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(Courtesy: Golf Digest)

It seems like just yesterday I was running around my house in shorts and a tee shirt exclaiming my joy over the fact that it was finally Masters week and the snow would (hopefully) be melting soon and all the things wonderful about golf and summer would soon be flowing over. Now, as I type this at Casa de Golfstradamus, we are on the eve of the year’s 3rd major — the Open Championship — and winter is once again coming.

Alright, so that’s a little dramatic — but while part of me is ecstatic that the Open is here and I can once again commandeer the big TV from the wife on a Saturday and Sunday, the other part of me knows we are on the down slope of the golf season officially.

That said, I guess I’ll go against character and be optimistic. This is one of the four best weeks of the golfing year and once again and opportunity to make some cold-hard cash.

After a week off to regroup (and weed the palatial estate) Golfstradamus is back and ready to win big. Remember — as time of post, there are only 160 more shopping days until Christmas (guh…) so you might want to start thinking about ways to make some extra money to get something nice for all those relatives you skipped on last year. Or, you know, more beer money to hide from the wife.

Either way — the Open is here and it’s time to place your bets! As per usual, I’ve done the work for you — all you’ve got to do is take my advice. Unlike high school and college, copying is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. Otherwise, why am I wasting my time?

Open Championship 
Royal Birkdale Golf Club – Southport, England
July 20 – 23, 2017

ODDS to Win:
Dustin Johnson 11/1
Rory McIlroy 15/1
Jordan Spieth 12/1
Jason Day 20/1
Sergio Garcia 15/1
Rickie Fowler 15/1
Hideki Matsuyama 20/1
Jon Rahm 12/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Justin Rose 15/1
Adam Scott 25/1
Brooks Koepka 30/1
Justin Thomas 40/1
Phil Mickelson 30/1
Paul Casey 30/1
Louis Oosthuizen 40/1
Thomas Pieters 40/1
Branden Grace 40/1
Tommy Fleetwood 20/1
Alex Noren 40/1
Patrick Reed 50/1
Martin Kaymer 60/1
Shane Lowry 60/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 60/1
Matt Kuchar 80/1
Brandt Snedeker 60/1
Lee Westwood 60/1
Charl Schwartzel 80/1
Zach Johnson 80/1
Tyrrell Hatton 60/1
Marc Leishman 60/1
J.B. Holmes 125/1
Si Woo Kim 125/1
Bubba Watson 125/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 100/1
Francesco Molinari 80/1
Ian Poulter 80/1
Kevin Kisner 125/1
Jason Dufner 100/1
Daniel Berger 60/1
Bill Haas 125/1
Byeong Hun An 150/1
Chris Wood 100/1
Adam Hadwin 150/1
Bernd Wiesberger 100/1
Russell Henley 125/1
Brian Harman 125/1
Charley Hoffman 125/1
Ryan Moore 150/1
Kevin Chappell 150/1
Padraig Harrington 125/1
Ross Fisher 100/1
Andy Sullivan 100/1
Jimmy Walker 150/1
Russell Knox 150/1
Emiliano Grillo 125/1
Billy Horschel 150/1
Brendan Steele 200/1
Pat Perez 200/1
Cameron Smith 200/1
Tony Finau 150/1
Steve Stricker 150/1
Gary Woodland 150/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 125/1
Soren Kjeldsen 150/1
Andrew Johnston 125/1
Danny Willett 250/1
Kevin Na 200/1
Wesley Bryan 300/1
William McGirt 200/1
Webb Simpson 200/1
Ernie Els 250/1
Jeunghun Wang 250/1
Younghan Song 500/1
Peter Uihlein 150/1
Sean O’Hair 250/1
David Horsey 300/1
Anirban Lahiri 250/1
Richard Bland 250/1
Jhonattan Vegas 300/1
Scott Hend 300/1
Roberto Castro 500/1
Aaron Baddeley 300/1
Paul Lawrie 500/1
Darren Clarke 2000/1
Jbe’ Kruger 500/1
Darren Fichardt 500/1
John Daly 1000/1
David Duval 2000/1
Mark O’Meara 1000/1
Todd Hamilton 2000/1
Charles Howell III 200/1
Xander Schauffele 200/1

Mortal Locks:

Sergio Garcia — Sergio Garcia has a chance to win don a green jacket while toasting with the claret jug at his wedding in a few days. Do you think he needs more motivation? I don’t. Combine that possibility with the fact that he’s finished second in the Open twice and has finished no worse than T-6 in each of the last three Open’s played. You’d be foolish not to take the action, despite it only being 15/1.

John Rahm — I hate to take guys this close to the favorite in a major because there are so many other tantalizing choices in the 50-200/1 range who, in reality, have just as good a chance to win the Open as anyone else. But in the case of John Rahm, the numbers are hard to ignore. Combine his exceptional play with the juju that comes with being a rookie on Tour this year and you could very well be looking at the eighth consecutive first time major winner. At 12/1, there’s no chance you’re going to pay ¬†off the house — but some beer money and the knowledge you were right is always nice.

Justin Thomas — One of the greatest thing about major tournaments — especially the Open Championship — is that guys you’d never see over 20/1 are going off at 50/1. Case in point, Justin Thomas. While he has cooled tremendously since his scorching hot start to the year, the other JT is ready to make amends for his poor Sunday at the U.S. Open by going low at Birkdale. At 50/1, you’d be remiss to overlook him.

Bang for Your Buck:

Xander Schauffele — I’ve got to be honest, I’m not 100% sold on Xander Schauffele winning this week, but the money line is way too much to pass up. It’s the betting equivalent of Karen Gillan giving me her cell phone number. What else am I supposed to do, you know? I’m only human. Find me another tournament where a guy who, fresh of a win and a top-5 in his last major championship start is a 200/1 dog. You can’t. Because it’s not possible. Either there’s a typo at golfodds.com, or someone is just dying to give a whole lot of money to a whole lot of people.

Charley Hoffman — Why not? I’ve made more money on dumber bets before. In fact, this is hardly a stupid bet. Hoffman goes off this week at 125/1 — which is, honestly, right about where he should be. That said, it’s still an excellent ROI-Low risk/high reward bet that makes weeks of taking it on the chin all worth it. He’s been playing solid golf all year and has been a serious contender in the year’s first two majors. Don’t look for him to cool off just because he’s crossing the pond.

Fun Under $5:

John Daly — I. Can’t. Look. Away. At 1000/1, the only other people who might make this bet are Pete Rose……and John Daly.

Charles Howell III — Charles Howell III will win again and I think it happens this year. Why not make it a major? It’s not like guys with career trajectory’s like his or lesser known players haven’t won the Open before? Howell carries plenty of momentum into Birkdale and at 200/1 is tough to ignore.

There you have it, friends and degenerates. The time for hesitation is over. Place your bets and place ’em big. Major championships are all about taking risks and going for broke. Actually, none of that is true. Either way — you know what I mean…Sorry, I’m having a hard time focusing. Karen Gillan is on TV and I’ve lost my train of thought…

 

-Golfstradamus.

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