The 2013 British Open tees off on Thursday at Muirfield in Scotland, as some of the top golfers on the globe vie for the renowned Claret Jug.
Phil Mickelson, coming off a win at the Scottish Open, is seeking his first career British Open championship. Of course, there are plenty of contenders who aim to stop the 43-year-old from accomplishing the feat.
In fact, Mickelson is one of the big names who doesn't figure to win the Claret Jug this year. Here's a look at some top stars you shouldn't bet on over the weekend at Muirfield (odds via Bovada).
Justin Rose (16/1)
On the heels of his first career major championship (U.S. Open), Justin Rose has to be feeling pretty good right about now.
Of course, despite posting five top-10 finishes this year, Rose has never performed particularly well at the British Open. In his first appearance as an amateur in 1998, he placed fourth, but since then he hasn't placed better than 12th at the tournament. When the British Open was last played at Muirfield in 2002, Rose finished 22nd.
Rose is having a solid year, but I don't like his history at the British Open.
Phil Mickelson (16/1)
Everybody is buzzing about Phil Mickelson after he won the Scottish Open on the European Tour, posting a three-under-par 69 on the final day at Castle Stuart Golf Links.
In fact, overall, the 43-year-old from San Diego has had a splendid year, posting a combined six top-three finishes and two victories on the PGA Tour and European Tour, which includes a second-place finish at the U.S. Open at Merion.
But despite all of Mickelson's success this year, I can't get over his history at the British Open (call me a historian, if you will). In 19 career appearances at the British Open, "Lefty" has notched just two top-10 finishes. That includes missing the cut last year and placing 66th at Muirfield in 2002.
Mickelson is certainly playing well right now, but he has rarely put together a solid four rounds in the British Open.
Rory McIlroy (25/1)
Rory McIlroy has had a rough campaign by his standards and it doesn't appear to be getting any better.
He has a combined four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and European Tour in 2013, but he has yet to notch a victory on the year (his win on the European Tour was back in November). He has missed the cut in all three European Tour events this year, and he placed 57th and 41st at the Memorial Tournament and U.S. Open, respectively.
The biggest problem for McIlroy this year has been his putting game. He ranks 128th on the PGA Tour in putting (strokes gained) this season, via PGATour.com.
His driving accuracy also figures to hurt him at Muirfield. He ranks 103rd on tour in the category. Of course, that's nothing new, as McIlroy has never been the most accurate golfer off the tee.
McIlroy has one top-10 finish in five career appearances at the British Open. He placed 60th in the tournament last year.
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