British Open: 5 Players to Watch at Muirfield

Phil OscarsonContributor IIIJuly 16, 2013

British Open: 5 Players to Watch at Muirfield

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    The 2013 Open Championship is finally here, and if this year’s other major tournaments are anything to go by, we are in for a real treat at Muirfield.

     

    One of the best things about professional golf is just how notoriously unpredictable it is. Before the Masters, everyone was convinced that only Tiger Woods could go home with the green jacket, but Adam Scott stepped in to tear up the odds.

     

    It was beginning to look as though Justin Rose would never win a major, but he stepped in and proved everyone wrong at this year’s US Open.

     

    So although it is impossible to know who will step up and claim the claret jug this year, let’s take a look at some of the players to watch at Muirfield.

Tiger Woods

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    First and foremost, let’s get this one out of the way.

     

    Tiger Woods still hasn’t won a major since 2008, but he is the No. 1 form golfer for this year.

     

    Despite a potentially troublesome elbow injury, he is still a major contender, if not the favorite to win, in this year’s British Open.

     

    The bookies agree, giving Woods the best odds to win at 8/1.

     

Justin Rose

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    Coming off of his maiden major victory at Merion, Rose has to be feeling confident on his return to Britain.

     

    He doesn’t have the best record in this tournament, but with the crowd behind him and the pressure of winning a first major gone, he could take control at Muirfield.

     

    Sky Bet gives him odds of 18/1 to win outright.

     

Phil Mickelson

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    Whose heart did not break when they saw Phil Mickelson try to put into words the feeling of getting his sixth runner-up finish at the US Open?

     

    Never one to stay down for long, however, Lefty recently won his first tournament in Europe in the last 20 years at the Scottish Open.

     

    Mickelson is popular with the Scottish crowd, and has been spending some time learning the course at Muirfield in order to prepare for the tournament.

     

    His odds match Rose’s at 18/1.

     

Rory McIlroy

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    With the odds at 28/1 against, who would have thought this time last year that Rory McIlroy would be such an outsider to win the British Open?

     

    The struggles of the man from Northern Ireland have been well documented, but at 24, McIlroy still has plenty of time to pull himself out of this slump.

     

    Could Muirfield be the setting for him to do it?

     

Adam Scott

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    Since winning this year’s Masters at Augusta, Scott has struggled to build on previous success with more consistent form.

     

    However, the victory at the Masters might be just enough to cancel out the pain that Scott felt after throwing away last year’s British Open.

     

    If Scott can cope with the pressure, there will be few golfers who can cope with him.

     

    Sky gives him odds of 20/1.

     

    You can follow Phil Oscarson at @philoscarson or read more of his posts at AmericanGolf.com.