The British Open tees off for the 142nd time on July 18 with this year’s event taking place at Muirfield in Scotland. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that the number-one ranked golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, is the betting favourite for the tournament. Let’s take a look at Woods and some of the other top contenders for the Open title.
Odds are taken from PaddyPower.com.
Tiger Woods 9/1
Woods has won seven tournaments over the past two years, but hasn’t won a major in five years and 20 attempts. He’s stuck at 14 major wins as he tried to catch and surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods is always the major story at every tournament he participates in and it’s the same this time around for the 37-year-old. However, he’s certainly not in top form right now. Woods hasn’t played since the U.S. Open and he wasn’t at his best at the Masters either. He is suffering from a strain in his left elbow and that has kept him on the sidelines. He badly wants to prove he still has what it takes to win a major and he’s a three-time winner of the British Open. However, he also had his worst round ever, an 81 at the Open back in 20012 and finished in a tie for 28th place.
Phil Mickelson 18/1
The 43-year-old year-old Mickelson of America is ranked number eight in the world at the moment and has won four major tournaments during his career. He shot 74 in the last round at the U.S. Open, but bounced back to win the Scottish Open. He should have some momentum going into the British open and he’ll certainly give it usual his all-or-nothing effort at Muirfield.
Graeme McDowell 25/1
The 33-year-old McDowell from Northern Ireland is currently ranked number six in the world by World Golf Ranking and has won a major just once, which was the U.S. Open back in 2010. He’s in good form and recently took the French Open crown. He’s won three tournaments in total so far in 2013 with two of them coming in Europe. When he’s at his best he’s usually a winner or among the leaders, but he’s also missed the cut a total of five times so far in 2013. He struggles with inconsistency and a bad hole or two can often result in him losing concentration for the rest of the game.
Rory McIlroy 28/1
The 24-year-old year-old Northern Irishman is the second ranked golfer on the globe heading into the British Open. He’s won a pair of major tournaments so far in his career. He was the world’s top-ranked golfer at one point last year, but has struggled since then. His problem basically is playing consistent golf over the four rounds of majors. He’s won a major in each of the last two years and could become an elite player if he can pull it off three years in a row by taking the tournament at Muirfield. That feat has been achieved just a few times over the past 50 years by greats such as Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Jason Day 33/1
The 25-year-old Day of Australia is currently ranked number 18 in the world, but has yet to win a major tournament. He was a contender this year at the U.S. Open and the Masters as he came in a second-place tie at the U.S. Open and placed third at the Masters. But overall, he’s won just once in the past half dozen years on the PGA Tour. He’s come close a few times, but needs to focus a little harder to get his first major victory.