By Flint Wheeler
Predicting the Open Championship can be a tough task given all the constant weather changes on the links venues, but the odds makers have put Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy as the favorite early in the week at Royal Liverpool.
The 2014 season’s third major is upon us, and a loaded field will head to Royal Liverpool for 143rd edition of the British Open Championship. For many casual fans, however, it’s the first major of the year because it’s the first time Tiger Woods will be teeing it up with a chance to cut into that gap between his 14 and Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors championships. Woods is almost always the favorite in any event he plays, regardless of health, recent form, venue, or the rest of the field.This is the first time in my golfing life that Tiger, while in the field of a major, is not favored to win the event.
Rory McIlroy has the lead on the field – including Tiger Woods – on the odds to win the 2014 British Open with that major tournament set to get underway at Royal Liverpool on Thursday morning.
Heading into the week McIlroy is listed as the 10/1 favorite on the 2014 British Open odds at Bovada, followed by Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, and Martin Kaymer at 14/1, and both Woods and Justin Rose at 16/1. Woods will be playing in just his second tournament since returning from injury this summer; he missed the cut at his first event.
Phil Mickelson paid off on the British Open odds at Muirfield last year, and he’s sitting at 20/1 at Bovada on the tournament betting lines heading into this week, with Graeme McDowell at 22/1, and all of Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood, and Sergio Garcia at 25/1. Ernie Els, who won the British Open for the second time at Royal Lytham in 2012, is farther back at 40/1 odds.
Holding down odds of 33/1 are Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, and Matt Kuchar, while Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen are set at 40/1 odds at Bovada. Oosthuizen was the British Open winner at St Andrews back in 2010.
All four majors have their identity and quirks, but the Open Championship is way out there on its own. The links-style venues and weather conditions make the tournament so unpredictable in so many years. The last time this major was held at Hoylake, Tiger Woods won it and didn’t hit a driver all week. That club has historically gotten him into trouble, and he’ll probably attempt the same general game plan this year. But depending on the wind, everything can change from hour-to-hour at the Open and often your chances are simply a luck of the draw, which side of the tee sheet — morning or afternoon — you land on through the first two days.
Bold Predictions –
Who Misses the cut – Tiger and Phil
Who lifts the Claret jug – Martin Kaymer or Adam Scott