Round 1 of the 2012 British Open is in the books, and history has already come under fire at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
Current leader Adam Scott sits atop the leader board after tying Royal Lytham’s course record with an opening round score of 64.
However, according to The Live Report on pga.com, only five players who led the British Open after Round 1 have actually gone on to win the event since 1975.
But while history may not be on Scott’s side as the Open Championship continues, a number of other golfers have set themselves up for a run at the Claret Jug.
Here are five of the easiest picks you can count on as the British Open continues.
Major No. 15 remains in sight following Woods’ opening round score of 67.
With three wins in PGA Tour events this season, Woods began this year’s British Open with the best odds of winning the event. Of course, 14 career major titles, including three at the British Open, didn’t hurt his chances either.
Woods took advantage of the front nine during Round 1 at Royal Lytham, collecting three birdies, including one on the opening par-3.
A bogey on the par-4 15th hole led to Woods having a 37 on the back nine, and a score of -3 for the round.
If you needed even more reason to choose Woods as your winner of the Open Championship, his opening round score should do the trick.
If his success with his driving accuracy from Round 1 continues, Woods will remain as one of the easiest picks you can count on at Royal Lytham.
Els’ success at Royal Lytham has a chance to continue following an opening round score of 67.
At the past two British Opens held at Royal Lytham, Els registered top-5 finishes.
In 1996, Els finished tied for second after shooting an opening round 68, and in 2001 finished tied for third despite not shooting a 67 until the third round.
Els entered the British Open following a ninth place finish at the U.S. Open, and four top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events this season.
The 2002 British Open winner also had six birdies and three bogeys in his opening round this year.
A past Open title, success at a major already this season and a spot near the top of the leaderboard after Round 1 make Els one of the easiest picks you can count on as the Open Championship continues.
Things weren’t pretty for McDowell in majors following his 2010 U.S. Open title as he went on to miss cuts at four of the next six majors.
However, this season McDowell has finished tied for 12th at the Masters and tied for second at the U.S. Open.
And a three-under 67 means that McDowell’s recent success at majors may be continuing at Royal Lytham.
Despite missing cuts at two of the past three PGA Tour events he’s entered this season, McDowell still has three top-10 finishes. He also has one of the best driving accuracy percentages on tour at 70.98.
McDowell enters the British Open after finishing tied for 16th at the Irish Open.
McDowell’s opening round, which featured a score of 31 on the front nine, cemented his status as one of the easiest picks you can count on, especially if the weather takes a turn.
The John Deere Classic winner continued his success in Round 1 of the British Open, shooting a 65 and finishing the round tied for second in the event.
With three birdies on the front nine and four on the back, the 2007 Masters winner may be on the verge of improving his luck at the Open Championship.
So far this season, Johnson has recorded two wins and five top-10 finishes while missing one cut in 17 PGA Tour events.
The tour leader in strokes gained putting had just two bogeys in his opening round at Royal Lytham, while his birdie total of seven was the second highest in the round.
Johnson’s score of 65 was his lowest score in any round at the British Open in his career.
Although he may not have been cemented as a pick you can count on prior to Round 1 of the Open Championship, his opening round score combined with his John Deere Classic victory makes Johnson one of the golfers you can now count on as the tournament continues.
Stricker’s results in majors this season didn’t provide much of a guarantee that he’s one you can count on as the British Open began.
However, his tie for fifth at the John Deere Classic, as well as his five top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events this season put him in the running.
And now, following an opening round score of 67, Stricker has officially added his name to the list of golfers you can count on as the British Open continues.
Despite never having won a major, Stricker still has a tie for eighth in the 2007 British Open on his resume.
With just one bogey on the front nine and an eagle on the 13th hole, Stricker sits near the top of the leader board after one day of action.
If his driving accuracy can improve, Stricker has a chance to take his first major title at Royal Lytham. Even if he doesn’t, he will still be a pick you can count on to remain in contention as the tournament continues.