The 2013 British Open gets going on Thursday, so we thought that we would give you our top-five favorites in the form of power rankings. These do not necessarily reflect the favorites according to oddsmakers, but you can probably imagine that many of them will be right up there.
1. Tiger Woods – Woods might not have won a British Open in six years, but he is the best player in the world right now and knows how to navigate the firm and fast conditions at Muirfield. We think it will come down to how well Woods putts. If he has an average putting week, he won’t win. If he has a good putting week, he will be right there in contention because he has been striking the ball well.
2. Phil Mickelson – Had Mickelson not won at the Scottish Open last week, we might not have even put him in our top five. After all, his British Open record is poor by his standards. But that win changed everything. He has shown the ability to play well and win on links golf courses. He should carry this momentum into this week.
3. Graeme McDowell – McDowell is a golfer who seems to relish the biggest tournaments in the game as much as anybody. And more than that, he seems to elevate his game accordingly. As such, we have McDowell at No.3 on our British Open power rankings. He will be playing with Woods during the first two days starting on Thursday.
4. Adam Scott – Scott really should be the defending champion. For 70 holes or so in 2012, he was in complete control of the tournament. He showed remarkable poise and drive with his win at the Masters this past April, and will come into the British Open knowing that he can put on a performance like that. We expect Scott to be a key player come Sunday.
5. Jason Day – Day had a great chance to win both the Masters and the U.S. Open this year. He held leads at various points on Sunday. It’s simply been a break or two here and there needed to go his way. Day has one of the best swings in golf, and he keeps putting himself in good positions. It’s bound to go his way sometime. Why not this week?