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Jordan Spieth one back but favored to win The Open

Jul 15, 2021; Sandwich, England, GBR; Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the thirteenth fairway during the first round of the Open Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2021; Sandwich, England, GBR; Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the thirteenth fairway during the first round of the Open Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Spieth will enter the second round of The Open Championship as the consensus favorite to claim his second Claret Jug.

The 2017 Open champion opened with a 5-under 65 on Thursday that put him one shot behind South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen. Spieth was the betting favorite at DraftKings (+350), BetRivers (+400) and BetMGM (+450) shortly after the first round concluded.

Oosthuizen, who has finished runner-up at each of the past two majors and in six majors overall since winning The Open in 2010, is being offered at +450 at each of the three sportsbooks. The next shortest odds belong to 2020 PGA champion Collin Morikawa, who is being offered at +1600 by all three despite playing in his first Open Championship.

Spain’s Jon Rahm opened as the heavy favorite after claiming his first major title at the U.S. Open last month and finishing seventh at the Scottish Open last week. However, he stumbled to a 1-over 71 on Thursday, causing his odds to lengthen to +3300 at BetRivers, +3500 at DraftKings and +400 at BetMGM.

Brooks Koepka opened the tournament at +1600 at DraftKings, where he was the most heavily-backed player with 10 percent of the money and six percent of the outright winner bets. The four-time major champion is still in the thick of the hunt at 1 under, with his odds lengthening only slightly to +1800 at DraftKings.

Those are the same odds as Dustin Johnson, who opened with a 2-under 68. Johnson, who reclaimed the No. 1 world ranking this week and tied for second at Royal St. George’s in 2011, opened the tournament at +2200.

Stewart Cink was one of the biggest pre-tournament liabilities at several sportsbooks, including PointsBet, where he opened as a +12500 longshot. A two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, Cink is among a group of five players only two shots off the lead.

Oosthuizen’s most recent worldwide victory came at the South African Open in 2018. He has numerous runner-up finishes since then, including three since the start of 2020.

“It gives me confidence going into majors knowing that I’m still competing in them and I’ve still got chances of winning,” Oosthuizen said of his close calls at majors. “But yeah, once the week starts, I need to get that out of my mind and just focus on every round and every shot.”

Spieth has had his own struggles on Sundays, including a T3 at Pebble Beach and a T4 at the Phoenix Open earlier this year despite playing in the final group. But he did break through with a win at the Valero Texas Open in April.

Spieth has eight top-10s in his past 13 starts, speaking to how far – and how quickly – he has re-established himself among the game’s elite players after dropping to as low as No. 92 in January.

“I’ve really loved this tournament,” he said. “Played well here, whether I’ve come in in form or not.”

And should he win Sunday, does Spieth anticipate it will feel different considering the struggles he has endured over the past four years?

“I’m not sure,” he said. “I would hope to answer that question for you in a few days.”

–Field Level Media