British Open 2017: Field Odds, Favorites and Tournament Preview

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2017

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV - JULY 07:  Phil Mickelson tees off the 14th hole during round two of The Greenbrier Classic held at the Old White TPC on July 7, 2017 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, will host the British Open for the 10th time in 2017, as the sport's elite vie for the oldest major title in existence beginning on Thursday.

Dustin Johnson entered last month's U.S. Open as one of the major favourites and returns to The Open Championship as the hottest pick among American players, edging Jordan Spieth by a slim margin with the bookmakers.

It's been almost three years since Rory McIlroy last won a major, and one of his two 2014 triumphs came in the British Open, with the Northern Irishman tipped to do well once again in this weekend's tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia is another European name favoured among the odds as he seeks a second major win of 2017, but an elite cast of American heavyweights are looking to bring the crown back stateside.

Read on for a breakdown of the field odds heading into this year's Open Championship, complete with a preview of which contenders look likely to challenge for top spot on the leaderboard come Sunday.

         

Top 15 British Open Odds

  • Dustin Johnson +1000
  • Rory McIlroy +1000
  • Jordan Spieth +1100
  • Jason Day +1600
  • Sergio Garcia +1600
  • Jon Rahm +1600
  • Rickie Fowler +1800
  • Henrik Stenson +2000
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2000
  • Justin Rose +2000
  • Tommy Fleetwood +2000
  • Brooks Koepka +2800
  • Adam Scott +2800
  • Alexander Noren +3300
  • Phil Mickelson +3500

Visit OddsShark for a breakdown of the odds list in full.

             

Adam Scott

Adam Scott has proved himself to be a consistent contender any time he competes in the British Open, although the runner-up finish to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham in 2012 remains his record best in the competition.

He'll be confident in his chances of improving that record this time around, having finished T3, T5 and T10 in three of his four Open starts since then. The Australian looks accustomed to links golf, although the European Tour illustrated how a bit of brute force can also play into his favour:

Golf reporter Bruce K McKenzie provided a statement of intent from Scott while competing at the Scottish Open this past weekend, where he warmed up for Royal Birkdale with a joint-35th finish:

That practice put in at the Scottish Open will undoubtedly lend itself well to the 37-year-old in preparing for his trip to Southport, and his T9 finish at the Masters earlier this year showed he's not far off the required pace.

Scott can be backed at +2800 as a relative outsider for top spot at the British Open, and the fact that three of the nine Open winners at Royal Birkdale have been Australian simply plays further into his favour.

           

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson is one of those players in the field with a Claret Jug already to his name, and "Lefty" returns to British shores this week hoping experience will pay dividends in his search for a second.

It's well-founded the British Open tends to smile more kindly on older players who are perhaps more attuned to links golf, and the 47-year-old has plenty of wisdom with him as he returns to the Open Championship.

Mickelson's hat sponsor, KPMG, recently outlined just how much knowledge he has coming into the 2017 contest, with Els the only contender boasting more appearances in this year's tournament than him:

Five of the last six Open champions were aged 40 or over, and patience will be key on a course that's likely to have a much higher winning score than some of those recorded in U.S. competitions so far this year.

Mickelson finished second to Henrik Stenson (aged 41) last year at Royal Troon, and he'll be looking to make up for lost time after missing the 2017 U.S. Open to attend his daughter's university graduation, per BBC Sport.