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British Open Championship First-Round Leader Odds, Predictions & Best Bets

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in Golf

Updated Jul 15, 2022 · 12:00 PM PDT

Will Zalatoris teeing off
Will Zalatoris tees off on the ninth hole during the second round of Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Friday, July 2, 2021.
  • The 150th British Open Championship from the Old Course at St. Andrews tees off Thursday, July 14th
  • Rory McIlroy is the +1800 favorite over Xander Schauffele to be atop the leaderboard after day one
  • See the best bets and odds to be the first-round leader in the article below

The final major championship of 2022 is upon us as the worlds best head to the birthplace of golf – St. Andrews. Rory McIlroy is the favorite to earn his second career Claret Jug, with Xander Schauffele close behind following his back-to-back wins. Tiger Woods is teeing it up for the first time since the PGA Championship, and it’s a place he loves, having won on the Old Course in both 2000 and 2005.

There are plenty of opportunities for sleepers and longshots to make some noise with it being such a stacked field. Those golfers that normally would see their odds much shorter now have them considerably longer with all the big names competing.

In this article, we’ll explore which players have the best chance of being the leader after day one, along with which players have been fast starters on Thursday’s this season.

2022 British Open Championship First-Round Leader Odds

Golfers Odds Tee Time
Rory McIlroy +1800 9:58am
Xander Schauffele +2500 9:58am
Scottie Scheffler +2800 1:26pm
Jon Rahm +2800 3:10pm
Justin Thomas +3000 10:09am
Matt Fitzpatrick +3000 2:59pm
Jordan Spieth +3000 3:10pm
Cameron Smith +3500 8:03am
Shane Lowry +3500 10:09am
Patrick Cantlay +3500 3:21pm
Tommy Fleetwood +4000 8:14am
Collin Morikawa +4500 9:58am
Tony Finau +4500 10:20am
Will Zalatoris +4500 10:20am
Dustin Johnson +4500 1:15pm

Odds as of July 12th at DraftKings Sportsbook



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The forecast calls for it to be partly cloudy throughout the day with some fleeting showers. Temperatures will be in the mid 50’s for those starting in the morning, reaching high 60’s for the afternoon wave. Wind gusts will be around 15 miles per hour for the first wave of players, increasing to low 20’s for those completing their rounds in the evening.

A benefit for those teeing it up in the morning is the exact same as it is every week – less bumpy greens with fewer players chewing them up.

Patrick Cantlay a Fast Starter

Patrick Cantlay (3:21pm tee time) has gotten out to quick starts this season, ranking fifth in first round scoring average. He’s also fifth in birdie average and eighth in scoring average, which shouldn’t be a surprise given his solid all-around game.

It comes as a bit of a surprise that he’s lacked success in the majors, posting only a pair of top-10’s in the biggest events in 2019, but no other instances. In his most recent one, however, he was T-14th at the U.S. Open, demonstrating that perhaps he’s figured out how to play majors.

2021-22 PGA Tour First Round Scoring Average Leaders

Golfer Average Score Odds
1. Rory McIlroy 68.08 +1800
3. Joaquin Niemann 68.39 +5500
4. Russell Henley 68.44 +9000
5. Patrick Cantlay 68.62 +3500
6. Cameron Smith 68.64 +3500
7. Aaron Wise 68.74 +8000
8. Wyndham Clark 68.78 +15000
9. Scottie Scheffler 68.84 +2800
11. Jon Rahm 69.07 +2800
12. Webb Simpson 69.13 +8000

Save for a missed cut at the PGA Championship, Cantlay hasn’t finished worse than that T-14th at the aforementioned U.S. Open in his previous seven starts, with four top-5’s. He demonstrated his ability to play links golf very well last week, where he was T-4th at the Scottish Open.

Pick: Patrick Cantlay (+3500)

Will Zalatoris Exceptional at Majors

Will Zalatoris (10:20am) has done everything but win a major championship, racking up six top-8’s in the last eight majors. That includes back-to-back runner-ups at the PGA (in a playoff), and the U.S. Open (losing by one stroke).

It’s safe to say he plays the majors extremely well, and he’s also outstanding on Thursday’s, as his worst score all season is a 72 (in 17 attempts).

Will Zalatoris’ Strokes Gained Stats Last Twelve Rounds

Off-The-Tee Ball Striking Total Tee-To-Green Approach Short Game Putting
3 4 9 10 22 29 39

Willy Z is first in strokes gained: tee-to-green and approach on the campaign. He’s found himself within the top-two on the leaderboard in six of the last eight major rounds, so putting faith in him to be able to be in the mix for the first round lead is absolutely a distinct possibility.

Pick: Will Zalatoris (+4500)

Ryan Fox Ripping up the DP World Tour

Ryan Fox (11:36am) may not be a household name stateside considering he focuses on competing on the DP World Tour, but he’s been red hot of late. In 2022, he’s registered seven top-10’s, with one victory, three runner-ups and a third place showing.

Unsurprisingly, his stats on the DP World Tour (formerly named European Tour), have been scintillating.

Ryan Fox’s Stats This Season On DP World Tour

Scoring Average Birdie Average Total Strokes Gained SG: Approach SG: Tee-To-Green Putts Per Green In Regulation
2 3 3 3 4 7

The 35-year-old New Zealander has made the cut in four of five career Open’s. In his last five tournaments, he’s been second twice and third once, mixed in with a missed cut and a T-47th. Fox is most certainly a wild card, but at these odds, he’s an intriguing play.

Pick: Ryan Fox (+7000)


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