11 long-shot picks to win The Open Championship

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Golf is one of the most-underrated sports to bet on.

The race for the Claret Jug this year at The Open Championship feels completely up for grabs. There are favorites like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth that you can expect to be in the running come Sunday, but when gambling, the real money comes from the long shots. With odds as high as 125/1, you only have to bet a little to win a lot if you have a keen eye for a winner.

There’s a ton of ways to bet golf – you can bet on players to make the cut, in head-to-head matchups against other golfers, and to finish within the top 20, as well as numerous other options depending on the flexibility of your bookmaker. But the easiest way to put a bit of money down is to bet on four or five golfers to win and hope that at least one or two of them are within striking distance on Sunday.

It’s nice to add one favorite into your betting strategy as something of an insurance policy, but beyond that, stock up on the value bets that can be found further down the odds sheets. While you might think that majors are dominated strictly by the best in the game, names like Danny Willett and Jimmy Walker remind us that that’s not always the case. Further, the variability of the weather and randomness of tee times make the British Open more prone to a chaotic, out-of-nowhere winner than any of the majors.

Below are 11 long shot picks of 30/1 odds or more to potentially win The Open Championship. All odds come courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Take a look and see if there’s any action you want to get in before play starts on Thursday.


Phil Mickelson

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Current odds: 30/1

World ranking: No. 26

Best British Open finish: Win, 2013

Recent result: Greenbrier Classic – T20

Why he could be in play on Sunday: While Mick hasn’t been at the top of his game of late, he’s shown an ability to perform at majors throughout his career. After missing the U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s graduation, he’ll want to put on a good showing in his return to major action. And while the odds could be longer, 30/1 on Mick to win still feels like a pretty good number.


Louis Oosthuizen

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Current odds: 40/1

World ranking: No. 23

Best British Open finish: Win 2010

Recent result: U.S. Open – T23

Why he could be in play on Sunday: Louis Oosthuizen is one of those players that can get rolling at any time and find himself atop a leaderboard. He’s shown an affinity for links play, with a win at the 2010 Open Championship and a second place finish in 2015. If the weather falls his way, it’s easy to imagine Oosthuizen a few birdies away from a second Claret Jug win on Sunday.


Matt Kuchar

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Current odds: 60/1

World ranking: No. 18

Best British Open finish: T9, 2012

Recent result: U.S. Open – T16

Why he could be in play on Sunday: Kuchar has been playing some great golf of late, and The Open Championship is a tournament that can reward those with experience and the resilience that comes with it. At 39, he’s seen the way a links course can break over the course of his career and will be able to keep his wits about him after a tough break or two.


Daniel Berger

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Current odds: 60/1

World ranking: No. 20

Best British Open finish: Cut in 2015, his only appearance

Recent result: John Deere Classic – T5

Why he could be in play on Sunday: The 2015 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year is playing hot right now, with a win and second place finish among his last four starts to go along with his top five performance at the John Deere Classic last weekend. As the young stars of the sport continue to garner more and more attention, it feels like only a matter of time until Berger makes his mark in a major.


Patrick Reed

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Current odds: 60/1

World ranking: No. 22

Best British Open finish: T12, 2016

Recent result: Greenbrier Classic – T20

Why he could be in play on Sunday: After a less than stellar start to the season, Patrick Reed has been pulling his game together well in recent play, with four straight top-20 finishes starting at the U.S. Open. If the pieces fall in the right places over the weekend, Reed is the type of player than can take advantage.


Ian Poulter

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Current odds: 60/1

World ranking: No. 78

Best British Open finish: 2nd, 2008

Recent result: FedEx St. Jude Classic, T31

Why he could be in play on Sunday: At 41, he’s another more experienced player that can roll with the punches that a links course is bound to throw. Not to mention he came in 2nd last time the British Open was held at Royal Birkdale, losing to Padraig Harrington by four strokes. He knows the course and knows how to beat it.


Padraig Harrington

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Current odds: 60/1

World ranking: No. 134

Best British Open finish: Win, 2008

Recent result: Travelers Championship, T17

Why he could be in play on Sunday: As was just mentioned, Padraig took home the Claret Jug last time The Open was held at Royal Birkdale. While repeat winners are obviously no guarantee in golf, getting 60/1 odds on the guy who won last time feels like a great value.


Francesco Molinari

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Current odds: 80/1

World ranking: No. 19

Best British Open finish: T9, 2013

Recent result: U.S. Open – MC

Why he could be in play on Sunday: While he has yet to record a PGA Tour victory, Francesco Molinari is another one of those players that has felt on the cusp of taking one down for some time. His style of play is amicable with links golf – he’s 3rd on the tour in driving accuracy and 2nd to only Jordan Spieth in strokes gained on approach shots. If weather becomes a factor this weekend those accurate drives will become even more valuable.


Charl Schwartzel

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Current odds: 80/1

World ranking: No. 21

Best British Open finish: T7, 2014

Recent result: U.S. Open – MC

Why he could be in play on Sunday: Paired with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson on Thursday, we’ll get a sense early on if Schwartzel can contend for the Claret Jug this year. At 80/1, it’s a value for getting one of the most reliable putters in golf. When the rain starts falling or the wind is whipping balls all across the course, picking up strokes on the green becomes essential, and Schwartzel is a guy who is capable of doing so.


Bill Haas

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Current odds: 125/1

World ranking: No. 37

Best British Open finish: T9, 2016

Recent result: U.S. Open – MC

Why he could be in play on Sunday: Another player that brings the right recipe of skills to links golf. If you can hit the ball straight and avoid mistakes, you can find yourself in contention on Sunday without sinking any miracle shots, and in the lead if you do sink a few. At 125/1, it’s a fun, and potentially profitable flyer to take.


J.B. Holmes

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Current odds: 125/1

World ranking: No. 52

Best British Open finish: 3rd, 2016

Recent result: Greenbrier Classic, T9

Why he could be in play on Sunday: He’s a strong player that’s shown an ability to perform in majors. He finished third in last year’s Open Championship behind Stenson and Mickelson and performed well at the U.S. Open this year. At 125/1, it should be more difficult than it is to imagine him just a stroke or two off the lead come Sunday.


Here are 10 names who could make a serious run at The Open Championship

Here are 10 names who could make a serious run at The Open Championship