The 2010 British Open has been one of the most exciting golf Opens in recent memory. In the past three days the tournament has shown story line after story line surrounding the tournament: the beautiful weather on day one, a twenty-one year old taking the lead early only to lose it later on, what looked like a possible comeback for both Woods and Daly, the list goes on.
On day three Louis Oosthuizen was the story. For a guy who has missed the cut in seven of his last eight majors, Oosthuizen has come out of the woodwork to take control in this year’s British Open.
But his dominance has not gone unchallenged, and although Oosthuizen holds the lead heading into the final day, it would foolish for anyone to consider him a sure shot to take home the cup.
The following is a list of players, all of which could end up the winner of the open by tomorrow’s end and their odds at being so.
Vegas Odds: 20/1
Writer Odds: 17/1
Believe it or not, Stenson didn’t just finish day three strong today. He actually finished both days two and three strong at the same time.
The reason being Stenson’s second round took too long yesterday and ended up being postponed.
Therefore, he had to wake up at around four a.m. this morning, and on four hours of sleep he finished both rounds two and three in one day.
While this may sound like a disadvantage at first, for Stenson it was the exact opposite. Luckily for the Swedish golfer, what was originally a round of poor play got off to a good start when Stenson was able to finish off his second round with a birdie on eighteen.
From there the golfer had an outstanding day three and moved his way up thirty-four spots to end the day tied for fourth. His shining moment came on the thirteenth when Stenson hit an unbelievable eagle shot from more than a hundred yards out.
He may not be the favorite to win, but Stenson has been solid all around golfer for the majority of the tournament. In day four, he could be considered a “dark horse” to win it all.
Vegas Odds: 60/1
Writer Odds: 1000/1
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred it is best practice to not ever rule Woods out of winning a tournament on the last day.
Consider this that one time out of the hundred where you can do so.
The only decent day Woods had in the entirety of the tournament thus far was the most beautiful and non-threatening day anyone can remember St. Andrews ever having. Since then, Woods has gone +1 twice in a row.
It is blatantly apparent at this point in the year it is going to take Woods a lot longer than any of us thought in order to become the golfer he once was—if he is ever able to become that golfer again at all.
The first step in that process is winning. An achievement Tiger has yet to accomplish this year. If and when he finally does win is if and when you can start considering him a threat once again.
Vegas Odds: 40/1
Writer Odds: 20/1
Johnson had an unbelievably up and down U.S. Open, but so far across the pond he has had similar days to everyone else.
An easy first day followed by a slow-to-adjust second, capped off with some solid play in his third round. Most of all, Johnson has showed in the British Open, much like in the U.S., that he is able to battle through adversity and comeback after being down.
Going into the final day at St. Andrews, Johnson could either continue to fly up the standings like has thus far, or he could completely fade away.
He's not as much a "dark horse" to take away the cup as he is a "wildcard".
Vegas Odds: 60/1
Writer Odds: 15/1
We all know the story behind McIlroy. The twenty-one year old came out after day one and tied an all time first day score record in the world’s oldest venue to do so.
Even so, a lot of golf experts, columnists, and fans, never thought McIlroy would be able to continue the dominance that took place on day one. He doesn’t have a history of playing golf at a consistently high level.
After day two, it appeared all the doubters and naysayers were correct in their initial assessments when the kid went from leader to bust and fell all the way to the 38th overall position.
After day three, it appears McIlroy just might be able to recreate the brilliant golf the world saw him play on day one in the final round tomorrow. The third round watched McIlroy move from the 38th overall position to end up tied for twelfth.
In making such a big leap, McIlroy showed both us and himself that first and foremost day one wasn’t a fluke, and also that he’s able to contend with anyone in the field when his game is on.
Vegas Odds: 9/4
Writer Odds: 9/4
Although there are other contenders going into the final day at St. Andrews, if any of them other than Casey end up winning it will no doubt be a surprise.
Heading into the day, the battle is between two sides: Casey and Oosthizen.
Oosthuizen has held a substantial position throughout the entire tournament, but at the same time he has been getting progressively worse scores as time goes on. Day one showed a 65, day two a 67, and day three a 69.
Meanwhile, Casey has done the exact opposite. After a score of 69 on days one and two, Casey was able to finish the third round with a 67.
If Casey is able to continue progressing in his play, and Oosthuizen continues to regress in his, Casey could end up making a dream come true for every british golfer. He could end up winning the open in his own homeland.
He put it best himself in a post round interview with ESPN’s Wendi Knix:
“I’m feeling the pressure is off of me. The pressure is on Louis”
Vegas Odds: 4/5
Writer Odds: 1/2
If you’re betting on who will win the British Open, Oosthuizen is no doubt the “safe” bet.
For a golfer who has missed the cut in seven out of his last eight majors, Oosthuizen has yet to show why in this week’s tournament. While McIlroy lead on day one, Oosthuizen was never out of site and breathing down his neck in the second position at the end of the round.
In day two, when the majority of golfers ended up with scores more typical for St. Andrews due to getting accustomed to the weather change, Oosthuizen remained unaffected and only shot two over his day one score, securing him the top position in the tournament.
When the pressure was on in day three with numerous golfers making huge leaps in the standings in order to try and take over Oosthuizen’s spot, he kept his cool and was able to hold off the vulchers.
Heading into the final round, although everyone is looking to make a big splash, Oosthuizen can play a stress free day of golf as he already holds a commanding four shot lead over the second place Paul Casey.
In submission: if Oosthuizen loses the Open on day four, he’ll have nobody to blame but himself. As of now, if he plays the same score he has in any of days one through three, there isn’t anyone in the field who is likely to steal the top spot away from him.