It seems like there are surprise contenders at the British Open every year.
This year was no different, as several long shots came within reach of the historic Claret Jug, only to see it slip through their fingers.
Whether it was a 21-year-old from Japan or a 30-year-old from Italy, here were the most shocking top 10 finishes of the 2013 British Open.
Hideki Matsuyama had played in a total of four PGA Tour events coming into 2013. That included missing two cuts and placing 54th at the Masters last year.
But the 21-year-old has come out of the blue all of a sudden to post top-10 finishes at both the U.S. Open and the British Open in 2013. He ranked second in greens-in-regulation percentage at the British Open, according to the official Open website.
Is Matsuyama going to be one of those players who historically rises to the challenge at majors? It's still pretty early, but he's certainly raised some eyebrows this year.
Before the 2013 British Open, Francesco Molinari had a) zero top-10 finishes in six PGA Tour events this year, b) missed the cut on the PGA Tour three straight times and c) missed the cut at the British Open three times in five career appearances.
So what did the 30-year-old from Italy do?
Why, he placed ninth, of course.
We should have known.
It's not like Hunter Mahan is a bad player. He's ranked 22nd in the world. He also placed fourth at the U.S. Open this year.
So, while it wasn't a colossal surprise that the 31-year-old finished in the top 10 at Muirfield, it was a bit of a surprise.
For one, Mahan was coming off a missed cut at AT&T National. Secondly, he had missed the cut three times in his past five appearances at the British Open before this year. He finished 19th last year.
But Mahan will take a ninth-place finish at Muirfield. It was his first top-10 finish at the British Open since 2007.
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