Another U.S. Open is in the books and there will be plenty of time to let Brooks Koepka’s dominant showing at Erin Hills simmer. Really analyze what this first major victory means for the 27-year-old bomber who made it to the PGA Tour via the Challenge and European Tours.
Let’s forgo all that for now and turn our attention ahead to the 2017 British Open. It will be tough to top that epic Henrik Stenson-Phil Mickelson battle last year at Royal Troon, but this annual trip across the pond rarely fails to deliver the the drama.
Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 British Open coming up July 20-23.
The course: Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.
This classic course has hosted the Open nine times, most recently in 2008 when Padraig Harrington won his second straight Open championship. His daring approach on 17 which led to eagle and ultimately a four-shot victory is still fresh in our minds as the world’s best prepare to take on Royal Birkdale yet again. Featuring small fairways and sand dunes around the greens, accuracy is a must at this par-70, 7,156-yard venue. Camilo Vilegas’ 5-under 65 was the lowest score from any player in 2008.
The favorites: As of Thursday, Paddy Power lists Dustin Johnson as the heavy favorite at 7/1 odds. That’s no surprise given how dominant he’s been, and we fully expect him to stay the favorite despite a missed cut last week at Erin Hills. Here’s what the top of the board looks like:
Dustin Johnson –10/1
Jordan Spieth – 12/1
Rory McIlroy – 12/1
Sergio Garcia – 18/1
Rickie Fowler – 16/1
Jason Day – 16/1
Henrik Stenson – 18/1
Hideki Matsuyama – 18/1
Justin Rose – 20/1
Jon Rahm – 22/1
Adam Scott – 25/1
Phil Mickelson – 25/1
Trending: Koepka’s win at Erin Hills makes it seven straight first-time major winners, dating back to Jason Day’s 2015 PGA Championship win at Whistling Straights. That’s a lot of new blood in the majors club and points to the amount of depth and overall parity on Tour these days. Might we see this trend continue in England? Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler were firmly in the hunt Sunday at the U.S. Open and are maybe the best two players in the game without a major title. Fowler has been close at the British Open before, finishing T-5 in 2011 and T-2 in 2014. Matsuyama finished T-6 in 2013 but missed the cut a year ago. Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker are a few others looking to break through and add a defining victory to their resumes.