Examining potential Dark Horses who could hoist the famed Claret Jug at the 151st Open Championship.
Royal Liverpool is prepped and ready to host the year’s final major championship in less than 48 hours now. The iconic venue where Rory McIlroy last won his first and only Open to date, has hosted the historic championship on multiple occasions and it will welcome the elite of the elite for the third time since 2006 this week.
Rory McIlroy will look to put the heartbreak of last year’s Open at St. Andrews behind him, where he came so incredibly close to ending a nearly decade-long wait in majors. The four-time major champion won the last Open Championship at Royal Liverpool back in 2014 and he is a heavy favorite to repeat the feat this time around.
The game’s ‘big three’ of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm head into the final major of 2023 as deserved favorites.
World number one, Scheffler, who won THE PLAYERS Championship in March, has continued his torrid run of incredible form all year long. It’s almost hard to fathom the run the world’s best player has put together without winning in recent months, dating back to the RBC Heritage in April, Scheffler has accumulated seven top 5 finishes in his last seven starts; five of which were top 3 finishes.
Rory McIlroy, who reclaimed the world number two ranking following his win in Scotland last week at the Genesis Scottish Open, has now put together six consecutive top 10 finishes or better dating back to the PGA Championship in May.
Incredibly, Jon Rahm comes into the 2023 Open Championship off of his first missed cut since 2021. The Spaniard slipped down to number three in the world following McIlroy’s win, but he arguably remains the clear front-runner for player of the year honors following an eye-opening four wins in 2023; one of which was his triumph at Augusta in April.
With defending Open winner, Cameron Smith, and 2023 PGA Champion, Brooks Koepka, not even amongst the top three favorites heading into the year’s final major, potential dark horse winners certainly have their work cut out for them.
While the task at hand may seem daunting for any surprise winner, it’s certainly not impossible. Just last month at the 123rd U.S. Open, Wyndham Clark defied the odds on his route to glory. 2019 Open Championship winner, Shane Lowry, also defied pre-tournament logic when he emerged victorious at Royal Portrush.
Improbable? Sure. But not impossible. With that being said, here are some potential dark horses who could spring a shock at the 151st Open.
Note: All listed odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. For more betting content and picks for all sports, be sure to check out Betsided.
2023 Open Championship Favorites
- Scottie Scheffler (+700)
- Rory McIlroy (+800)
- Jon Rahm (+1300)
- Brooks Koepka (+1800)
- Patrick Cantlay (+2000)
- Cameron Smith (+2000)
- Xander Schauffele (+2200)
- Viktor Hovland (+2200)
- Tyrrell Hatton (+2500)
- Tommy Fleetwood (+2500)
- Rickie Fowler (+2500)
5. Henrik Stenson (+25000)
Henrik Stenson is a real dark horse heading into the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, and he may be coming in with a point to prove as well. The 2016 Open Champion has been outspoken about LIV competitors continually remaining competitive despite their decision to leave the PGA Tour.
The feeling that he and his fellow LIV Tour colleagues may still be being overlooked on the major stage could leave the Swede with a point to prove ahead of a Ryder Cup in September in which he was supposed to captain Team Europe.
Stenson has missed the cut in each of his last two Open Championship starts, prior to that, his worst finish in the historic championship was a T35 in 2018. Since winning the 145th Open at Royal Troon, Stenson had finishes of 11th, 35th, and 20th prior to missing the cut in 2021.
Henrik heads into this year’s Open Championship at extremely long odds and has played pretty well in recent starts. In his last three starts on the LIV Tour, Stenson has finishes of 9th, 35th, and 5th. He is a massive longshot who could be worth taking a flier on; on the off chance he does rekindle some magic this week.