The Open 2019 Odds: Brooks Koepka Favored over Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Brooks Koepka of the United States waves during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

While he came up short in the U.S. Open on Sunday, Brooks Koepka opened as the early favorite to win the Open Championship, which tees off July 18 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. 

Koepka is +700 (bet $100 to win $700) at the Caesars sportsbook to capture his first Claret Jug. Rory McIlroy, who tied for second a year ago, is +800 to come out on top and defending champion Francesco Molinari is some distance behind at +1800.

Tiger Woods tied for sixth in his return to the Open Championship, having missed the event in 2016 and 2017. The 2019 Masters champion is +1100, slightly above Dustin Johnson (+1200).

Forecasting a winner for major golf tournaments is always tough given how large the field is, but Koepka is the safest bet from this year's group. The 29-year-old has two wins and six top-10 finishes in 14 events this season.

Koepka was one of three golfers to finish one shot behind Woods at Augusta in April, and three shots separated him from U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland at Pebble Beach. Throw in his PGA Championship victory and he appears to relish the big stage.

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Brooks Koepka's last nine major starts: -2nd -1st -2nd -1st -39th -1st -13th -6th -1st

McIlroy has been nearly just as good, with 11 top-10s and two wins in 2019. He has shown a remarkable level of consistency in the Open Championship, too. After missing the cut in 2013, McIlroy won the tournament in 2014 and then reeled off three straight top-five results between 2016 and 2018.

Woods will be the sentimental favorite for many fans, though his recent performances aren't entirely encouraging.

The 15-time major champion took a month off following his Masters win and returned for the PGA Championship, where he missed the cut. Then he tied for ninth and 21st, respectively at the Memorial Tournament and U.S. Open.

Based on his comments immediately after the U.S. Open, it appears Woods is planning another extended break before making the trip overseas for the Open Championship.