It’s a good thing the official odds don’t reflect a player’s actual chance of winning and just the public’s appetite for spending, because the public is looking like a drunken sailor bidding up Tiger Woods as the favorite at 8/1. He’s coming off an injury and his putting stroke has deserted him again. Those waiting for the next big win to get back on the Jack Nicklaus record chase can keep waiting.
Did Phil “The Thrill” give us a great ride at the U.S. Open or what? The difficult aspect of a Mickelson pick is the consistency component. It’s simply not there, but what you get with Phil is good theater. I’ve never liked him in the British Open, and except for his final round charge at Royal St. George’s in 2011, he’s been a major underachiever. This week the roller coaster is heading downhill so keep your billfold in your pocket and Lefty off your board at 25/1.
U.S. Open champion, Justin Rose is suffering from burnout. Even though I loved the way he finally conquered the unreasonably high expectations he’s dealt with since his miracle British Open finish in 1998, he’s a poor play at 18/1. At Merion, he didn’t get too excited as he made clutch shot after clutch shot and stuck to his tunnel vision game plan, but the withdraw from the AT&T is a red flag. I’m hoping he can relax and just play golf but it’s asking too much.
I see much of the same positive mental approach in Mr. Overdue, Jason Day. The Aussie peaks his game for the majors, a bit like Angel Cabrera, but with more talent and less results. One of these days Day is going to break through and I like him here at 33/1.
Rory McIlroy can’t handle the pressure of a home game for some reason and lately, he can’t handle any pressure. He was in poor form at the Irish Open and missed the cut, and his club destroying tantrum in the U.S. Open was an embarrassment. Let’s face it, the lad doesn’t handle adversity very well. Got to keep your cool out there and I’m very cool on him this week.
My favorite play here is a Sunday three-ball bet on Ernie Els, especially if he’s in a group with other big name players. You will get a good price as people continue to underestimate him because of his age. He’s in good form after winning the BMW International Open and is simply made for the pressure on the final day of this tournament. He won it last year, and did as well in 2002 at the same venue, and is a superb pick at 25/1 to win straight up.
Dark horse play: Padraig Harrington. 40/1 is a good price for Paddy and a top-10 finish is in the offering. He hasn’t done much as of late, but finished 5th in the 2002 British Open at Muirfield and is a good horses for courses play.
Your 2013 British Open picks:
Champion Golfer of The Year: Ernie Els in a repeat
Runner Up: Jason Day starting to look like Mickelson with the runner up finishes.
Third: Adam Scott gets back on track but not all the way.