The 2013 British Open is setting up to be a huge test for the top stars in the sport, and with the odds stacked against them, the best golfers in the world will attack Muirfield Golf Links in Gullane, Scotland, with everything they have.
All of the following players are favorites coming into this year’s Open Championship and will be betting favorites to start the week.
All odds via Bovada.lv. All stats via PGATour.com.
Where: Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
When: Thursday, July 18, to Sunday, July 21
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Thursday, July 18||4 a.m.-3 p.m.||1||ESPN|
|Friday, July 19||4 a.m.-3 p.m.||2||ESPN|
|Saturday, July 20||7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.||3||ESPN|
|Sunday, July 21||6 a.m.-1:30 p.m.||4||ESPN|
Best Vegas Chances to Win
Tiger Woods (8-1 Odds)
The betting favorite coming into this year’s British Open is Tiger Woods, but those placing money on the event should be cautious; Woods is always the betting favorite before a major tournament.
As we have seen so far at this year’s Masters and the U.S. Open, that hasn’t resulted in a victory.
In fact, Tiger hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.
While Woods does have the advantage of being a three-time British Open champion, he hasn’t won the tournament since 2006 and is coming off a dreadful performance at the 2013 U.S. Open, where he posted 13-over par at Merion Golf Club.
Not only has Woods faltered in the recent past, but the fact that he also will be playing through the elbow injury that he claims is better, per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today, also proves there are much safer bets this week.
Woods is always a threat to win, but that doesn't mean he is always a smart wager.
Phil Mickelson (14-1 Odds)
The second-ranked betting favorite for the British Open is Phil Mickelson, and from a gambling point of view, he is a much safer wager than Woods.
At 14-1 odds, the potential payout would be worth the risk.
Mickelson is coming off his first career links victory at last week’s Scottish Open, and coupled with his excellent second-place finish at the U.S. Open, there is no golfer in the world carrying as much momentum into Muirfield.
As long as the tour veteran sticks to his style of game and remains patient, the course will be set up for Lefty to thrive. Weather conditions could come into play as they always do for the Open Championship, but Mickelson remains one of the safest bets.
Justin Rose (18-1 Odds)
If there is any player that could contend with Mickelson’s momentum coming into this year’s event, it would be 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.
After winning his first career major, the focus will be on how the English star responds to the pressure.
At 18-1 odds, this is a risk worth taking.
Not only did Rose win at Merion in June, but his 13th-place finish at the Travelers Championship later that same month also proved that he is ready for the British Open. Once he arrives, though, how he handles the scrutiny will be a major storyline.
There is always a chance that the pressure and expectations weigh the 32-year-old golfer down, but his maturity and confidence will have him playing smart golf in Muirfield.
These odds make Rose a smart wager.