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British Open Betting News and Notes

British Open Betting News and Notes

British Open Prop Betting

The 142nd Open Championship tees off at Muirfield Thursday. While Tiger Woods is the outright fave to win his fourth Claret Jug, sportsbooks are starting to release odds on various prop bets to spice up your betting for the third major of the PGA calendar.

Here is a small sampling of some of the props on the menu.

Margin of victory

Playoff +240
1 shot +250
2 shots +350
2 shots +450
4 shots or more +333

The margin of victory in the 2012 Open was one stroke. The last time the Open was held at Muirfield (2002), it had to be decided by a four-man playoff as Ernie Els, Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington all finished at -6.

Playoff to decide the winner?

Yes -333
No +240

In the last 10 Open Championships, there have been a total of three playoffs to decide the winner (2009, 2007, 2004). At Muirfield in 2002, the Championship was decided by a four-man playoff.

Wire-to-wire winner

No -1600
Yes +700

There have been four wire-to-wire winners in the history of the British Open. The last man to win the Open after leading all four rounds was Gary Player in 1974.

Winning nationality

United States +150
Great Britain and Ireland +250
Mainland Europe +450
South Africa +800
Australia/New Zealand +1000
Japan/Korea/Thailand +2000
Rest of the World +3300

* An American has won five of the last 10 Opens with the last U.S. victory occurring in 2009 (Cink).
* The last major (US Open) was won by a Brit (Justin Rose).
* The last time someone from mainland Europe won the British Open was in 1988 (Seve Ballesteros, Spain).
* A South African won last year (Els) and two of the last three years.
* An Australian has not won the Open since Greg Norman in 1993.

Top Spanish player

Sergio Garcia -188
Miguel Angel Jimenez +650
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano +700
Alvaro Quiros +800
Rafael Cabrera-Bello +1000
Eduardo Da La Riva +2000

Sergio has been the top Spanish player at five of the last 10 Open Championships. He also finished as the top Spaniard the last time the Open was held at Muirfield in 20002. Miguel Angel Jimenez was the top Spanish player at the Open in 2012.

Will there be a hole-in-one:

Yes -137
No +100

Anirban Lahiri aced the ninth hole of the third round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club at the 2012 Open and Tom Watson famously scored an ace at the 2011 Open. There have been 21 aces in the past 30 years at the British Open. There were none at the 2002 Open at Muirfield.

Top Scandinavian:

Henrik Stenson +333
Thomas Bjorn +450
Peter Hanson +700
Freddie Jacobson +750
Alexander Noren +900

Noren was the top Scandinavian last year and Bjorn was top in 2011. Stenson was top in 2010 and 2008.

Tournament Matchup - Justin Rose vs Adam Scott

Rose -116
Draw +1600
Scott -106

Rose and Scott are the current US Open and Masters champs respectively and Scott was the runner up in 2012.

Tournament Matchup - Lee Westwood vs Rory McIlroy

Westwood -111
Draw +1600
McIlroy -111

Westwood was T45 last year and missed the cut at Muirfield in 2002. His best finish was 2 in 2010. Rory was T60 last year and his best finish at The Open is T3 in 2010.

Tournament Matchup - Mickelson vs Els

Mickelson -120
Draw +1600
Els -103

Mickelson is coming off a big win at the Scottish Open this past weekend. Lefty missed the cut last year and finished T66 at Muirfield in 2002. His best finish was T2 in 2011. Els is the defending champion and also won the Open when it was held at Muirfield in 2002.

Tournament Matchup - Nicolas Colsaerts vs Padraig Harrington

Colsaerts -111
Draw +1600
Harrington -111

Colsaerts was T7 in 2012 and has three top 10 finishes so far this year. Paddy Harrington has won two Open Championships (2007, 2008) and was T39 last year. Harrington finished T5 at Muirfield in 2002.

Top English

Justin Rose +215
Lee Westwood +320
Luke Donald +320
Ian Poulter +600

Rose is certainly the hot golfer having won the U.S. Open. Luke Donald was the top English player last year and Lee Westwood was tops in 2010 and 2009.

Top South African

Ernie Els +200
Charl Schwartzel +350
Louis Oosthuizen +450
Branden Grace +650
Richard Sterne +900

Els has won the event twice (2012, 2002) and having won at Muirfield in 2002 certainly plays in his favor. Schwartzel's best ever finish at the Open was T14 in 2010. Oosthuizen won the Open in 2010 but has missed the cut twice since 2004.

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Re: British Open Betting News and Notes

British Open Odds, Picks and Props
By: Rick Herron

Last week, Phil Mickelson proved that he could win a golf tournament on a links-style course when he won the Scottish Open. That’s a pretty big story considering he had never done it before and his record on links courses was pretty dismal.

It would have been an even bigger story if 19-year-old Jordan Spieth had not stepped up and become the first teenager to win on the PGA Tour in 82 years. Ralph Guldahl was the last one to do it in 1931.

We have been riding Spieth for a couple of weeks now and 30-1 was a nice payoff for us. It was a much bigger payoff for Spieth, though, as he not only picked up the big check, he qualified for the British Open this week, the PGA next month, the FedExCup playoffs and the Masters next spring.

Our matchup play of Zach Johnson (+135) over Steve Stricker was also a nice pick, and it actually went up to +175 at the LVH, so it was a good weekend.

We are going to try to keep it going this week at The Open Championship at Muirfield. We did a video detailing some guys to take a look at this week, and we are also going to consider a couple other players at nice prices, but first let’s take a look at the history of Muirfield in Scotland.

Muirfield is one of the greatest golf courses in the world, and it has hosted the Open Championship 15 times. It has also hosted the British Amateur 10 times along with a Ryder Cup in 1973 and the British Senior Open in 2007.

The list of past winners here is staggering. It includes Harry Vardon, Ted Ray, Walter Hagen, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Nick Faldo (twice). All in all, 11 of the 13 winners at Muirfield are in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The last time they played here was in 2002 and Ernie Els was the winner. He is also the defending champion from last year, but he is not a guy we are looking at this week. With the list of champions mentioned above, you have to look at the greatest players in the game this week.

In the video we mentioned Tiger Woods (7-1) along with Rory McIlroy (20-1), Adam Scott (20-1) and Lee Westwood (25-1). Rickie Fowler (40-1) is also a consideration, but here are a couple of other guys to keep an eye on this week:

Phil Mickelson (20-1) – Even though we don’t normally like to back players to win two weeks in a row, Phil did prove last week he can win in Europe and he is playing too well to ignore.

Graeme McDowell (25-1) – McDowell has three wins on the year worldwide, and his game is perfectly suited to this golf course. He is working his way toward a HOF career and his second win in a major here would not be a surprise.

Matt Kuchar (40-1) – Kuchar has played very well all year and is due to win a major just like Adam Scott when he won the Masters and Justin Rose, who won the U.S. Open. This is the hunch play of the week as Kuchar won The Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, back in May.

Bill Haas (60-1) – There has been money on Haas as you could have gotten 100-1 a couple of weeks ago. He is another guy who fits the mold of this season. He has some big wins, including the 2011 FedExCup and the AT&T this year, but he is still looking for that first major. His time is coming.

Our matchup play is based strictly on the odds. Rory is (+190) against Tiger, and while we haven’t seen the best of McIlroy this year, he has won a major in each of the last two seasons. Woods is also coming off a layoff since the U.S. Open with the elbow issue, so you don’t really know what to expect from him. At that price, Rory is worth a wager.Next week we move on to The Canadian Open in Ontario, Canada, but for now let’s just enjoy a great week of golf on a course that is extremely dry and fast.

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Re: British Open Betting News and Notes

The Open Championship Preview and Picks
By Matt Fargo

We hit our third Major of the season with the 142nd edition of The Open Championship taking place from Muirfield Golf Links in East Lothian, Scotland. This is the 16th time Muirfield has hosted The Open Championship with the last coming in 1992. That year it was won by Ernie Els who won in a four-hole playoff (still the playoff format) over Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington. Els is also is the defending champion after defeating Adam Scott by one shot at Royal Lytham & St. Annes last year.

Muirfield is a par 71, 7,192-yard track that has a very unique setup with one nine-hole layout situated inside another. The outside nine runs one way with the inside nine going the opposite direction which makes navigating the wind that much more difficult. Even though it is called a links course, it is not a traditional one. The holes are long but the fairways are firm so hitting the ball low and straight will provide some opportunities to score. Hitting the ball offline will get you in trouble though.

Wind and rain are the norm when it comes to The Open Championship and that is certainly the case at Muirfield where the weather off the Scottish coast can be brutal. That was evidenced back in 2002 when Saturday was played in some of the worst weather possible and scores averaged 74.6, over four shots more than any of the other three days. This year though the forecast is pretty tame with light winds and high temperatures but Mother Nature can always take a turn.

While the thought is that the Majors are dominated by the world's best players, that has hardly been the case. Of the last 19 Majors, there have been 18 different winners with Rory McIlroy being the only two-time Major winner. Not since 2008 has there been a repeat major winner. Padraig Harrington is the last player to do so, winning The Open Championship and PGA Championship back-to-back. It will be up to Justin Rose this week to break that streak after capturing his first Major at the U.S. Open last month.

American players had won three straight Majors after Webb Simpson's victory at the 2012 U.S. Open but since then, the American's are zero for their last four. History could be on their side as since 1995 at St. Andrews, Americans have won 11 of the 18 Open Championships. However, recent history is not on their side as Stewart Cink is the lone American to win The Open Championship over the last six years when he won in 2009 in a playoff over Tom Watson at Turnberry.

As mentioned, the defending champion is Ernie Els (+2,800) who also was the winner the last time Muirfield contested The Open Championship. Those two victories have a lot of people excited for Ernie to win again and he is getting solid odds to go along with that. However, it is difficult to repeat and while Els could be in the mix over the weekend, there are better options out there.

Is favorite Tiger Woods (+700) one of those options? Personally I don't think so, especially at this price. His Major drought is well documented and while he is going to win another one at some point, this isn't likely the one. He has been playing great this year no doubt and he has three Open Championship wins but his injured elbow is a concern no matter how good he says it is.

Jason Day (+2,500) is my top pick this week despite his lackluster record here. His first Open Championship resulted in a T60 in 2010 and he then finished T30 the next year before not competing last year. His Majors record since then has been spectacular with a third at the Masters and a T2 at the U.S. Open. He played his practice round at Muirfield on Monday with no woods in his bag which is the way to win.

Lee Westwood (+2,800) continues to disappoint when it comes to Majors and not being able to secure one. He has 15 top tens in Majors in his career including nine top fives and seven top threes. There are not many players that have been closer without winning and he is very due. At The Open Championship, he has three top four finishes including a solo second in 2010.

Only one player has finished in the top 15 in the last three Open Championships and that is Dustin Johnson (+4,000). His T14 in 2010 was followed up with a T2 in 2011 and a T9 last year so he clearly has played well over here. He is known for being a bomber but he is a great player in the wind and the different gusts and directions could benefit him more than anyone.

Nicolas Colsaerts (+5,000) has made only two open Championship appearances but one of those came last year and he finished T7. He is the longest hitter on tour and keeping those big hits straight will put him in contention. He has just three top tens this year but one of those came at the U.S. Open. He has not lived up to the hype since his play at the Ryder Cup but this could be his breakout.

Thorbjorn Olesen (+10,000) will be a big longshot play this week but contains incredible value. He won in Europe last year at the Sicilian Open and since then, he has six other top six finishes including three this year. His PGA Tour record is not good this year but his T6 at the Masters cannot be discounted. After missing the cut in his inaugural Open Championship in 2011, he finished T9 last year.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at The Open Championship (all for One Unit)

Jason Day (+2,500)
Lee Westwood (+2,800)
Dustin Johnson (+4,000)
Nicolas Colsaerts (+5,000)
Thorbjorn Olesen (+10,000)

2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 27 events: -40.4 Units

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Re: British Open Betting News and Notes

British Open Preview
By Dan Daly

Normally I wouldn't give the time of day to the John Deere Steve Stricker Open, especially the week of a major, but I have to acknowledge my man Jordan Spieth. How good is this guy? Became the fourth youngest PGA Tour winner ever, earned full PGA Tour membership, moved to 11th in FedEx points, qualified for the British Open this week, Augusta next year and pretty much wrapped up rookie of the year all before his 20th birthday. Oh, and won a national championship at Texas the one year he was there to boot. Yeah, I think he's going to do ok for himself.

However the biggest story in golf actually took place over the weekend amid the pine trees in East Texas during the annual North/South Cup. While a majority of you reading have never heard of this tournament before I'm pretty sure The Golf Channel is going to air a special on it after what transpired Saturday afternoon. Look, I'm not saying it was the greatest comeback in the history of team sports (I will let scholars debate that in the decades to come) but it made the Battle of Brookline in the 1999 Ryder Cup look like a cake walk. Down 10.5 to 5.5 heading into the singles matches and facing a very solid South squad, the North team mounted a comeback of epic portion to square the match before playing Captain Silas Graham birdied the first playoff hole to take the Cup back for the North. Suck on that DL III, that's what good team captain's do.

Moving on to less important tournaments…Because I live in America, I will break down the British Open.

Obviously the biggest story of the week going into the British Open involves the elbow of a past British Open Champion…and it's not Tiger Woods. Tragic news struck this week when John Daly had to withdraw from the British Open for season ending elbow surgery. Basically JD will miss the only two majors he can play in, the British Open and the PGA Championship. I think we can all agree everyone loses in this scenario. Hey, at least he has two majors.

Let's start with who isn't going to win this week

Ernie Els (25/1): Probably going to be the most popular player bet on this week. However I'm selling tickets on the Ernie Els bandwagon as fast as I can. I'm the frickin' Stubhub for Ernie Els bandwagon tickets this week. Defending champion, check. Defending champion at Muirfield, check. Won on the Euro tour recently, check. What does it all add up to? Zero chance of him winning this week. I had him winning in this space last year at 40/1 odds and hit that, so just trust me on this one.

Phil Mickelson (25/1): Although that number will come down after his win on Sunday. And by win, I mean complete meltdown on the 72nd hole followed by a win. But by all means, feel free to take him if you don't like your money. I know, I know, he has figured out links golf now; he won the Scottish Open. Great point. He was also second at the Scottish Open in 2007 and missed the cut the next week. Look, FIGJAM Mickelson and any major with the word "Open" in it just don't go well. He obviously can't win the U.S. Open and he has TWO career top 10's in the British Open. Yeah, I think I'll pass. And can we please stop already with the "Phil the Thrill" comments. How does having constant meltdowns at the end of tournaments make you "The Thrill?" They're called meltdowns…no more, no less.

Rory McIlroy (20/1): I would barely give him 20/1 odds to make the cut this week, much less win. Are you kidding me? This is the same guy that has snapped two clubs in his last two starts, correct? How's that Nike thing working out for you? I mean, besides the fact that you are stupid rich because of it.

Tiger Woods (15/2): That's right, I put him in this category; me, the biggest Tiger apologist around, but the dude simply has zero chance this week. Take your pick on why: the course, the elbow, the lack of practice…lord knows the list is long, but it just ain't happening this week. He will play the weekend…that much I'm sure of. However, short of Earl coming back and training him for a week, don't waste your money on him either.


Justin Rose (20/1):
Could he win? Of course, it wouldn't shock me, but I'll bet against him winning both Open's back to back. The last to do it was Tiger Woods in 2000 and before that it was Tom Watson in 1982. Rose is good and he will contend, but he won't win.

Sergio Garcia (30/1): The real question here isn't if Sergio will win, but at what point over the weekend will he have a complete mental meltdown and cost himself the tournament? Whether it's offending an entire race, or bitch slapping a marshal, or snapping all of his clubs and playing the entire round with just a 7-iron? No one knows, not even Sergio, but that's what makes it so fun to watch.

Adam Scott (20/1): You remember him right? He lost last year's British Open because he had such an advantage with the anchor putter that he missed everything he looked at the last five holes. Besides, after he won the Masters you know he quit practicing and just spent the next two months having sex with all of the contestants in the Miss Universe pageant…because he can. And quite frankly, I think he made the right decision.

Ian Poulter (40/1): If someone would just tell him it's the Ryder Cup he would win by 15 shots. He will win a British Open sooner than later, just not this soon. One thing he will win though is the award for most outlandish outfit at least one of the four days. That I will put at even money.

Thomas Bjorn (50/1): With a seven week old baby at home, my Saturday and Sunday mornings start a whole lot earlier than they use to. I tell you this because I've learned the only thing on TV worth watching at that hour is European Golf on TGC. And since my little girl has yet to ask me to change the channel, we watch it together. The one guy I seem to see on the leaderboard every week, without fail (and without winning) is Thomas Bjorn. And don't forget, he held a 3-shot lead going into the final 4 holes of the 2003 British Open before it took him roughly 27 tries to get of a greenside bunker on 16 and lost by one stroke to Ben Curtis. Just don't be surprised when you see his name up there this weekend.

Who to take

I'm going to cheat a little bit here and pick two people, but before I do, the one bet I would highly recommend making this week is a Euro Player winning vs an American player. I don't care what the line is, just take it.

Graeme McDowell (25/1): This is my first alternate pick. He doesn't have quite as long of a line to get on his bandwagon as Ernie Els does but since his French Open win he has now won three times worldwide this year. However, he has also missed five cuts during the same stretch, including the first two majors, so it's a little more of a crap shoot with him, but don't be surprised to see him hoisting the Claret Jug Sunday night. Unless…

Lee Westwood (25/1): I said in February this was the tournament Westwood would pick up his first major and I am sticking to that…for better or for worse. I have exactly zero solid reasons to believe Westwood will actually win the British Open other than a gut feeling. The same gut feeling that I had about Ernie Els last year. In the words of Ben Crenshaw, "I'm a big believer in fate. I have a good feeling about this." After this weekend and being part of an even more famous golf comeback than the 1999 U.S. Ryder Cup team…that's good enough for me.

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