The best in golf will soon take the course at Muirfield in Scotland with the hopes of capturing the claret jug at the Open Championship.
Ernie Els won the major tournament last year, his second crown at the Open Championship. There, Els shot seven under at Royal Lytham & St. Annes to claim the Claret Jug. The South African recently returned the trophy, according to the official Twitter account of the tournament, but can he win it back?
The other golfers will try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Tiger Woods will be looking to win his 15th major tournament and currently has the best odds of anyone else in the field. Phil Mickelson will look to make it back-to-back weeks atop the leaderboard, and Adam Scott will look to forget all about 2012.
So, what is Vegas saying about the top players' chances of winning the Claret Jug come Sunday afternoon? Here are the latest odds for each top player, including in-depth analysis on the best golfers in the world and their odds of finishing first.
Complete Open Championship Odds
*All odds are courtesy of Bovada and are up to date as of Monday, July 15 at 7 a.m. ET.
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Tiger Woods: 8-1 Odds
All eyes will be on Woods this week at Muirfield, as the top-ranked golfer in the world hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since the U.S. Open. Woods shot 13 over that week and finished in a tie for 32nd. A press release on Tiger Woods' website announced he had a strained elbow and would not play at the AT&T National.
Tiger has won the Open Championship twice in his career but hasn’t raised the Claret Jug since 2006. He only has one finish in the top 10 since, and that came last year. In 2012, Woods finished the weekend tied for third place at three under, which was four shots back of Ernie Els, who won the major tournament.
Woods has had a remarkable year to this point, as he’s won four official PGA Tour events in 2013. His most recent victory came at The Players, where he finished 13 under. He hasn’t won a major tournament since the 2008 U.S. Open. He’ll be seeking the 15th major victory of his career when he takes the course on Thursday.
Phil Mickelson: 18-1 Odds
Mickelson has had an up-and-down season on the PGA Tour this year but is coming off of a big week in Scotland. Lefty won the Scottish Open in a playoff to secure his second tournament victory of the season—he also won the Waste Management Phoenix Open back in early February.
Unfortunately for Mickelson, he’s never played well at the Open Championship following a strong week at the Scottish Open. Justin Ray of ESPN reported after Mickelson’s opening round that the golfer had never finished in the top 10 at the Open after a top-20 finish at the Scottish Open—which he’s done three times.
Will the fourth time be the charm for the No. 5 golfer in the world? The Open Championship is one of two major tournaments Mickelson has never conquered. In fact, he’s only finished in the top 10 at the major on two occasions. He didn’t make the cut in 2012, a year after finishing in a tie for second place.
Mickelson will be attempting to win the fifth major of his career when he steps into the tee box on Thursday. He could’ve had his fifth already, but he couldn’t hang on to the lead at the U.S. Open just over a month ago. Mickelson was cut from the Greenbrier Classic, his most recent PGA Tour event.
Adam Scott: 20-1 Odds
We’ve yet to see the best Scott has to offer since he won the Masters back in April. He finished tied for 19th at The Players, tied for 13th at the Memorial Tournament, tied for 45th at the U.S. Open and tied for 57th at the AT&T National. It seems winning his first major tournament hasn’t helped his game too much.
Many should remember how Scott fared at the Open Championship just a year ago. He held a four-stroke lead with holes to go but failed to win the Claret Jug by the time he finished the 18th hole. Scott completely fell apart in what was one of the most shocking collapses at a major tournament you’ll ever see.
Scott put the Open behind him quickly, as he won at Augusta just a few months later. He talked to Ewan Murray of The Guardian about putting last year behind him and how he looks forward to trying to win the second major tournament of his career. He’ll need to stay focused the entire weekend to win it all this time around.