British Open Golf 2019: Rory McIlroy heads into the 2019 British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland as the favourite to lift the Claret Jug for the second time in his career.
The Northern Irishman holds the course record, having shot a 61 as a 16-year-old, and expectations are high that he can thrive on home soil and end his five-year wait for the fifth major of his career.
Darren Clarke will get the 148th Open Championship under way at 6:35 a.m. BST/1:35 a.m ET on Thursday. The 2011 champion said it will be a “huge honour” to take the first tee shot, per BBC Sport.
Live Stream and TV Schedule
In the United Kingdom viewers can watch the action on all four days on Sky Golf and Sky Sports Main Event, while a live stream is available on Sky Go. The coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. BST on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. BST on Saturday and 8 a.m. BST on Sunday.
Here is a look at the TV schedule for viewers in the U.S. (all times ET):
Thursday, July 18
Golf Channel: 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, July 19
Golf Channel: 1:30 a.m.to 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 20
Golf Channel: 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.
NBC: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 21
Golf Channel 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.
NBC: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
British Open Odds (courtesy of Oddschecker)
Rory McIlroy: 9-1
Brooks Koepka: 10-1
Dustin Johnson: 16-1
Jon Rahm: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 20-1
Justin Rose: 20-1
Francesco Molinari: 25-1
All eyes will be on McIlroy at Royal Portrush, and the 30-year-old has spoken about how special it will be to play his first major tournament in Northern Ireland, per Iain Carter at BBC Sport.
“I never thought I would be able to play an Open Championship at home. It’s been 68 years since Portrush hosted the Open,” he said. “I’m treating it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m going to try to make the most of it.”
McIlroy has been in good form in 2019, winning the Players Championship in March and the Canadian Open in June. He has also come up with 11 top-10 finishes in 14 starts on the PGA Tour.
However, the Italian is seen as an outsider to retain his title and is behind big names such as Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose in the betting.
The Open Championship promises to be another thrilling weekend of action on the golf calender, but Koepka’s recent record at major tournaments makes it hard to look past him denying McIlroy a fairy-tale win in Northern Ireland.