The British Open
Dates: July 15th-18th, 2010
Course: The Old Course at St. Andrews Fife, Scotland
by Evergreen, Professional Golf Handicapper of Predictem.com
The years third Major Championship is on tap this week and its Fish and Chips for all as the top players from around the world gather across the pond for the British Open. Known simply as The Open to most in the golf world, the British Open is the most historic championship in all of golf and placing your name on the Claret Jug solidifies your golf immortality. To make this week even more special, The Open will be held at The Old Course at St. Andrews, more commonly recognized as the birthplace of golf.
Stewart Cink will be defending his 2009 Open title and all eyes will again be on Tiger Woods as he goes for three straight victories at St. Andrews. Padraig Harrington will look to regain the form he had on the way to winning in 2007 and 2008 and so many others are in the hunt as we have no true favorite entering Championship week.
Woods remains the betting favorite despite his uneven play thus far in 2010 with most offshore sportsbooks placing him in the 5 to 1 range to win. He is the only player favored to notch a top-10 finish at Bodog, currently listed at -180 with Phil Mickelson next on the list at +160.
If you follow our weekly picks, you know we give you three players that we like to win it all. You get a short, middle and long odds player and we also breakdown a few head to head matches that youd find at any typical online betting site. The Majors have the bookmakers busy with a ton of prop bets, so make sure you check those out after each round if you like a little more exotic action. Here are our picks for the 2010 British Open.
Short Favorite: Ernie Els (18 to 1 odds to win)
We almost never pick Tiger and Phil is so often a non-factor at the Open that Els brings great value and could be considered the outright favorite depending on how you look at things. Ernie has two PGA victories in 2010 and the 2002 Open Champ is on a run that has seen him in the top-10 at the British on five occasions since 2004. Els leads the Tour in money and on the FedEx list so his season has been consistent overall and his game has been good enough to produce the best scoring average on Tour. The Open requires so much imagination and experience, that its hard not to favor a veteran, especially one that is having a career renaissance.
Middle of the Road: Justin Rose (20 to 1 odds to win)
Rose is a very trendy pick by a lot of experts and rightfully so. Justins two
victories on the year and his recent success at the Open (T13 in 09 and T12 in 07) make it too hard to ignore him with this pick. Rose is 13th in total driving and while St. Andrews isnt the most demanding course from the tee, it does help to have a well rounded driving game in order to win. Justin also ranks in the top-33 in greens hit and putting average on the way to the 2nd best scoring mark and 7th best all around rank.
Longshot: Martin Kaymer (33 to 1 odds to win)
Most Americans may not know his name but the Euro PGA fans know exactly how talented this young German is. While not quite breaking through on the PGA Tour yet, his limited play has resulted in top-10 finishes in last years PGA Championship and this years U.S. Open. Kaymer enters the week in the 9th spot in the EPGA race to Dubai and is currently 13th in the Official World Rankings. His stats on the PGA Tour dont tell the story, but his EPGA stats of 70% greens hit and 1.7 putts per green would have him in the top-10 in both categories on Tour in the states. The British has a way of letting accelerating the awareness of relative unknowns, so lookout for Herr Kaymer this weekend.
Head to Head Matches (our pick) *listed matches are for entire event. Check the various online bookies for single round matches at the completion of each round.
Graeme McDowell (-115) v. Ian Poulter (-115) (McDowell)
Expect the dream season to continue for McDowell in this match and the Open in general. Graeme owns the advantage here in fairways hit, and scoring average with the players coming in very even in driving, greens hit and putting. You dont have to hit fairways to score at the Old Course, but you do have to avoid mistakes and McDowell has been a bit more consistent than Poulter in limiting bogeys.
Steve Stricker (-115) v. Luke Donald (-115) (Stricker)
The British hasnt always been Strickers favorite so dont fall in love with him against everyone this week but you cant just ignore the fact that he carded a 60 and a 62 on the way to winning in Illinois last week, either. Steve owns big advantages against Donald in putting, birdie average and scoring and with the players both in the same league distance-wise, this seems a pretty one sided match.