2021 British Open First Round Leader Picks & Predictions

First round leader expert Sam Eaton previews that market for the 2021 British Open
Sam Eaton
Wed, July 14, 8:34 AM EDT

British Open First Round Leader Predictions

Below are my British Open first round leader predictions. My predictions are based on stats, with a focus on shots gained approach, shots gained around the green, par 4 scoring among other key statistics.

In terms of tee time preference, I’m slightly inclined to back players teeing off in the afternoon, however, I wouldn’t get too carried away with this with the first round leader betting market in mind.

My British Open predictions are taking the best odds on OddsChecker, if you are betting in the British Open odds market you have to use OddsChecker. It’s hard enough to find a golf winner, so when you hit one, make sure you hit it with the best odds available.

Before reading Sam's picks, check out the full first round leader odds here

British Open Picks

Corey Conners +9000

For those who follow my regular PGA Tour first round leader picks on Twitter will know that Corey Conners is a usual selection for me.

Corey Conners has already two first round leader wins to his name in 2021, with two other top ten finishes after day one.

Conners form has faltered of late with back-to-back missed cuts, which probably explains why 90/1 is available in the first round leader odds market.

Conners strength is his approach, and despite dropping shots around the green, he has the ability to gain in this area, especially if we only focus on one day. I wouldn’t be backing Conners at all in the win market, but keep in mind for opening day prop markets.

Brian Harman +12000

Brian Harman isn’t my favorite golfer on the PGA Tour, however, is well worth a bet in the British Open odds market at 120/1.

Harman’s a class player around the greens, and has the ability to get the putter very very hot. Harman has two second places to his name after the first round, which includes a 2nd at the Masters.

Harman looks a huge price, and deserves his place in my Open Championship predictions market.

Keegan Bradley +11000

Like Corey Conners, Keegan Bradley normally features in my PGA Tour picks, and is also a prediction of mine in the British Open win market.

Bradley was the first round leader market in the Valspar Championship, and has four other top ten finishes after the opening day this year.

Keegan Bradley played really well at the Rocket Mortgage, he gained big in approach and around the green. Putting is always an issue for Keegan Bradley, however, he would be my bet in the lowest round market for the majority of PGA Tour events.

Matthew Fitzpatrick +4500

How could you do a British Open predictions column without having a British player picked? Matthew Fitzpatrick has had a solid season which is largely built on performance off the tee and putting.

The Englishman comes into the competition in form after finishing T2 at the Abrdn Scottish Open. He has the ability to challenge on Sunday this week.

Branden Grace +6600

Branden Grace finished T54 at the Abrdn Scottish Open last week, but before that he was 7th at the US Open, and 4th at the Memorial.

His success at the US Open and Memorial was built on his ability around the green and in approach. Grace dropped shots with the putter at the US Open, but before that he gained 1.8 shots on average in his last 10 events on the PGA Tour.

Chris Kirk +15000

I normally like to stick to five maximum picks for Majors, however, given that two of the Open Championship picks above are above 100/1, I couldn’t resist slipping another prediction in.

Chris Kirk at 150/1 is worth a bet to be the first round leader at the Open Championship, especially with sportsbooks offering each-way betting like Bet365.

Chris Kirk was last seen finished T12 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but he’s enjoying a good season. He’s found his way into my British Open picks coloumn due to his fast starts in competitions, and with the ability to go low.

Kirk’s a solid player around the green, and has been playing well in approach recently. If he can get the putter going he can score low on the opening day of the British Open.

British Open Predictions

Summary of my first round leader picks for the British Open:

Corey Conners +9000

Brian Harman +12000

Keegan Bradley +11000

Matthew Fitzpatrick +4500

Braden Grace +6600

Chris Kirk +15000

See my British Open winner predictions on my Twitter here.

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