Bookmakers have been scooping the pot against Rory McIlroy’s betting supporters for eight straight years in major tournaments, but now it might finally be payback time.
McIlroy and Viktor Hovland share the lead at 16 under par heading into Sunday morning’s final round of the British Open. McIlroy is shooting for his first major win since 2014, and Hovland is seeking his first career major win.
“Rory has to be the favorite,” DraftKings sportsbook director John Avello said. “Rory’s got the crowd behind him, and that’s almost like a home-court advantage, so that helps him a lot.”
The adjusted odds at DraftKings show McIlroy as the -125 favorite, with Hovland next at + 165. Cameron Smith (11-1), Scottie Scheffler (20-1) and Cameron Young (22-1) are the next three choices.
The winner is likely to come from the final pairing after Smith and Young each took steps back Saturday. Smith, the leader after two rounds, shot a 1-over 73 in the third round and is tied with Young, four strokes behind the co-leaders.
“I would still give Cam Smith a shot,” Avello said. “He had one bad hole, and that could happen to the top two guys (Sunday).”
Smith was red hot with the putter in the second round but made no long ones Saturday.
Hovland ranks low in the PGA Tour scrambling stats, but he’s among the top players in scrambling this week. McIlroy’s biggest advantage is length off the tee due to his ability to drive almost every green. Young’s disadvantage is his inexperience on links-style courses.
After Friday’s second round, Smith was the + 200 favorite ahead of McIlroy (+ 400), Young (+ 900) and Hovland (11-1). The odds flipped Saturday after McIlroy and Hovland each fired a 6-under 66.