British Open Favorites 2014: Projecting Daily Score Totals for Golf's Top Stars

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British Open Favorites 2014: Projecting Daily Score Totals for Golf's Top Stars
Peter Morrison/Associated Press

Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England certainly won't take it easy on any of the 2014 British Open competitors.

This seaside links course isn't exactly the most difficult in the country, but dramatic shifts in weather can quickly come into play throughout the four-day tournament. According to Weather.com, conditions won't be optimal, as rain and some strong winds could be expected.

According to odds provided by Odds Shark, let's take a look at how the tournament's top players are likely to fare on a day-by-day basis this year at Royal Liverpool.

 

Day 1

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

This will be the day in which players will look to get off to a hot start.

With just a 10 percent chance of rain and relatively mild 7 mph winds expected, scores could be relatively low on Thursday.

As rain will most likely begin to filter into the area later in the day, golfers with early tee times should be rewarded on Thursday. This bodes well for Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods.

Two of these players were actually placed in the same group:

Unfortunately, Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson will tee off in the afternoon, possibly making weather more of a factor.

Still, Scott has been in top form this season and should produce a fair number to open. On the other hand, Woods has had very little time to prepare, and despite a favorable tee time, he could struggle early in the tournament.

Day 1 Predictions
Player R1 To Par
Henrik Stenson 68 -4
Rory McIlroy 70 -2
Adam Scott 70 -2
Martin Kaymer 71 -1
Justin Rose 72 E
Phil Mickelson 73 +1
Tiger Woods 75 +3

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

 

Day 2

Peter Morrison/Associated Press

Friday could prove to be the most difficult day of the tournament, as players scramble to either make the cut or put themselves in position to make a run over the weekend.

Producing a low score will be difficult though, due to expected 17 mph winds and a chance of rain.

Links courses like Royal Liverpool are highly affected by wind due to their flat landscape. The winds on Friday will force many players out of their comfort zones and into shot selections they normally wouldn't play.

These conditions will once again favor early tee times, but European players will have an advantage over American players due to familiarity.

This isn't good for Woods, as he's continued to struggle in majors over recent years:

Day 2 Predictions
Player R1 R2 To Par
Henrik Stenson 68 71 -5
Rory McIlroy 70 71 -3
Adam Scott 70 72 -2
Martin Kaymer 71 72 -1
Justin Rose 72 71 -1
Phil Mickelson 73 73 +2
Tiger Woods 75 75 +6

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

 

Day 3

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The tournament becomes a little more difficult to predict on the weekend due to the uncertainty of tee times. Although, this may not matter, as an 80 percent chance of rain could thwart any low scores throughout the duration of Saturday's play.

Accuracy and short-game ability will be heavily tested for the remaining field during conditions like these. This could bode well for Mickelson, a short-game magician:

Expect to see Open Championship veterans rise to the challenge while inexperienced players falter.

We should see some separation on the leaderboard here.

Day 3 Predictions
Player R1 R2 R3 To Par
Henrik Stenson 68 71 70 -7
Rory McIlroy 70 71 69 -6
Adam Scott 70 72 69 -5
Martin Kaymer 71 72 71 -2
Justin Rose 72 71 72 -1
Phil Mickelson 73 73 69 -1
Tiger Woods 75 75 CUT CUT

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

 

Day 4

Jon Super/Associated Press

It all comes down to this.

Sunday could provide a chance of lower scoring, as winds remain under 10 mph and the chance of rain decreases slightly.

Earlier tee times should have the advantage here, and we can expect to see players making some big runs to contest with the leaders.

This is also the day in which many players can collapse. Whether it's a lack a mental focus, overthinking course strategy or risking too much to make up strokes, there will be some higher scores on Sunday as well.

PGA Tour gives a great look at what players will endure:

Here's a look at the tournament's predicted final leaderboard.

Day 4 Predictions
Player R1 R2 R3 R4 To Par Finish
Henrik Stenson 68 71 70 69 -10 1
Adam Scott 70 72 69 68 -9 2
Rory McIlroy 70 71 69 73 -5 T5
Martin Kaymer 71 72 71 69 -5 T5
Justin Rose 72 71 72 70 -3 T8
Phil Mickelson 73 73 69 73 E 14
Tiger Woods 75 75 CUT CUT CUT CUT

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

 

Weather forecasts current as of 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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