This year’s event will be held at the Royal St George’s golf club in Sandwich, England. The last time the Open was held at this course the winning score was just one under par, so don’t expect huge numbers under par.
The tournament has already been dealt a blow with news that former world number one and major drawcard Tiger Woods will not be competing this year. Woods has failed to overcome a knee injury that has kept him out of golf since the Players Championship in May. There is some doubt as to whether the former world number one will make it back on course at all this year.
We take a look at the contenders for the 2011 British Open. All odds are courtesy of Bodog Sportsbook
Rory McIlroy (Ranking: 4) $6.50
If it wasn’t for a meltdown on the back nine in The Masters McIlroy could well be half way to completing the Grand Slam. The 22 year old Northern Irishman was sublime in the US Open, leading for all four days. He set new records for best ever aggregate score and most shots under par for the US Open. If he brings his A game he will be very hard to stop.
Lee Westwood (Ranking: 2) $11.00
After finishing third in the US Open and 11th in The Masters, Westwood will be hoping he can a little better this time round. The Englishman also finished second in the British Open last year. Westwood showed he is still capable of winning golf tournaments by taking out the Ballantine’s Chamionship back in May. He is a consistent performer at the majors and should be there or thereabouts come Sunday.
Luke Donald (Ranking: 1) $15.00
The newly crowned world number one is one of the favourites to claim his first major win. Already this year Donald has won the BMW PGA Championship and the Accenture World Match Play Championship. He has the poise and composure to thrive under pressure and what’s more he is Jack Nicklaus’ pick to win.
Sergio Garcia (Ranking: 53) $21.00
Garcia is going through somewhat of a renaissance in recent times. After some leans years in 2009 and 2010, the Spaniard seems to have recaptured his best form. He finished seventh at the US Open and then was unlucky in the BMW International where he finished as runner up. Garcia is currently ranked fifth on the European tour for scoring and greens in regulation.
Phil Mickelson (Ranking: 6) $26.00
Mickelson will come into the Open knowing his swing is in good order after a win at the Shell Houston Open and a second place at the Farmers Insurance Open. However the lefty has not enjoyed the best of times when playing in the British Open. His best finish was third in 2004, however he hasn’t been in the reckoning on the final days for quite some time.
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Graeme McDowell (Ranking: 9) $26.00
The Northern Irishman has never finished inside the top ten at the British Open, however his win at the US Open last year proved he has the mettle to close out a major championship. If McDowell is to be successful he will become the first Northern Irishman to win the event since Fred Daly back in 1947.
Jason Day (Ranking: 7) $34.00
Day will be looking to match the feats of fellow Australian Greg Norman who was able to capture The Open championship twice. Day has finished second in both majors so far this year, and if he can fine tune his game to suit the conditions at Royal St George’s he will certainly be in with a shot.
Charl Scwartzel (Ranking: 11) $34.00
The South African has not missed a cut in the nine tournaments he has played this year. In fact he has not finished outside the top 25 all year either. Schwartzel also leads the European Tour in scoring averages. He will be looking to make it back to back British Opens for South Africa after his countryman Louis Oosthuizen took out the event last year.
Justin Rose (Ranking: 31) $36.00
Rose has been consistent without winning of late, but if he can put it all together at the right time he is definitely a big chance in the Open. He has finished in the top ten in five of the 15 events he has played this year, showing that his swing is in good order. Finished fifth in the Fedex Cup points in 2010.
Padraig Harrington (Ranking: 57) $41.00
The Irishman has not enjoyed a spectacular 2011, but he has been solid without setting the world on fire. The Irishman looked to be headed for greatness after he won the back to back Open’s in 2007 and 2008 before taking out the 2008 PGA Championship. However he has not won a tournament since.
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