British Open Field 2019: Tee Times, Odds and Predictions for Favorites, Sleepers

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2019

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 17: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks on during a practice round prior to the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 17, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The list of recent champions at the British Open is a collection of some of the top golfers in the world. 

Even when Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari won their first majors at the tournament in 2016 and 2018, respectively, they were known as successful players. 

Since 2012, only the Swede and the Italian have become first-time major winners at The Open Championship, which points to tournament favorites coming out on top at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, this weekend.

Unlike the last few British Opens, though, the 2019 edition is being held at an unfamiliar courseone that has not hosted the competition since 1951which may lead to some sleepers taking advantage of the links while a number of favorites struggle with the unknown surroundings.

                     

Tee Times

Notable Groups

2:52 a.m. ET: Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace 

4:14 a.m. ET: Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell

4:58 a.m. ET: Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott

5:09 a.m. ET: Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey

8:04 a.m. ET: Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma

9:48 a.m. ET: Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard

10:10 a.m. ET: Tiger Woods, Matt Wallace, Patrick Reed

10:21 a.m. ET: Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar

Full list of tee times can be found at PGATour.com.

                 

Odds

               

Predictions

Favorites

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has gone close to five years without winning a major, but everything appears to be lining up in his favor to win The Open Championship. 

The 30-year-old enters the tournament in solid form with two victories on the PGA Tour this season, one of which was the Players Championship. 

In total, McIlroy has 11 top-10 finishes, including a tie for eighth at the PGA Championship and tie for ninth at the U.S. Open. 

The Northern Irishman's other major result was a tie for 21st at the Masters, a tournament in which he closed with a 68. 

The four-time major champion enters the event on home soil off four rounds in the 60s at the Scottish Open. 

Although he ended up in a tie for 34th at the warm-up competition, the four scores he put up could be indicative of the numbers he produces at Royal Portrush. 

Given McIlroy's recent form and the chance to win a major in his home country, we expect him to be in contention for the Claret Jug come Sunday.

Prediction: Champion

                   

Dustin Johnson 

Dustin Johnson also comes into the British Open attempting to turn solid season-long form into the end of a major drought. 

The 2016 U.S. Open champion took second place at the PGA Championship and tied for the runner-up spot at the Masters in his last two top-10 finishes. 

Although the American's form has dipped of late, he could still be seen as a potential winner when the final round begins. 

There should also be some inner motivation driving Johnson to perform better at the British Open, which has been the worst of the four majors for him in recent years. 

In the last two years, the 35-year-old tied for 54th and missed the cut, but he does have a trio of top-10 finishes at the event. 

One of the factors going in Johnson's favor is that he has carded 11 scores under 72 at the season's first three majors. 

If he can parlay that consistency into Royal Portrush, he could challenge McIlroy and others for the top spot Sunday.

Prediction: Top 10 

                   

Sleepers

Matt Wallace

It may be hard for the third-place finisher at the PGA Championship to be considered a sleeper, but that is a tag that can still apply to Matt Wallace. 

The 29-year-old is not in the top group of favorites, and his record in majors does not impress much.

Before his two-under showing at Bethpage Black, Wallace missed the cut at four of his previous five majors. 

Because he has such a small sample size in Grand Slam success between his performance in May and a tie for 12th at the U.S. Open, the Englishman could still be considered a long shot. 

Since the U.S. Open, Wallace has competed in three events on the European Tour with mixed results. The best of those performances was a tie for third at the BMW International Open, and although he only landed 14th at the Scottish Open, he shot four rounds in the 60s. 

The results from his final tune-up in Scotland suggest he could be ready for another breakthrough on one of golf's biggest stages. 

Prediction: Top 5

                  

Andy Sullivan 

Andy Sullivan may be outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he has played well enough recently to warrant a sleeper tag for The Open Championship. 

The 33-year-old finished in the top 30 in each of his last four competitions on the European Tour. 

In the Irish Open a fortnight ago, Sullivan earned a tie for second thanks to three consecutive rounds of 66 from Friday to Sunday. 

Last week at the Scottish Open, he produced another quartet of scores in the 60s to create plenty of momentum for Royal Portrush. 

Of course, major tournaments are a completely different animal, and Sullivan has been unable to reach the top 20 in any of his previous appearances in them. 

Although his major history is not great, Sullivan could be the benefactor of solid form and might surprise some people with his showing this week.

Prediction: Top 15

                     

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from PGATour.com and EuropeanTour.com.

Related

    That Strap on Woods' Wrist? It Tracks His Every Move

    Golf logo
    Golf

    That Strap on Woods' Wrist? It Tracks His Every Move

    Golf
    via Golf

    Tiger to Face Rory in Japan Skins Game

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Tiger to Face Rory in Japan Skins Game

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report

    Woods' Son Is as Skilled a Trash-Talker as His Dad

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Woods' Son Is as Skilled a Trash-Talker as His Dad

    Golf
    via Golf

    Patrick Reed Explains 'Villain' Role

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Patrick Reed Explains 'Villain' Role

    Golf
    via Golf