Normally, it is hard to find a month between June and July that lacks a weather related major event. Just this week saw the tournament start of the French Open, PGA Championship, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, BMW PGA Championship and the US Open, all simultaneously. The Open Championship is set for July 14-16 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club and was one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year, as we witnessed a career defining win by Jordan Spieth in the Masters Tournament.
When Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth shared a ride in a golf cart on Sunday, they were probably thinking about the good times that they’ve had at the Open Championship, where DeChambeau won in 2017 and Spieth captured the tournament from 2013 to 2015.
Before the 156 golfers in the field for The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s received their tee times and pairings for the first two rounds, Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth were already considered two of the favorites to win the fourth and final major championship of the year. But when groupings were released on Tuesday, their stock rose even higher as it was announced that the duo would be playing together alongside Branden Grace, who’s certainly a threat to win himself.
And just why is it such a big deal that DeChambeau and Spieth are grouped with Grace? Well, that would be because the South African has been good karma the last two times The Open has been played. Golf’s oldest major didn’t take place last year due to COVID-19, but in both 2018 and 2019, the eventual champion was paired with Grace in the first two rounds.
Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth are grouped with Branden Grace for the first two rounds of The Open Championship
Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth during the first round of the 2021 Memorial Tournament | Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
As it’s been at just about every tournament for quite some time now, a lot of people were hoping to see DeChambeau paired with Brooks Koepka for the first two rounds of The Open Championship. But once again, those fans were disappointed as Koepka, whose best finish at The Open was a tie for fourth in 2019 at Royal Portrush, will tee it up alongside Jason Kokrak and South African Garrick Higgo.
As obviously mentioned, DeChambeau is part of one of the most high-profile groups of the first two days as he’ll play alongside Speith, who won this tournament in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, and Grace, whose best finish at The Open was a tie for sixth that same year. That was also the year in which Grace became the only player in history to shoot a 62 in a major championship.
The trio of DeChambeau, Spieth, and Grace will tee off at 4:25 a.m. Eastern on Thursday and 9:26 a.m. Eastern on Friday.
Grace played with the eventual winner of The Open Championship in his first two rounds in 2018 and 2019
In 2018 at Carnoustie, Grace played his first two rounds with Justin Thomas and Francesco Molinari, the latter of whom shot 8-under for the week to become the first Italian-born player to win a major championship. Spieth failed to defend his title that week but still finished in a tie for ninth, while DeChambeau tied for 51st. Thomas and Grace each failed to make the cut, both shooting 146 to miss out on the weekend by a stroke.
In 2019 at Royal Portrush, Grace played his first two rounds with Phil Mickelson and Shane Lowry, the latter of whom dusted the field on the way to a six-stroke victory, shooting 15-under for the week. Grace finished tied for 51st while Lefty missed the cut (as did Bryson) after rounds of 76 and 74. Spieth tied for 20th.
So the trend we’re seeing here is that of the two players who are paired with Grace for the first two rounds of The Open Championship, one is going to win while the other misses the cut. So which is going to do what?
DeChambeau, Spieth, and Grace have all played solid golf in 2021 and each has recorded a victory.
Grace was actually the first to do so, winning the Puerto Rico Open in late February by a stroke over Jhonnatan Vegas. More recently, he tied for fourth at the Memorial and followed it up with a T-7 at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
A week after Grace’s victory in Puerto Rico, DeChambeau notched his first and only victory of the year (not counting his win with Aaron Rodgers at “The Match”) at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, shooting 11-under for a one-stroke win over Lee Westwood, who’s looking to avoid the wrong kind of history at The Open Championship this week. Bryson hasn’t finished higher than 19th in his last six events and missed the cut in his most recent start at the Travelers Championship.
As for Spieth, he shot 18-under at the Valero Texas Open to pick up his first victory since winning The Open Championship in 2017.
According to FanDuel, Spieth has the best odds of the three to win The Open this year and is currently listed at +1800 to win. DeChambeau is going off at +3500 while Grace is listed at +5000.
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