2021 British Open Final Round Best Bets: 3 Sunday Bets, Including Collin Morikawa To Win
David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
The third round of the 149th Open Championship produced scores that were more in the realm of what we have traditionally come to expect at this event. It wasn’t really due to the weather conditions, though, as the R&A decided to take things into their own hands with what 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen called “questionable” pin positions.
Overall, the 78 players who made it to the weekend at Royal St. George’s played the course at 0.84 strokes over par on average, which was bookended by a low of 65 by Robert MacIntyre and high of 78 by Kevin Kisner.
The leaders were still able to score as the final two pairings combined for 4-under par on Moving Day, with Collin Morikawa posting the best round of the four at 2-under, which cut a stroke off his deficit into Sunday.
Oosthuizen and Morikawa will tee off together again in the final round as the last pairing with just one shot separating them. Jordan Spieth will again play in the penultimate pairing, this time with Canadian Corey Conners, who posted a 4-under 66 on Saturday. Spieth and Conners will start the final round at 9-under and 8-under, after the American gave away a stroke on his final hole by missing a short par putt to close the day.
Despite all of the big names lingering in contention after the first two rounds, only Jon Rahm was able to maintain his position in the top 10. He will start his Sunday five shots back of Oosthuizen’s lead, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were a couple of notable names that posted scores multiple shots over par on Saturday, effectively ending their chances of winning the year’s final major.
There are five players within four shots of Louis’ lead, with Rahm in shouting distance going into the final round. We should have plenty of excitement throughout the round on Sunday, especially as the course continues to dry out. I’ll take a few shots to close the week on a high note at Royal St. George’s.
Collin Morikawa to Win +200 (PointsBet)
My pick to win the Open Championship entering the final round is Morikawa.
He could have faded away after bogeying two of his first five holes on Saturday but as he mentioned after the round, he hit good shots but got a bit unlucky. Instead, he bounced back with birdies in two of his next three holes to get back to even par on the round. The 2020 PGA Championship winner added back to back birdies at 13 and 14 and went bogey free the rest of the round to climb within one shot of Oosthuizen on Sunday.
Morikawa, even in his youth, seemed to be the steadiest player of the contenders through all 18 holes. He never seemed loose in his swing or like he had issues on and around the greens like Oosthuizen and Spieth did on Saturday.
Many will have concerns around Morikawa’s putting entering Sunday but as he has shown early in his career, when he is on, he tends to stay hot. He ranks in a tie for fifth this week in putts per green, and there is little reason to think that changes in the final round.
My head says he’s the pick to win, though my wallet would prefer Spieth finds a way.
Shane Lowry Top 10 +220 (DraftKings)
There is no question what my favorite bet is going into the final round, and it’s for a top-10 out of the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year (two years in this case), Shane Lowry. He started poorly on Thursday at this event but has played some of the best golf in the field since his bogey-bogey start.
The Irishman has been 6-under par in the last two rounds since his 1-over start to the tournament. He posted a 1-under round on Saturday and mentioned in his post-round press conference that it really should have been a few shots better. Lowry spoke about missing several putts within 4-5 feet in the third round, but he bounced back with the flat stick down the stretch.
I expect he will use that momentum to carry him to a better score in the final round on Sunday, and close with another top-10 at the Open.
Cameron Smith Top 5 +400 (BetMGM)
The final play of the week for me is with Cameron Smith to finish in the top 5. He was another player that had to grind his way through the opening round, but has since put things together with his game.
Smith has managed to post scores in the 60s in each of his first three rounds, but he has done it with birdies to offset a number of bogeys on each day. He felt like he got unlucky on Saturday, causing some dropped shots when it was as he described, his best ball striking day so far.
I’ll look for him to take that momentum into Sunday, and hope he can find a way to slip into the Top 5 at decent odds. As I have noted in this column before, BetMGM is a great place for this type of bet, as they pay all ties in full for these wagers.