A candid look at who the bookies have listed as the Top 10 favourites to win this week’s Open Championship at Royal St.George’s Golf Club.
1. Rory McIlroy ($7.50)
If he keeps up his form, we’ll soon have a generation of golfers playing three hour rounds who have no idea how to play a chip shot. It has been a pleasure to watch him play already and hits so many greens.
2. Lee Westwood
Westwood appears to be ever so slightly off his game at the moment, but still played well at the Scottish Open. Ignore him at your own peril though. In his last five tournaments stretching back to the US Masters, Westwood has finished 3rd, 2nd, 9th, 1st and 11th.
3. Luke Donald ($12)
Luke Donald has the straightest back in tournament golf. He’s also ranked #1 in the world and deserves the lofty accolade. I believe Donald deserves to be world number one and he could easily prove the doubters wrong by winning this week if his winning form at the Scottish Open was anything to go by.
4. Martin Kaymer ($26)
By Kaymer’s standards he has been a tad disappointing. He did finish fourth at the French Open a couple of weeks ago but I’m just not feeling Kaymer this week. Remarkably though, I’ve been wrong before and these German golfers are difficult to read.
5. Graeme McDowell ($29)
Here is my pick of the ten. McDowell is made for links golf and after a solid US Open defence, he has struck form nicely in the lead up to The Open Championship. Under pressure, he’s a big time player.
6. Sergio Garcia ($31)
Sergio? Yep, you read right, Sergio’s considered a favourite this week. He finished in a tie for 7th at the US Open, you know. I’d love to see him win but he’ll have too many demons to conquer if he is in contention on Sunday.
7. Jason Day ($34)
Now at number seven in the world, the expectations on Jason Day are high. The only question mark hangs over his preparation, opting to play in the US last weekend rather than practice at St.George’s or on a links golf course. It may prove costly in conditions he isn’t too familiar with.
8. Steve Stricker ($34)
It is eight spots before you reach the first American. Steve Stricker is playing some great golf with a win in the US last week. He has two Top-10 finishes at The Open but like Day, I’m not convinced he can pop over for a week of links golf and win. Stewart Cink did it though.
9. Nick Watney ($34)
The other American in the Top-10 favourites also has form. Watney won two weeks ago on the PGA Tour and has shown he can play links golf with a Top-10 at St.Andrews last year.
10. Padraig Harrington ($34)
Almost as strange seeing Sergio on this list is seeing Harrington’s name. Without Woods, Singh, Els and Mickelson on the list, it feels like golf is moving past these guys. Harrington hasn’t had a great year but if there is one glimmer of hope it is a Top-20 at the Scottish Open birdie-fest last weekend.