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British Open Odds 2012: Best Bets Among Field

James PearsonCorrespondent IJune 12, 2016

British Open Odds 2012: Best Bets Among Field

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    The 2012 British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes features a unique course as it is very short and narrow and filled with a lot of bunkers.

    205 bunkers to be exact.

    While the weather is sure to be a factor this week, it will be accuracy (avoiding the canyon-deep bunkers) and strategy (essentially figuring out how to avoid hitting into the canyon-deep bunkers) that will be the two most important traits to win the Claret Jug.

    Experienced and tested golfers should prevail in a wide-open field and here are five golfers who will give you the most “bang for your buck” this week.

1. Lee Westwood: 15/1

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    Not the best value in the field, but if you feel like it’s his time (like I do), then take whatever odds you can get.

    Always a factor in seemingly every major championship, Royal Lytham sets up well for Westwood. This is a terrific spot for him, as it favors accuracy, to finally get that major championship monkey off his back.

    Westwood is as good of a ball striker as anyone on tour, but he doesn’t seem to get any breaks (see 2012 US Open: lost ball in the tree) or have any big putts drop (see any putt on the back nine of any major championship).

    He does seem to struggle with quicker greens, and as a “defensive” putter, Royal Lytham should serve him well as the greens should not be as quick as they can be across the pond.

    His accuracy and the fact that he shows up at every major championship (unlike Luke Donald) makes him my top pick to come away with the victory. If he can get some putts to drop, the 15/1 odds will be a nice payoff.

2. Padraig Harrington: 20/1

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    Padraig Harrington, with his recent showings and by being a two-time winner of this event, could easily be looked at as the favorite here.

    So the 20/1 odds (which should go down) are a pretty good value.

    Actually, when you consider that Tiger Woods is at 4/1, getting a golfer who should be a top favorite at 20/1 is outstanding.

    After three uninspiring years since winning the 2009 PGA championship, Harrington has come back to form in 2012, finishing in the top ten in both majors this year. There are no signs that he will slow down, and it appears he has his game focused on winning major championships and Royal Lytham should be no different.

    He is playing excellent golf and with his name already etched twice on the Claret Jug thus far, he knows exactly what he needs to do to put his name on there for the third time.

3. Ernie Els: 40/1

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    It’s been exactly ten years since Els last won the Open Championship.

    Ten years later he has as good a chance as any to win it for the second time.

    Coming off an impressive appearance at the U.S Open, Els is playing really good golf lately. As the “Big Easy” says, it’s because he is more relaxed and refreshed.

    Who knew the Big Easy could get even more relaxed?

    His play has certainly proved he is at ease with his game, and with 12 career top ten finishes in the Open his comfort level at Royal Lytham will give him an edge over every golfer in the field.

    It seems like a good bet that Els’s name will be amongst the leaderboard on Sunday and at 40/1 would provide a great payoff.

4. Jim Furyk: 50/1

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    Remember when Rory McIlroy had the 2011 Masters lead, duck-hooked his tee shot on the tenth hole and fell completely apart?

    We all thought that it could take years for him to recover, yet he came back to dominate the field in the next major, the U.S. Open at Congressional. 

    Jim Furyk is in the exact same position. 

    After what had to be the worst shot of his career on the 70th hole at the Olympic Club, Furyk fell apart and essentially gave away the U.S. Open.

    Now Furyk has the chance to erase that from his mind and capture his first Open Championship.

    Coming off a top four finish in last year’s Open, Furyk has the make-up to play mistake-free golf like he did for the first 69 holes at the U.S. Open, which is exactly what the winner will need to do at Royal Lytham.

    At 50/1 it is a great bet that Furyk, playing with that chip on his shoulder, will come away with the victory. 

5. Justin Leonard: 250/1

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    We have two favorites and two mild underdogs, now how about a long shot.

    Seemingly every year there is someone who comes out of nowhere to contend for the Open. Just look back to last year where Darren Clarke shocked everyone to win it. Just two years before that, Tom Watson put a smile on every elderly country club member when he came within a ten-foot putt from winning the Open.

    Looking at the field, who better to throw $10 on than a former champion who always seems to play well in the Open and whose game fits very well with lynx style golf?

    Especially when is he is a 250-1 shot.

    Justin Leonard would provide for a huge payout and is worth a shot here. He wouldn’t be the worst bet in the world either…remember John Daly is exempt to play. 

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