The Open Championship throws up plenty of opportunities for gutsy gamblers to make a quick buck. This year's competition is set to tee off on July 18, and with Day 1 pairings announced, it's time to begin analysing where value for money lies throughout a range of betting odds.
As usual, the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose are being touted for stellar showings at Muirfield Golf Links. Such favourites continue to represent obvious bets amongst a selection of 156 golfers who will be aiming to snatch a famous victory that will see them earn a staggering £945,000 in prize money.
Away from the obvious candidates, there are plenty of worthwhile prices to consider. With individuals such as 19-year-old Jordan Spieth and Vijay Singh making up the field, both newcomers and veterans will tempt many into outside bets. Are they worth your time? Let's take a look at a selection of odds and tips for the upcoming championship.
All betting odds are produced by Skybet and correct as of July 17. They are subject to change but undoubtedly provide a realistic representation as to who can be considered for Open Championship glory.
Outright winner—Phil Mickelson 16-1, Ernie Els 25-1, Darren Clarke 250-1
While many will be tempted by Tiger Woods’ 10-1 odds to win the competition, it’s worth steering clear of the legendary American who has failed to capture a major championship since 2008.
He is under constant pressure to perform and will be haunted by what happened on the Muirfield course in 2002. As tweeted by PGA Tour Stats, Woods’ third-round score of 81 continues to cast doubt on his chances of winning this year’s competition:
Tiger Woods' 81 in Rd.3 of the 2002 British Open at Muirfield remains his worst score ever recorded as a professional.— PGA Tour Stats (@statsPGA) July 16, 2013
Phil Mickelson recently secured his first win on British soil by capturing the Scottish Open and will take huge confidence into the East Lothian meet. At 16-1 to take the crown, the Californian represents good value out of the favourites.
Last year’s champion, Ernie Els, recently returned to form with victory at the BMW International in Germany. He has the experience and knowledge to challenge once again, but punters may be put off by the fact that only four winners in 50 years have retained the British Open title.
As a complete outside bet, 2011 victor Darren Clarke will draw major attention at 250-1. The Northern Irishman may have missed the U.S. Open cut, but local fans will be willing him to yet another career-boosting victory in Britain.
While the aforementioned prices remain attractive, Els' experience of winning the Open Championship and recent BMW International victory makes him the best bet for this year's title.
Justin Rose or Phil Mickelson to win
Both players have shown decent form of late and are in desperate need of landing the British major. Two favourites for this price should be considered by those sitting on the fence.
Nick Faldo to win at 1500-1
Never rule out the 55-year-old from Hertfordshire. Faldo won the British Open at Muirfield in both 1987 and 1992, registering two of his three Open Championship wins on the difficult Scottish course. For that price, he’s well worth a shot.
Rory McIlroy to lead after Round 2 at 28-1
Ulsterman Rory McIlroy has consistently misfired this season, but a fast start in Scotland will provide a major confidence boost for the 24-year-old. He is desperate to end the curse of his new Nike sponsorship by landing a major, but he’s not worth backing as an outright winner.
Stay clear of McIlroy and Woods as outright winners. Right now, experienced outsiders are your best bet for securing extra funds.