McIlroy runaway takes drama out of British Open betting

Barring an unforeseen collapse by Rory McIlroy, the final round of the British Open will be his 18-hole victory lap and a bore for long-shot bettors.

McIlroy, Adam Scott and Justin Rose shared the favorite’s role at 12-1 odds going into the year’s third major. Scott and Rose are essentially out of contention, and they have plenty of company Sunday at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Through three rounds, McIlroy is 16 under par and holding a six-stroke lead. He is a 1-10 favorite to win, according to adjusted odds at the LVH sports book.

“It doesn’t look like McIlroy is letting up,” LVH golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “There’s no reason to think after the three days he has put together that he’s going to falter now.”

If McIlroy does falter, Rickie Fowler might have a shot to catch him. Fowler is in second at 15-1 odds. Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, tied for third and seven shots back, are each at 25-1. The rest of the field is at 15-1.

It appears McIlroy will win in a runaway, just as Martin Kaymer did at the U.S. Open in June by posting an eight-shot victory over Fowler.

There have been some epic collapses at the British Open. Maybe the most memorable was in 1999 by Jean van de Velde, who blew a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole and lost in a playoff.

“But you’re talking about one of the highest-quality golfers out there. McIlroy is not Jean van de Velde,” Sherman said.

Tiger Woods, who drew the most betting tickets, is 19 shots behind McIlroy.

Sherman said a win by McIlroy, who attracted strong wagering support, would make the LVH book a “small loser” on the futures board.

The only drama remaining for bettors is in player matchups. The LVH posted 10 fourth-round matchups that are open for wagering until the book closes Saturday night.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.

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