What the Bookies Say About Golf Majors in 2019
December 03, 2018
We are not quite finished with 2018 from a golfing perspective just yet, but it does feel like there has been a bit of wind-down post Ryder Cup. Of course, unlike most sports, it's difficult to point to a ‘golf season' and where it starts and finishes , as more and more tournaments clutter the calendar and straddle one year into another.
Indeed, scattered participation from the top golfers in events like the World Cup of Golf (22 nd -25 th ) would suggest a lack of interest in the coming weeks, yet there is plenty of prize-money up for grabs, enough to give a smattering of star power to events in November and December.
Regardless, plenty of fans and players will be thinking ahead to next year and the Majors, so it is interesting to see how the bookmakers think things will go. Do they, for example, foresee the continued renaissance of Tiger Woods? A more consistent Rory McIlroy? More Major glory for Brooks Koepka?
Woods and Spieth joint-favourites for Masters
Looking at the latest golf betting from 888sport , we can essentially say yes to all the above. Starting with the Masters, Woods has been installed as the 8/1 favourite alongside Jordan Spieth. That's quite the vote of confidence in a man currently ranked outside the top 10 in the world. McIlroy comes in as third-favourite at 10/1, while newly-minted world number one, Brooks Koepka, is priced at 12/1.
Incredibly, Woods is right out on his own for the US Open, again at 8/1, whereas Spieth is given a temping price of 14/1. The tournament has come in for criticism in recent years, with some suggestion the USGA is trying to embarrass players by making the course too difficult. Will lessons be heeded? Perhaps not; The US Open was last held in Pebble Beach in 2010, when Graeme McDowell won with an even par score. Although, Woods did win by 12 strokes there when winning his first US Open in 2000.
Home comforts for McIlroy at the Open
The Open, which will be held in Portrush, Co Antrim , as close to home as Rory McIlroy is ever likely to get in a golf Major, sees the Northern Irishman at 12/1, with Woods again as 8/1 favourite. Make no mistake about it: having a golf Major in Northern Ireland is a big deal for the local people, and McIlroy will be acutely aware of that fact. He will want to win this more than anything else, and he will have plenty of support in front of a passionate home crowd.
A similar pattern emerges for the 2019 PGA Championship, which is now the second Major of the year after being moved to a slot in May. It will be held at the Bethpage Black Course, New York, from 16 th – 19 th May. Woods, the 8/1 favourite with 888sport, won the US Open there in 2002 . However, the value bet could well be the 16/1 offered for Spieth. Incidentally, the Bethpage Black Course is also the venue for the 2024 Ryder Cup.
So, there you have it, a rosy picture for golf's two most marketable stars, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, in 2019. It's interesting as neither has been consistent over the last few years, yet it wouldn't be surprising to see either dominate the sport in 2019.