2014 British Open Preview: The Top 10 Contenders.

The Open Championship Media Day

It’s the 3rd major of the year, the British Open. Let’s be honest the first two majors have lack drama, so we’re looking to this year’s British Open to provide some back 9 fireworks. The last three winners of the British Open were over 40 years old. Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and last year’s champion Phil Mickelson. Are there any veterans to look for this year, or will one of golf’s young starts take the title.

How will the weather affect the tournament? That’s always a question at the British Open, but looking at the forecast it doesn’t look bad. There won’t be a ton of wind or rain, but that can always change there.

The tournament heads to Hoylake where Tiger Woods won in 2006. Here’s your top 10 contenders.

1. Rory Mcilory

Why do I like Rory Mcilory? Well it is because I think he’s very close to going on a run of spectacular golf. Look at some of the scores Mcilory has shot this year, there are 63s, 64s, and 65s dotted everywhere. He just can seem to be able to do it consistently. We know he has the talent to win at any course in the world. If can put it together he could win by 4 or 5 shots. He was -14 this weekend at the Scottish Open outside a bizarre 78 in the second round.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 10 to 1

2. Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer has established himself as one of the world’s best golfers. Coming off a U.S. Open victory that he turned into a snooze fest, and a Player’s Championship victory Kaymer is likely the leader for golf’s player of the year. He’s had a couple of top 15 finishes in the British Open, so he’s had some success playing links golf. He’s already a two-time major winner having also won the 2010 PGA Championship.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 12 to 1

3. Adam Scott

It’s only a matter of time before Adam Scott wins another major. The British Open seems like a good bet. He’s finished in the top 3 in the last 2 British Opens, and what I really like about Scott’s chances is that in 2006 when the British Open was Hoylake Scott ended up T8. From tee to green there may not be a better player in the world. He has finished in the top 15 in 10 of his lat 11 majors. I’ll be really surprised if he’s not in contention come Sunday.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 15 to 1

4. Justin Rose

Last year Phil Mickelson won the Scottish Open then won the British Open in back to back weeks. Justin Rose was this week’s Scottish Open winner. He already has a U.S. Open to his credit and he may be primed for a 2nd major, ala Martin Kaymer at this years U.S. Open. He also won the Quicken Loans National at the end of June. He’s the World’s Hottest at the moment, but the reason I didn’t put him in the top 3 is that winning 3 starts in a row is the kind of stuff vintage Tiger Woods would do. That will be very tough for Rose to pull of, but still he’s coming in red hot. It’s a little surprising a player of his caliber hasn’t had an Open Championship top 10 since 1998.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 20 to 1

5. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson doesn’t have a top 10 finish this year, but he can still win this week’s British Open. When you look closer though his results aren’t as bad as they first appear. He still has 5 top 20 finishes, and played reasonably well at this week’s Scottish Open where he was T11 including a final round 65. I think Mickelson put too much pressure on himself to win that first U.S. Open last month. The defending British Open Champion knows he can win this event now. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gives it a run this week.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 25 to 1

6. Henrik Stenson

You have to put the World’s #2 player on the short list of golfers that can win this week. Stenson has an outstanding record in his last 4 majors. He has 4 straight top 15 finishes, with three of those finishes in the top 5. He’s got plenty of major championship ability. Keep an eye on Stenson this week, he can win his first major.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 30 to 1

7. Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia has quietly had a very solid season. With 6 top 10 finishes, he’s moved back into the top 10 of the World Golf rankings.  He’s come close to winning the British Open before. Garcia has 7 top 10s at the British Open, including the 2006 British Open at Hoylake  where was T5. For Garcia it’s all between his ears. If believes he can win this week, he’s a great shot at taking home his first major. Physically the game is in good enough form for Garcia to be a threat. Like I said, it’s mental whether Garcia makes a run.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 35 to 1

8. Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler has been criticized in his young career for not winning enough, but the fact is he’s getting closer and closer to being one of the top players in the world. He has top 5s in both majors this year and is coming off a top 10 at the Scottish Open. Since hooking up with swing coach guru Butch Harmon, Fowler has gradually seen his game become more consistent.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 40 to 1

9.  Tiger Woods

If Tiger Woods wasn’t you know Tiger Woods, he wouldn’t be anywhere on this list of contenders. Coming off back surgery, and a missed cut at the Quicken Loans National, Woods chances of winning this event are pretty slim. Still he won the last time the British Open was Hoylake, and he is a 3 time British Open Winner. If Woods’s body is right, he may be able to stay around the leaderboard come the weekend, and if you’re on the leaderboard on the weekend you always have a shot.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 45 to 1

10. Lee Westwood

Do you need a 40 something veteran to come out of nowhere to win the British Open for the 4th year in a row? It might be Lee Westwood who can do the trick. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open and he missed the cut at this week’s Scottish Open, so he’s hardly coming into the British Open on fire. Last year Mickelson win the British Open the week after winning the Scottish, but would Westwood be any more surprising than Darren Clarke winning 3 years ago? Clarke hadn’t had a top 10 finish in major for 10 years, when he won. Westwood might just be the under the radar veteran to keep an eye on.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 50 to 1

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  1. Final Thoughts on the 2014 British Open : Rory Mcilory continues march towards greatness with win. » All Sports Discussion says:

    […] to be in. Mcilory is already 3/4 of the way to a career grand slam, only lacking a Masters. I had Mcilory as my favorite heading into the tournament, and he was clinical this past […]

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