The British Open tees off with action early Thursday morning, presenting a wide-range of betting interests throughout the four-day affair. Tiger Woods looks for his fourth British Open title here, entering as the contest’s 8/1 favorite.
Woods back in ‘Open’ huntWoods last captured the British Open in 2006
, edging out Chris DiMarco by two strokes. The next few years saw a trio of subpar outings for Woods, including missing the cut in 2009.
The PGA Tour during June and July saw Woods beginning to regain his form of yesteryear, winning two of four tourneys. Woods finished nine and eight under par, respectively, in the Memorial and AT&T National, adding a pair of million-dollar paydays to March’s Arnold Palmer Invitational title.
Woods has averaged 295.2 yards on drives this year, ranking 39th in the PGA, while hitting the fairway 64.2 percent of the time. Long-range putting has had its moments for Woods, ranking first from 20-25 feet at 23.8 percent.Westwood looks for home triumph
Westwood has shown his share of spark in recent years as part of the British Open
, finishing third and second, respectively, in 2009 and 2010. The England native missed the cut in last year’s battle, but regained some momentum with an eight-under performance in April’s Masters.
Westwood’s main strength in PGA events this year has been a sand-save percentage of 64.1, while ranking a strong second at reaching greens in regulation (71.6 percent). Putting has been among the 39-year-old’s gaps, connecting at a meager 51.3 percent from between 5-10 feet.Donald, Harrington round out top contenders
Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington make up the remaining two of the tourney’s top-four challengers, both listed at 15/1 betting odds
Donald missed the cut at last year’s British Open, but finished fifth and 11th over the prior two events. Harrington drifted off after capturing back-to-back British Open’s in 2007 and 2008, but comes in stronger this time hitting four-under in April’s Masters and tying for fourth place in June’s U.S. Open.Mickelson, Els: Prop bets to consider
Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els come in as marquee names, but take the links at long odds of 35/1 and 45/1, respectively.
Mickelson achieved his top career finish in the British Open last year, tying for second place along with fellow American, Dustin Johnson, both hitting two-under. Els captured his sole ‘Open’ crown in 2002, while logging Top 10 finishes in five of the last nine years.
Mickelson and Els may be worth a stronger look as part of prop bets, such as whether they will make the cut or out-finish others. Both veterans are listed at minus 240 to survive the cut, while priced at plus 360 and 420, respectively, to finish in the Top 10.
Mickelson is a 130 underdog matched up against Justin Rose, who has failed to reach the British Open’s Top 10 since tying for fourth place in 1998. Els sits at plus 110 in a matchup prop against Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who has missed the cut three times en route to not reaching the Top 10 in nine years.Sports Picks:
Win Tourney: Harrington (15/1)
Matchups: Mickelson (+130) over Rose, Els (+110) over McDowell
Top 10 Finish: Els (+420)