British Open Preview
July 13, 2014
By Dan Daly
Editor's Note: Be sure to follow @_DanDaly on Twitter this golf season for his off-the-cuff remarks and entertaining commentary!
Spend 48 hours in New Orleans…get on a plane with a massive hangover…sit directly next to the engine in row 31 to accentuate said hangover…write a 1,500 hundred word British Open Preview.
In other words please forgive anything below that makes no sense or sounds like it was written by an 8-year-old that stole my laptop.
Let's break down this year's British Open field, shall we. This year's groupings will be in honor of my weekend in New Orleans.
And once again, I go with the British Open over the Open Championship because I live in America.
The Late Night Harrah's Group (You might as well just take your money and light it on fire)
John Daly 300/1 - John Daly…Harrah's…what other possible group could he go in? David Duval is also 300/1 which unfortunately may also be his two day total this week. At least his opening round 81 at the John Deere was only the second worst score of the entire tournament so that's a positive.
Sergio Westwood 35/1 - Just trying to save space…this is still a major right?
Bubba Watson 35/1 - Tiger won here basically without using a driver and Bubba hated Pinehurst this year. Yeah, this should go well for him.
Zach Johnson 60/1 - Do they even have John Deere tractors in the UK? Look, if you can't close the deal at TPC Deere Run I'm pretty sure Hoylake is out of the question.
Phil Mickelson 25/1 - A year ago he was a long shot to ever win one British Open so I'll pass on him winning back-to-back years. That and the pesky little fact that he still doesn't even have a Top-10 on Tour this year. Let's clear that hurdle first.
Jim Furyk 60/1 - Is 5-Hour energy allowed in the UK? If not, he won't even have a chance to meltdown late on Sunday.
Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan 70/1 - These two guys at 70/1 is not a "good value." That's Vegas telling you they have absolutely no shot of winning this week. Neither one ever has odds this high in other tournaments.
Patrick Reed 115/1 - I'm no wise guy but 115/1 for a top 5 player on Tour seems odd to me? Oh, he's still not a top 5 player? My bad…
Brandt Snedeker 50/1 - I don't know much, but when a guy switches swing instructors in the middle of the season and two weeks before a major I would stay a Rory McIlroy drive away from that action. On that note, at what point has Butch Harmon achieved total world domination?
The One More Hurricane Group (It sounds like a good idea at the time but you pay for it later)
Tiger Woods 15/1 - For years I had one simple rule with Tiger…I might not bet on him but I would never bet against him…especially in a major. Well, that rule no longer applies. At least not for the time being. He will contend at the PGA next month but not this week. If Congressional was any indication of his current short game then 15/1 to win this week is laughable. I don't care how many irons he can tee off with, if he can't get the ball in the hole he can't win. I know, pretty scientific stuff right there.
Jordan Spieth 25/1 - Needs to play in a few more British Open's first…but once he does his game will be lethal over there. And as much as I love Spieth his odds are way too low for a guy that has only played in one British Open.
Matt Kuchar 40/1 - If you like to smile while you lose money, then by all means, this is the guy you need to bet on this week.
Dustin Johnson 40/1 - You can't possibly expect him to play inspired golf when his fiancé is following him around all day bundled up due to the crappy weather they have in the UK this time of year. He will win a major when it's 100 degrees outside and tight tank tops are in order.
Jason Day 25/1 - Day has only played in three British Open's (which surprised me) and has had a blow up round in each keeping him from ever finishing inside the top 30. Until he figures out how to put four solid rounds together at the British Open, save your money.
Henrik Stenson 25/1 - If Stenson couldn't win a major in 2013 with the season he had I'm pretty sure he is never going to be able to close the deal.
Ian Poulter 45/1 - Until they hold the Ryder Cup and the British Open the same weekend I'll pass on Poulter. But if they have a Twitter contest I think he is your odds on favorite.
The 3:00 am Krystal's Stop Group. (Always a solid option, but not your best bet)
Miguel Angel Jimenez 85/1 and Angel Cabrera 115/1 - Can you really put The Mechanic or The Duck in any other group? I know I can't.
Justin Rose 12/1 - He went from totally geek to totally chic in the last two weeks by winning at Congressional and The Scottish Open back-to-back. Or in English he went from 30/1 to 12/1 and the betting favorite in less than two weeks. If you want a bandwagon pick this week then Rose is your guy. I'll pass for one very large reason: his record at the British Open is surprisingly awful. He has missed the cut in back-to-back years, three of the last four and five of his 12 starts. He also doesn't have a top 10 in the British Open since he burst onto the scene as an amateur in 1998 with a tie for 4th. I have no doubt he will play well this week but winning three in a row? Not happening. (And yes, I just dropped a Can't Buy Me Love quote on you above)
Rory McIlroy 15/1 - I'm guessing his tournament will look something like this…59, 85, 69, 67 for a backdoor top 10. I've never seen anyone as inconsistent from the first to the second round as Rory…it's fascinating actually but he has done it his entire career. When he wins, he has a good second round; it's as simple as that.
Louis Oosthuizen 60/1 - I just fell asleep thinking about him winning. Which is exactly why he is a solid option this week. As boring as this season and the first two majors have been this is right up his alley.
Luke Donald 45/1 - Length is not an issue for him here and with his short game he should contend…but he won't win.
Graeme McDowell 45/1 - If double digits under par wins he's not your guy, but if the weather dictates the score and par becomes a valuable number then I would never count him out. Too big of a variable for me to take.
Victor Dubuisson 85/1 - If this thing turns into a short game contest I certainly wouldn't rule him out.
Adam Scott 15/1 - He clearly has the game to win this tournament but after the memorable embrace here between Tiger and Steve Williams in 2006, Earl would never allow them to win this week.
Martin Kaymer 20/1 - After winning on Mother's Day and Father's Day, I'm not so sure he can pull this one off unless it's Sibling Day, Grandparent Day, or some other family recognition day. That and I refuse to believe he can win the U.S. Open and British Open back-to-back. But man can this guy putt from off the green.
Jason Dufner 50/1 - Ok, so I'm really putting Amanda Dufner in this spot. Jason won't win the British Open but his wife certainly won the 4th of July with this classic! USA! USA! USA! And once again, Mrs. Dufner increased her stock even more. Ten!
The Advil, Water, Steam Room and Massage Group (Winning):
I'm cheating again and taking two players this week. Hey, last time I checked there was no rule against betting on two players.
Ernie Els 60/1 - This is my long shot pick for the week. Great record at the British Open, played well here the year Tiger won and hello…The Big Easy! Coincidence? I think not.
Rickie Fowler 50/1 - At 50/1 I guess he isn't that much less of a long shot than Els but I am officially drinking the bright orange Kool-Aid. Two top-5 finishes this year in the first two majors of the year. His swing has come full circle. Course sets up great for his game. Loves links golf. Had a solid showing at the Scottish Open. And quite frankly I just think he is due to finally break through and win a major even though he still only has one more PGA Tour win than I do.
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