the 2016 Wells Fargo tourney at Quail Hollow. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson (+6600) also has a high price that belies that he was runner-up at the Bridgestone last weekend.

Jimmy Walker, the defending champion, is listed at +10000, only slightly below the +12500 price he had at online gambling sites prior to his unexpected victory in 2016.

This will be the second-last PGA Championship held in August; starting in 2019, it will move to May and become the second major on the golf calendar.