By Flint Wheeler
With Rory McIlroy out with an ankle injury, Jordan Spieth sits alone as the clear favorite to win the British Open, according to odds posted at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. At odds of 5-to-1 as of Monday, Spieth is the only player priced in the single digits.
Spieth, of course, has already claimed the first two majors of the season — the Masters and U.S. Open. A prop at the Westgate lists him at 9-to-4 odds to win exactly one more major this year, and 20-to-1 to complete the true Grand Slam by finishing first at the Open and PGA Championships.
Spieth is followed on the British Open oddsboard by Dustin Johnson at 12-to-1, then Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler — fresh off a Scottish Open victory — each at 15-to-1.
Among our other favorite golfers to keep our eyes on, Tiger Woods begins the week at 25-to-1 to break his majors slump, and Phil Mickelson is 30-to-1.
The British Open tees off Thursday at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
Notable Odds to win 2015 British Open:
JORDAN SPIETH 5/1
DUSTIN JOHNSON 12/1
JUSTIN ROSE 15/1
RICKIE FOWLER 15/1
ADAM SCOTT 20/1
HENRIK STENSON 20/1
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN 20/1
JASON DAY 25/1
TIGER WOODS 25/1
SERGIO GARCIA 30/1
PHIL MICKELSON 30/1
BUBBA WATSON 30/1
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA 30/1
MARTIN KAYMER 40/1
PAUL CASEY 40/1
MATT KUCHAR 40/1
In other news – New S.E.C. Commissioner has high hopes, lack of perspective; Greg Sankey laid out broad goals for the Southeastern Conference to win every championship and graduate every athlete in his first Media Days address as commissioner, but said the league would not accept “even one step back” in its improved record of NCAA rules compliance over the last several years.
“Our goal is to never return a championship, never pull down a championship banner, never vacate any wins, never have any team banned from postseason play due to NCAA infractions,” Sankey said.
In an aspirational speech that mostly avoided specifics about policy issues surrounding college sports, Sankey said the league would establish a pair of working groups to look at “conduct expectations” for athletes and the environment around NCAA rules compliance and enforcement. “We have an opportunity to lead national policy,” Sankey said.
This spring the SEC enacted a rule banning its schools from accepting transfers who were dismissed from a previous school due to an issue involving domestic abuse or sexual violence. The working group will take a broader look at behavior, Sankey said, encompassing “student-athlete conduct issues and policies, campus policies, national requirements … we’ll do great work to ensure we’re in the right place from the standpoint of oversight and policy.”
Sankey also made a pair of comments that could be interpreted as shots at initiatives undertaken by other conferences. Rather than focus on freshman ineligibility — a pet project of Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany — Sankey said the focus should be on developing a “college-going culture” that emphasizes academic progress in high school.
The SEC is adding a position — director of student-athlete engagement — to focus on those issues.