Ever wonder what a dream team of golfers would look like? Just take a look at the winners of the British Open at Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland over the last fifty years. Past champions include Harry Vardon, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els.
Don't expect some no-name, unproven pro to come out on top this week. The distinguished list of winners at Muirfield represents different eras and a variety of playing styles and strategies. They all share one quality, though: the ability to hit creative shots that fit a range of conditions—the winning piece to the puzzle at Muirfield.
Tom Morris' design of Muirfield set up the pair of nine-hole courses to form a loop: one travels clockwise; the other nine go in the opposite direction. Morris was ahead of his time, ingeniously designing Muirfield so golfers would constantly face a different wind direction.
Make no mistake, the weather forecast is nowhere near the treacherous conditions emblazoned upon the memory of golf fans from 2002, when swirling 30-mph winds, sub-50-degree temperatures and torrential rain sent scores skyrocketing.
There's no doubt the wind will be gusting this week, though. Muirfield will identify the player who can best shape and control their shots, as well as determine when to play defense and when to play aggressively on this classic links course.
It's all a part of the distinct allure of the Open Championship.
Let's take a deeper dive into who's got the best shot at taking home the Claret Jug.
* All odds courtesy of Bovada.