Who will win the British Open in 2021? Odds, betting favorites, expert picks & more to know

Written By Jacob Camenker
Collin Morikawa-051821-GETTY-FTR
(Getty Images)

Jon Rahm finally delivered in a major tournament and won the 2021 U.S. Open. Can he win his second just a month later at the 2021 British Open?

The Open Championship is returning after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event in 2020. That will give Ireland's Shane Lowry a chance to defend his first major title. 

The British Open is often difficult and frustrating for bettors to predict. The field is a stacked one as usual, as 19 of the world's top 20 golfers will participate in the tournament. There's also usually wind and rain that mess with the players and can get some out of rhythm.

Still, there are some appetizing-looking odds on which bettors will be able to capitalize.

The 7,204-yard Royal St George's course won't automatically favor the big swingers like Kiawah Island and Torrey Pines have in recent major tournaments. That gives some new life to some of the more accurate, measured drivers on the tour, especially those that can play well in the wind.

Here's everything you need to know to bet on the 2021 British Open, including the latest tournament odds and best bets for the event.

MORE: Full TV schedule, tee times for the British Open

British Open odds 2021

Jon Rahm (+700) once against enters a major as a favorite to win. The No. 1 golfer in the world is heavily favored to win The Open Championship and is the only golfer to have better than 10-1 odds, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jordan Spieth (+1400), Rory McIlroy (+1400), Dustin Johnson (+1800), Xander Schauffele (+1800)Brooks Koepka (+1800) and Justin Thomas (+2000) are the only golfers with 20-1 odds or better in the tournament.

Bryson DeChambeau (+3000) is much lower on the list than usual given his collapse on the back nine at the 2021 U.S. Open and his recent caddie change. Brian Zeigler will caddie for DeChambeau for the first time at The Open Championship.

Phil Mickelson (+8000) is considered a longshot in this event. He last won the tournament at Muirfield in 2013.

Golfer Odds
Jon Rahm +700
Jordan Spieth +1400
Rory McIlroy +1400
Dustin Johnson +1800
Xander Schauffele +1800
Brooks Koepka +1800
Justin Thomas +2000
Louis Oosthuizen +2500
Collin Morikawa +2500
Bryson DeChambeau +3000
Viktor Hovland +3000
Paul Casey +3500
Shane Lowry +4000
Patrick Reed +4000
Tyrell Hatton +4000
Tommy Fleetwood +4000
Patrick Cantlay +4000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +4500
Tony Finau +4500
Lee Westwood +4500
Daniel Berger +4500
Adam Scott +5000
Abraham Ancer +5000
Scottie Scheffler +5000
Webb Simpson +5500
Cameron Smith +6000
Justin Rose +6000
Harris English +6000

British Open expert picks

The 2021 British Open will be played at Royal St George's golf course, which is a relatively short course compared to the monster ones golfers have been playing on of late. It's 7,204 yards and is a Par-70 course, so hitting a massive drive off the tee is less of a necessity. It's more about landing the ball on the fairway.

As such, the most important stats to pay attention to this week are strokes gained approaching the green (SG:APR) and driver accuracy. The Open Championship always has some wind element to it, so taking players that are able to fly the ball consistently and accurately will prove paramount. Bettors will want to trust golfers that can make sand saves as well, as the British Open courses always feature tricky bunkers.

With those three categories in mind, Collin Morikawa (+2500) stands out as a good bet this week. He's the best on tour in SG:APR with 1.502 strokes gained per round. The next closest golfer, Paul Casey, is nearly a half stroke behind him. Add in Morikawa's 11th-ranked driver accuracy and he should have a chance to avoid trouble with the wind. He may be just middle-of-the-pack in terms of driver distance — 114 of 208, 294.9 yards per drive — but that won't matter much at the shorter Royal St George's course.

Jon Rahm (+700) is another solid bet even with the shortest odds on the field. He plays very well in the wind and has gained 60.1 strokes in his last 24 rounds in windy conditions, per The Action Network. That along with his seventh-ranked SG:APR game will give him the best chance among big hitters to win at this course. His driver accuracy (65th) and sand save percentage (52.22 percent) are just above-average, but his tee-to-green game and recent performance make him an appealing bet.

Among longshots, Russell Henley (+10000) looks like a nice value pick. He ranks top-10 in SG:APR at 0.901 strokes gained and is also in the top 10 in sand save percentage. His driver accuracy ranks 37th in the field, so he checks all of the boxes. He has top-20 finishes in each of his last three tournaments, including a 13th-place finish at the U.S. Open, so at 100-1 odds, he's worth a shot.

Henley's one concern is his 289.6-yard driver distance, which ranks 163rd on the PGA Tour. That could make the longer holes a bit more challenging for him, but he should make up for it with his accuracy and steadiness. Besides, there are only two holes longer than 500 yards at Royal St George's.

British Open winners by year

There was no British Open winner in 2020, so the reigning champion is Shane Lowry. The Irishman cruised to a convincing six-stroke lead over Tommy Fleetwood which included a 7-under round of 63 on moving day, which is the new course record at Royal Portrush.

Lowry will seek to become the first back-to-back British Open champion since Padraig Harrington won at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale in 2007 and 2008. Before him, Tiger Woods won the event consecutively in St Andrews (2005) and Royal Liverpool (2006).

The Open Championship will feature 11 previous champions in the field. That includes Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen, among others.

Year Golfer Venue Score
2019 Shane Lowry Royal Portrush -15
2018 Francesco Molinari Carnoustie -8
2017 Jordan Spieth Royal Birkdale -12
2016 Henrik Stenson Royal Troon -20
2015 Zach Johnson St Andrews -15
2014 Rory McIlroy Hoylake -17
2013 Phil Mickelson Muirfield -3
2012 Ernie Els Royal Lytham & St Annes -7
2011 Darren Clarke Royal St George's -5
2010 Louis Oosthuizen St Andrews -16
2009 Stewart Cink Turnberry -2
2008 Padraig Harrington Royal Birkdale +3
2007 Padraig Harrington Carnoustie -7
2006 Tiger Woods Royal Liverpool -18
2005 Tiger Woods St Andrews -14
2004 Todd Hamilton Troon -10
2003 Ben Curtis Sandwich -1
2002 Ernie Els Muirfield -6
2001 David Duval Royal Lytham & St Annes -10
2000 Tiger Woods St Andrews -19
1999 Paul Lawrie Carnoustie +6
1998 Mark O'Meara Royal Birkdale E
1997 Justin Leonard Royal Troon -12
1996 Tom Lehman Royal Lytham & St Annes -13
1995 John Daly St Andrews -6
1994 Nick Price Turnberry -12
1993 Greg Norman Royal St Georges, Sandwich -13
1992 Nick Faldo Muirfield -12
1991 Ian Baker-Finch Royal Birkdale -8
1990 Nick Faldo St Andrews -18
1989 Mark Calcavecchia Royal Troon -13
1988 Seve Ballesteros Royal Lytham & St Annes -11
1987 Nick Faldo Muirfield -5
1986 Greg Norman Turnberry E
1985 Sandy Lyle Royal St Georges, Sandwich +2
1984 Seve Ballesteros St Andrews -12
1983 Tom Watson Royal Birkdale -9
1982 Tom Watson Royal Troon -4
1981 Bill Rogers Royal St Georges, Sandwich -4
1980 Tom Watson Muirfield -13
1979 Seve Ballesteros Royal Lytham & St Annes -1
1978 Jack Nicklaus St Andrews -7
1977 Tom Watson Turnberry -12
1976 Johnny Miller Royal Birkdale -9
1975 Tom Watson Carnoustie -5
1974 Gary Player Royal Lytham & St Annes -2
1973 Tom Weiskopf Royal Troon -12
1972 Lee Trevino Muirfield -6
1971 Lee Trevino Royal Birkdale -10
1970 Jack Nicklaus St Andrews 283
1969 Tony Jacklin Royal Lytham & St Annes 280
1968 Gary Player Carnoustie 289
1967 Roberto de Vicenzo Hoylake 278
1966 Jack Nicklaus Muirfield 282
1965 Peter Thomson Royal Birkdale 285
1964 Tony Lema St Andrews 279
1963 Bob Charles Royal Lytham & St Annes 277
1962 Arnold Palmer Troon 276
1961 Arnold Palmer Birkdale 284
1960 Kel Nagle St Andrews 278
1959 Gary Player Muirfield 284
1958 Peter Thomson Royal Lytham & St Annes 278
1957 Bobby Locke St Andrews 279
1956 Peter Thomson Hoylake 286
1955 Peter Thomson St Andrews 281
1954 Peter Thomson Birkdale 283
1953 Ben Hogan Carnoustie 282
1952 Bobby Locke Royal Lytham & St Annes 287
1951 Max Faulkner Royal Portrush 285
1950 Bobby Locke Troon 279
1949 Bobby Locke Sandwich 283
1948 Henry Cotton Muirfield 284
1947 F Daly Hoylake 293
1946 Sam Snead St Andrews 290

Latest News

Tiger-Woods-113021-Getty-FTR
Tiger Woods unsure if he will ever compete on PGA Tour: 'I'm so far from that'
Tiger Woods reflects on recovery from crash
Tiger Woods-111320-GETTY-FTR
Tiger Woods explains why he won't play golf full time 'ever again' in latest recovery update
Tiger Woods explains why he won't play golf full time 'ever again'
Lee-Elder-112921
Golf world reacts to death of Lee Elder, first Black golfer to play the Masters
Golfers, other athletes react to the passing of Lee Elder
Brooks-Koepka-Bryson-DeChambeau-112621
Bryson DeChambeau vs. Brooks Koepka results: Koepka dominates rival in 'The Match' 5
'The Match' 5 results: Koepka dominates DeChambeau
Phil-Mickelson-112621
Phil Mickelson steals the show as a commentator for 'The Match'
Phil Mickelson steals the show at 'The Match'