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Golfers to Bet - British Open

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Tournament: 143rd Open Championship
Date: July 17-20, 2014
Venue: Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Location: Merseyside, England

It’s that time of the year again where many of the North American PGA players head over the pond to embark on the challenge that is the Open Championship.

The third major of the season, which is often referred to as the British Open, was established in 1860 and is currently played in a rotation between 10 different courses.

The last time this event was played at the current venue (Royal Liverpool Golf Club), the year was 2006 and golf was in the middle of an immortal run by Tiger Woods as he won by two strokes over American Chris DiMarco with a near record-breaking performance of 18-under par.

Last season, Phil Mickelson took down his first Open Championship at the tough Muirfield course, posting the only score under par (-3) amongst the field of 156 golfers.

The majors are typically won by some of the top golfers in the world, as 15 of the past 18 winners have been players in the current top-30 of the World Golf Rankings.

Let’s take a look at both some top golfers and possible surprises that could excel in this year’s Open Championship.

Golfers to Watch

Adam Scott (12/1): Scott has placed in the top-8 three times at the Open since 2006; including a runner-up finish last year and a T-3rd place in 2012. He has jumped into the first spot in the world rankings due to six top-10 finishes in 10 starts this year, including a win at the Crown Plaza Invitational in late May. His putting game is what has improved so much over the years, as he ranks 15th in strokes gained putting (.471) while hitting a tremendous 23% of his putts from 15-to-25 feet (4th on tour). It is surprising that Scott has just one major to his name over his career, and the No. 1 player in the world has a great opportunity to grab a second major championship this weekend.

Henrik Stenson (18/1): Stenson has been great on both the European Tour and PGA Tour this year, finishing in the top-7 in 5-of-8 tourneys over in Europe and taking two top-15 finishes at the first two majors of the year. He has been close at the Open before with three top-3 finishes in this event over the past six years, including being the runner-up to Phil Mickelson in last year’s installment. Stenson has the right mental fortitude and is possibly the best player out there without a major, so a big run should be in store for the Swiss-born player this week.

Martin Kaymer (18/1): Kaymer will look to win both the Opens this season, which would be his third career major, and he possesses all the tools to achieve this. Besides the win at the U.S. Open this year, Kaymer also hoisted the trophy at the Players Championship, a tournament known for its tough field and is considered a fifth major by many. He has a solid combination of driving distance (295.9 yards per, 45th on tour) and accuracy (64.9%, 32nd on tour), which should give him a leg-up on his competitors. Kaymer should be all over the highlights this week and be contending come Sunday.

Ian Poulter (45/1): Poulter is another tremendous golfer without a major to his name despite winning 16 times through various tours at the professional level in his career. The Open Championship is always close to home for the English-born player, and he has placed in the top-9 three times in the past six years, including a runner-up finish in 2008. Poulter has finished in the top-20 in both of the majors so far this year, and will be a hometown favorite to watch as the week goes on.

Patrick Reed (110/1): Reed seems poised to be one of the next great golfers in the game and already has three PGA Tour wins under his belt at the age of 23. Although he has played in just two majors over his young career, Reed proved that he could take on tough fields with a win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship earlier this year. He is an all-or-nothing type player as he has finished in the top-25 eight times this year, but has also been cut six times over 20 events. The payout would be great on this risky bet, and this will be a great forum for Reed to break out and really make a name for himself moving forward.

  
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