One of the best aspects of the four major golf championships is that everyone associated with the game has an opinion and a prediction as to how the tournaments will play out.
The British Open may be the oldest and most stately of the majors, but predictions from the experts are plentiful. Here's our takeaway of their picks.
Tiger remains a favorite, but there's some doubt
Let's start off with the experts at ESPN.com. Senior golf writer Bob Harig and columnist Ian O'Connor both go with Tiger Woods at Muirfield, while fellow panelists Gene Wojciechowski and Farrell Evans select Matt Kuchar and Jason Day, respectively.
Harig's reasoning for picking Tiger to come away with his 15th major title is sketchy. Harig admits that Woods' left elbow problems are a concern, but he says Woods' iron play off the tees should help him. O'Connor uses the "due" theory, meaning that Woods's major drought—it's five years now—is going to end sooner or later.
Golfweek has no shortage of predictions and editor Jeff Rude and director of digital content director Nick Masuda both believe that Woods will come away with The Open championship. Rude's prediction is based on the same "due" theory that O'Connor also employed, while Masuda says that Woods' time off since the U.S. Open has given him a chance to get healthy and prepared to compete.
Golf World also selected Woods as the winner, according to Ron Sirak.
Kuchar, McDowell rank as serious contenders
Jeff Babineau, the editor of Golfweek, believes that Kuchar deserves respect and will come away with the Claret Jug. Babineau cites Kuchar's ball-striking ability as the reason for the prediction and refers to Kuchar as the "Smiling Assassin." Wojciechowski called his pick of Kuchar "a hunch"
Several members of Babineau's staff give Graeme McDowell respect. McDowell is labeled as a sleeper, underdog and a wild card by staffers. Senior writer Lance Ringler's reasoning is the most logical, as he points out that McDowell has won three of the last seven events he has entered.
We are normally big fans of Golf Digest's "The Grind" column because it is filled with information and edgy predictions from assistant editor Alex Myers. However, that was not the case when the column analyzed Phil Mickelson's win in the Scottish Open and looked at his chances of winning the the British Open.
Instead of coming out with a bold statement about Mickelson continuing his winning ways, The Grind let its readers know that "anything is possible."
The amateurs are in the house
Regular fans of the majors know that amateurs are often celebrated for their performances. The British Open has two high-level amateurs who are receiving quite a bit of attention. English golfer Garrick Porteous has been successful on links courses, while Matthew Fitzpatrick was selected by three Golf Week staffers to come away as the low amateur. Fitzpatrick is scheduled to enroll at Northwestern University in the fall.
Senior writer Adam Schupak provided this analysis of Porteous.
Mostly, I just want to hear Peter Alliss pronounce his last name. But the Englishman, who won the British Amateur, and competed at the University of Tennessee has also captured the 2013 Scottish Stroke Play title and finished second in the Welsh Stroke Play championship. Kids got some game.
Long shots have a chance
Kyle Porter of CBS Sports listed two long shots who come into the event at odds of 40-1 who both have a chance to come away with the upset. Dustin Johnson, often known as Paulina Gretzky's love interest, and Brandt Snedeker both have "amazing value."
Snedeker is the third-leading money winner on the PGA Tour this year, while Johnson has won one event and has three top 10 finishes.