Louis Oosthuizen remains slight favorite to win Open Championship

18 July 2021 - 12:05
By Reuters
Louis Oosthuizen is carrying South Africa's hopes.
Image: Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Louis Oosthuizen is carrying South Africa's hopes.

After holding the outright lead at the Open Championship for the third straight round, Louis Oosthuizen remains the favorite to finish the job and lift the Claret Jug.

The South African is sportsbooks' narrow favorite to win the last major of the season Sunday as he enters the final round with a one-shot advantage over Collin Morikawa.

BetMGM is offering Oosthuizen at +140 to win the Open after Saturday's third round, with Morikawa close behind at +180.

Similarly, DraftKings has Oosthuizen as the +150 favorite and Morikawa second at +200.

During the back nine Saturday, Oosthuizen broke free from a three-way tie with Morikawa and Jordan Spieth with a birdie at the par-3 16th hole. With a third-round 69, Oosthuizen stands at 12-under 198, but Morikawa used a strong back-nine showing to card a 68 and draw closer to the lead.

Spieth has the third-shortest odds to win at both sportsbooks -- +500 at DraftKings, +550 at BetMGM.

The three-time major champion had his moments Saturday, but with bogeys on the final two holes, he fell three behind Oosthuizen at 9 under. Spieth missed a three-foot par putt on No. 18 and was clearly frustrated, declining to speak to the media after his round.

Though he is five shots behind, Spain's Jon Rahm has the fourth-shortest odds to win. The U.S. Open champ is +1400 at DraftKings and +1600 at BetMGM.

The heavy favorite before the tournament, Rahm (7 under) followed up on a bogey-free 64 Friday with a less exciting 68 Saturday amid tougher course conditions. But because he is the world No. 2 and came from behind to win last month's U.S. Open, the betting public likely has a more favorable view of him than the pair tied at 8 under, Scottie Scheffler (+2000 at both books) and Canada's Corey Conners (+2500).

For 31 straight major championships, the eventual victor was within four shots of the lead entering the final round, according to The Athletic. That trend means players outside Scheffler and Conners might have a much tougher time rallying and breaking through, but value bets are still in play nonetheless.

Australia's Cameron Smith (6 under) is one of three players with +10000 odds at BetMGM and owns the same odds at DraftKings. Though he's six shots off Oosthuizen's pace, Smith is one of only eight players to shoot under par in all three rounds thus far and has fared quite well in recent majors, including a top-20 finish the last time the Open was played and a pair of top-10 Masters finishes.

Paul Casey (5 under) has the shortest odds of any Englishman: +13000 at DraftKings and +25000 at BetMGM. Though he's seven shots off the pace, Casey has the kind of iron play that's required to win an Open, and he's made about 76 percent of greens in regulation so far this week. The last Englishman to win the Claret Jug in his home country, though, was Tony Jacklin back in 1969.

Defending champion Shane Lowry, who won at Royal Portrush in 2019, also enters Sunday at 5 under for the event. DraftKings is offering Lowry of Ireland at +20000 and BetMGM lists him at +30000.

After world No. 1 Dustin Johnson tumbled down to 4 under following a 73 Saturday, his odds to win changed accordingly. DraftKings listed Johnson at +700 after the second round but now has him pegged at +20000, while BetMGM users can wager on him for +35000.