Now that the British Open defending champion, Rory McIlroy, will not be playing at St Andrews when the British Open commences in two days, the favorite in golf betting right now is young Jordan Spieth, winner of the Masters and the U.S. Open. Currently he stands as a 9-2 favorite to carry away the Claret Jug as the tournament championship.
Spieth hasn’t just been lying around since winning those two majors, of course. Last week, he won the John Deere Classic. During 2015 he has entered 19 events and finished in the top 10 in 12 of them – and he’s won his last two in a row.
Brief Analysis at the Golf Betting Preview on 2015 British Open
Current Golf Betting Odds for Tournament
If you’re wondering who was the last player to open the year by winning the first two majors, the answer is Tiger Woods, who accomplished this feat in 2002. However, Woods is way down the chart of favorites to win at St Andrews this year, as he appears at 25-1 to win. In the 2014 British Open, Woods came in 69th.
Spieth also appeared at the British Open in 2014, coming in to tie for 36th place. However, even if he wins the British Open, he might find that the PGA is the toughest of the four majors for him. He has never made the cut at the PGA. If you want to bet on whether he takes the British Open and the PGA this year to complete the Grand Slam, you can find odds at 16-1.
The biggest challenge that Jordan Spieth faced at the U.S. Open was Dustin Johnson, who has 11-1 odds to win the British Open. Johnson, though, folded under the pressure of the last day and ended up tying for second place with Louis Oosthuizen. Oosthuizen won the British Open in 2010 and sits at 22-1 odds to win it this year.
Some other contenders include Phil Mickelson (33-1), Sergio Garcia (33-1), Henrik Stenson (20-1), Adam Scott (20-1), Justin Rose (18-1) and Rickie Fowler (16-1). There are some prop bets as well, such as whether there will be a hole-in-one during the tournament (+200 for yes, -250 for no), or whether there will be a wire-to-wire leader/winner (+1400 for yes, =4000 fo no).
While the golfing world’s attention is back on Scotland, though, have you ever wondered why St Andrews and Scotland are considered the home of golf? The game first appeared on the links in the early 1400s and became more and more popular until King James II of Scotland banned play in 1457 because he thought it was taking up the time that men should be using to improve their archery (war being a lot more common back then). King James IV of Scotland took up the game himself and lifted the ban in 1502.
The links would go bankrupt in 1797, and the town decided to allow rabbit farming to take place on the course to see which ended up being more popular. This battle between golfers and rabbit farmers came to an end in 1821 when James Cheape, a local golfer, purchased the land and restored the use to golf. In 1754, 22 local luminaries established the Society of St Andrews Gofers, which would later become the Royal and Ancient – golf’s governing body around the world, except for Mexico and the United States. The Old Course at St Andrews has hosted the British Open, known formally as the Open Championship, 28 times since 1873 – and the 2015 version will be the 29th. The British Open currently appears at St Andrews every five years.