Golf’s Open Championship gets underway at Muirfield on Thursday morning and Tiger Woods is the early favourite to win the prestigious event come Sunday evening.
It is one of the most open editions of the tournaments in recent years and there will be a whole crop of players who fancy their chances of securing the famous claret jug after the 72 holes.
A field of 156 players will begin their own bids for the title from Thursday onwards with Ernie Els hoping to defend the tournament he won 12 months ago.
Three-times Open Championship winner Woods comes into the tournament the slight favourite with most bookies.
The American is in search of his first major title for five years, having not taken one since his issues off the course, the triumph coming in the 2008 US Open.
However, he has been in good form this season, having won no less than four tournaments on the PGA Tour already this year. He won the Farmers Insurance Open back in January before scooping three Florida events, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.
The last time he won the Open was seven years ago when he took the 2006 tournament at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, with a final score of -18. He’d successfully defended the title after winning it a year before at St. Andrews.
His other triumph came in 2000, also at St. Andrews as he finished eight shots ahead of Thomas Bjorn and Els at 19-under-par.
Currently, Paddy Power are offering the best odds on Woods winning the tournament at 10/1.
Other Betting Odds
Phil Mickleson has emerged as the second favourite in terms of bookies prices to win the £945,000 first prize. The Californian has never won the tournament; the closest he came was back in 2011 when he tied for second.
However, he comes off the back of winning last weekend’s Scottish Open at Castle Stewart, his first on British soil, and also won the Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour earlier on in the year.
Boylesports currently offer the most generous odds on a Mickleson win at 16/1.
Justin Rose is also being tipped to be amongst the challengers on Sunday and staked his claim when he won the season’s second major, the US Open, back in June.
It was the world number three’s first major victory in his career and will be hoping to make his summer even sweeter by making it two in a row.
The Englishman was thrust into the public eye as a 17-year-old amateur at the 1998 Open Championship, when he finished the tournament in an incredible fourth place. He’s never had similar success in the tournament and will want to turn that record around this year. Paddy Power offer the best odds on Rose being victorious at 22/1.
Rory McIlroy has struggled so far this season having switched to Nike golf clubs and is some way down the betting stakes with a number of outlets, including Sportingbet offering 28/1.
Defending champion Ernie Els is available at 30/1 with Paddy Power whilst recent French open winner Graeme McDowell is at 25/1 with Coral.
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