Royal Portrush hasn’t hosted the British Open since 1951, but the 2019 Open Championship will take place at the esteemed venue in Northern Ireland beginning on Thursday. With the new PGA Tour schedule, it’s the final major of the season and 156 players hungry for a title will invade the North Atlantic coast in hopes of hoisting the Claret Jug. Rory McIlroy has had a successful year already, with wins at the Players Championship and RBC Canadian Open. Now, he’s the 8-1 favorite in the latest 2019 Open Championship odds to win it all. However, he’s not the only hot player in a deep and talented 2019 Open Championship field, as Brooks Koepka has won four majors since the start of the 2017 season and is listed at 10-1, while defending champion Francesco Molinari is at 20-1 Open Championship odds 2019. Before you make your 2019 Open Championship picks, listen to the predictions from PGA Tour insider Sal Johnson.

A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is red-hot this year. He featured Woods in his best bets for the Masters, and Woods walked away with his fifth green jacket. Then, Johnson promoted Koepka in his PGA Championship best bets, and Koepka made a mockery of that major, building a seven-shot lead entering the weekend and cruising to victory.

Last month at the Travelers Championship, Johnson promoted 50-1 long shot Chez Reavie as a potential winner, citing Reavie’s momentum following his third place finish at the U.S. Open and noting how his game (second in fairway accuracy, eighth in proximity to hole) suited TPC River Highlands perfectly. The result: Reavie cruised to a four-stroke victory, finishing 17-under for his first PGA title in 11 years. 

And Johnson knows Royal Portrush like the back of his hand, having covered more than a dozen tournaments there over his storied career.

Now, Johnson — the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer and the founder of the world’s biggest golf stats database — has issued his highly confident Open Championship picks 2019. He made those picks, which he’s sharing at SportsLine, based on his revealing breakdown of Royal Portrush.

“Seven or eight holes will be perfect for bombers, while the rest of the course will appeal to the shotmaker,” Johnson told SportsLine.

We can tell you Johnson wants no part of Koepka, who’s tied for the second-lowest Open Championship 2019 odds at 10-1. “Portrush will be too tight for him,” Johnson said. “And despite saying he gets prepared better for majors, he may be out of energy after winning the PGA Championship and finishing as the runner-up at the Masters and U.S. Open.”

Johnson has a strong read on Woods, who has had an up-and-down season since winning the Masters. Woods has only played three tournaments since capturing the green jacket, missing the cut at the PGA Championship, finishing ninth at the Memorial and taking 21st at the U.S. Open. He has three career Open Championship wins, but his back is a major question mark with temperatures expected to hover in the 50s and 60s at Royal Portrush.

Johnson also has locked in the fate of Jon Rahm, a 24-year-old Spaniard who has an Official World Golf Ranking of No. 8. Rahm already has eight worldwide wins and been remarkably consistent this season, with nine top-10 finishes in 15 PGA Tour-sanctioned starts. Rahm is coming off a win at the Irish Open last week and has plenty of momentum. However, he hasn’t finished better than 44th in three tries at the Open Championship. He’ll need to get off to a strong start at Royal Portrush to put himself in position to grind with poor weather possible.

Instead, Johnson is high on an astronomical long shot who thrives on links courses, has a top-five Open Championship finish to his credit, and boasts a strong track record at Royal Portrush. “I strongly feel that he not only will contend but can win,” Johnson said. Anyone who backs this underdog could hit it big.

Who wins the 2019 British Open? Where do Woods and Rahm finish? And which massive long shot stuns the golf world? Check out the latest 2019 British Open odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s full leaderboard and picks, all from the golf insider who nailed the Masters and PGA Championship this year.

Rory McIlroy 8-1
Dustin Johnson 10-1
Brooks Koepka 10-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Tiger Woods 18-1
Justin Rose 20-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Francesco Molinari 20-1
Rickie Fowler 25-1
Patrick Cantlay 25-1
Tommy Fleetwood 25-1
Justin Thomas 30-1
Adam Scott 30-1
Louis Oosthuizen 30-1
Henrik Stenson 30-1
Matt Kuchar 30-1
Bryson DeChambeau 40-1
Hideki Matsuyama 40-1
Jason Day 40-1
Paul Casey 50-1
Graeme McDowell 50-1
Matt Wallace 50-1
Tony Finau 60-1
Gary Woodland 60-1
Marc Leishman 60-1
Shane Lowry 80-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 80-1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 80-1
Sergio Garcia 80-1
Patrick Reed 80-1
Phil Mickelson 100-1
Ian Poulter 100-1
Eddie Pepperell 100-1
Tyrrell Hatton 100-1
Webb Simpson 100-1