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Open Championship: What you need to know on Moving Day

Brooks Koepka is in the hunt. (Reuters)

As America awakens on Saturday morning, the Open Championship has been in full swing for several hours. Here’s what you need to know as Moving Day begins.

New odds favorites: Brooks Koepka is the expected favorite at +550 (bet $10 to make $55), but even with him is England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Close behind: Shane Lowry (+650) and Justin Rose (+750). Spain’s Jon Rahm is a 12-1 bet, while co-leader JB Holmes is even with Jordan Spieth at 14-1. All odds via Bovada.

New major champion? The four leaders at the turn — Holmes, Lowry, Fleetwood and Lee Westwood—have exactly zero majors between them, but plenty of heartbreak behind them. They’ve come very close; Holmes has finished as high as third in a major, and the other three all have second-place finishes in their history. Could this be the weekend one of them ends that drought?

Late-early draw wins: It’s always a guessing game which part of the Open Championship draw will get the good weather and which will suffer. This time around, the late Thursday-early Friday players seemed to get the benefit, taking advantage of gentle conditions Friday morning to carve up the course. As this chart notes, there was more than a three-stroke swing between draws depending on when they teed off:

All of the players atop the leaderboard were in that late-early draw, but players like Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler managed to survive the tougher draw with -3 scorecards.

Local knowledge: Tournament favorite and Northern Ireland icon Rory McIlroy missed the cut thanks to a horrid Thursday, and Portrush’s adopted hero Darren Clarke missed after a heartbreaking late stumble. But Portrush’s own Graeme McDowell is still in the hunt, and he’s hearing support from the crowd around him.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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