The third major of 2013 is set to begin on Thursday, July 18, and the field for the 2013 British Open is stocked with a collection of big names and recent champions, which will make for a very interesting four days.
As always, much of the focus will be on whether Tiger Woods can end his five-year major drought, but given how the World No. 1 has performed at Muirfield in the past, this may not be the most likely venue for that to happen.
In addition, there are a number of other intriguing storylines to pick through, such as whether Adam Scott can bounce back from his meltdown at the British last summer. Fans will also be watching to see if Phil Mickelson, who is coming off a victory at the Scottish Open, can continue to surge after his heartbreaking finish at the U.S. Open last month.
This is one of the most wide-open fields a fan can ask for, so here's a late look at the final betting lines in preparation for the Open Championship.
Odds courtesy of Bovada.
Obviously, given how well Tiger had played prior to injuring his elbow, the 14-time major winner has to be considered the favorite.
No, he hasn't broken the major drought, but he did win four tournaments this season faster than ever before, and he proved his mettle on a big stage when he captured the Players Championship in May.
What will be a big question mark is how well his elbow has healed going into the tournament. Tiger recently told USA Today that he's feeling better:
The elbow feels good. It's one of the good things of taking the time off to let it heal and get the treatment and therapy on it. The main reason was that coming over here, the ground is going to be hard, obviously. And I'm going to need that elbow to be good. And just in case the rough was, well, reports were it was going to be high, and it was going to be lush. I needed to have this thing set and healed. And everything is good to go.
It sounds like Woods is back on track in the health department, but if his elbow turns out to continue bothering him like it was at the U.S. Open, this trip to Muirfield may not go much better than his last.
After winning the U.S. Open in dramatic fashion, Justin Rose is an intriguing option for those looking for golfers with slightly longer odds.
However, given that Rose hadn't enjoyed much success in majors prior to his win at Merion Golf Club, it'd be a shock to see him come out on top, especially in Scotland, where the results are as unpredictable as they come.
Still, Rose has some momentum, and you could do a lot worse when it comes to placing wagers on this year's British Open.
In what was one of the most heartbreaking losses of his career, Phil Mickelson once again fell short of the U.S. Open title, so he'll be out to avenge that disappointment this week.
Despite losing out to Rose, Mickelson played some fantastic golf last month and should be in contention for the title at Muirfield. He's also coming off an impressive win at the Scottish Open, so perhaps he's ready to carry that success over this weekend.
But for Lefty's sake, it might be best if he has to come from behind, because playing with the lead certainly hasn't worked out for him lately.
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