British Open Field 2010: The Top 10 Contenders

Jeffrey Fann@TalkinACCSportsAnalyst IJuly 13, 2010

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 12:  Phillip Archer of England plays from the 'Road Hole Bunker' on the par 4, 17th hole during practice for the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 12, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

It's the British Open the third major of the year for pro golf. The Open Championship returns to the home of golf St. Andrews otherwise known as the Old Course. The last two times the British Open was held at St. Andrews it was the personal playground of Tiger Woods.

He won in 2000 and 2005 by a combined 13 strokes. Times have changed though and Woods is not the golfer he once was, at least not now. Other golfers are ready to step forward. Who are some of the contenders at this year's British Open?

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1) Justin Rose  

This year's British Open is WIDE open. I would say there are probably 25 golfers with a shot to win it, so why not go with the hottest golfer on tour Englishman Justin Rose?

Check out his last three PGA tour results, a win at the Memorial, a ninth at the Travelers Championship, and a win at the AT&T. Since 1998 he has three top 10s at British Open, and as well as he's playing it might be his time to win a major.

All About Sports Odds of Winning: 10 to 1

2) Lee Westwood  

As we go through the list you'll see I like the English and Irish and players. They tend to finish well because of their links golf experience. Last year three English players finished in the top five including Lee Westwood.

The 3rd ranked player in the World hasn't finished outside the top 25 in his last five majors. I keep thinking it's just a matter of time for Westwood.

All About Sports Odds of Winning: 12 to 1

3) Tiger Woods

Woods as poorly as he's played this year seems to get up for the biggest tournaments, two top 10s in two majors. No one in the field has a better record at St. Andrews either with his two wins there. He's has a chance, but he needs all parts of his game working at the same time which hasn't happened yet in 2010.

All About Sports Odds of Winning: 15 to 1

4) Phil Mickelson  

Mickelson's record at the British Open isn't very good, but if he ever wins one it will be at St. Andrews where one of his only two top 15 Open finishes have been. Like Woods he also has two top 10 finishes in both of this year's majors including his Masters win in April.

All About Sports Odds of Winning: 17 to 1

5) Padraig Harrington

The two-time British winner obviously knows how to win the Open. He has four top 10 finishes on the PGA tour this year and his game is rounding into form after a mini-slump last year.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 20 to 1

6) Graeme Mcdowell

In 2005 Mcdowell finished T11 at St. Andrews, and now coming off his U.S Open win last month has to be considered a threat to win this event. From Northern Ireland, he's got the requisite experience playing links golf.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 22 to 1

7) Steve Stricker  

You know I like the hot golfers, and Steven Stricker won this week's PGA tournament the John Deere Classic  shooting 26 underpar. He had top 10 finishes in 2007 and 2008 at the British Open. He's the fourth ranked player in the world.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 25 to 1

8) Ernie Els  

I know Els is perfectly capable of winning this tournament, physically that is. He finished third at the U.S Open and with two wins ranks first in the Tour's Fed Ex Cup points list. Mentally though I'm not sure if Els can hold if together if he gets into contention on Sunday. For Ernie his results usually depend on mental state.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 30 to 1

9) Justin Leonard  

It doesn't really matter how Leonard's year is going, he frequently finds himself somewhere on the leaderboard in a British Open. He has six top 20 finishes since 1997. That includes his 1997 British Open win. If the wind kicks up, that should help Leonard. He's always been known as a solid wind player.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 35 to 1

10) Tom Lehman

My true darkhorse spot. In the last two Opens an over 50 year old player has went into the final holes with a chance to win. There was Greg Norman   in 2008 and Tom Watson in 2009.

Tom Lehman might be an over 50 player that can give the British Open a run. If it's a birdie fest forget it, but if the weather is bad and the score is near par maybe just maybe. He's made the cut four out of the last five years and is a former winner taking the title in 1996. He won his first Champion's Tour Major in May.

All About Sports odds of Winning: 50 to 1

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