Best 3-ball bets for Thursday at the British Open: Jon Rahm and Sam Burns can roll early

Jon Rahm tees off on the second hole during the Final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club.
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The PGA Championship used to be glory’s last shot, but ever since the golf calendar was reshuffled a few years ago that distinction now belongs to the British Open. The only European major now follows the Masters, the PGA and the U.S. Open on the annual schedule. The pressure is on because even though the FedEx Cup Playoffs are coming soon, golfers won’t get to tee it up at another major until the Masters next April.

Although the Claret Jug can’t be won on Thursday, it can be lost. With the festivities getting started early on Thursday, it’s time to take a look at some of the best 3-ball bets for the opening round.

Jon Rahm (+135) over Jordan Spieth and Harold Varner

Jon Rahm, who is the 4th favorite to win at St Andrews, has placed T11 and T3 in his last two British Open appearances. The Spaniard has made 13 cuts in a row, too, so he is basically immune to slow starts. Rahm’s two most recent opening scores are 69 (U.S. Open) and 68 (Scottish Open last week). Jordan Spieth is certainly back to being relevant and contending again, but by no means is this the Spieth that was on display in 2015 and 2016. Three of his last 4 opening rounds have been in the 70s and his 3 first-round scores at majors in 2022 are 74, 72 and 72. Harold Varner is often an ace at smaller PGA events in the United States, but he has never been a factor anywhere else and has never thrived on the big stage.

Sam Burns (+190) over Patrick Cantlay and Mito Pereira

Sam Burns is a considerable underdog against Patrick Cantlay and not too far ahead of Mito Pereira on the odds list for this group, giving him solid value at +190. The American’s most recent major finishes are T20 (PGA Championship) and T27 (U.S. Open). He has gone 6 consecutive tournaments without carding worse than 71 on a Thursday.

Cantlay has not broken 70 in the first round of a major since the 2019 PGA Championship. Not once in his majors career has he been in the 60s on Thursday anywhere outside of the PGA. Unsurprisingly, Pereira has been unable to recover from his final-hole collapse at the PGA Championship in May. The Chilean has missed 3 straight cuts and his last round was an 81 on Friday at the Scottish Open. Confidence is low, to put it mildly.

Want more golf picks and predictions for the 2022 British Open? Check out all our expert previews below:

The Pickswise golf handicappers are on hand with expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions as well as tournament previews and analysis throughout the PGA Tour, including all of the majors. We will also have our 2022 British Open 3-ball picks and our best golf prop bets for each round of the 2022 British Open.

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