2017 British Open picks: Odds, expert predictions from a star-studded field
Will Rory McIlroy or Phil Mickelson find their footing at Royal Birkdale this week?
Who you are picking to win the 2017 Open Championship is what everyone wants to know this time of year, and rarely has the decision at the top been more difficult. The star-studded field is loaded and features the return of Phil Mickelson to major competition after he was forced to miss the U.S. Open due to a scheduling conflict. It also includes some of the best golfers in the world looking to get back to the top level of the sport at one of its grandest stages after some questionable major performanes through the first half of the season.
We're here to help you answer who you should lean on at the Open. While narrowing this all down to a champion and top finishers is a tough task, we here at CBS Sports are certainly up to it. Check out thehere.
So who wins the 2017 Open Championship? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full leaderboard from the model that nailed the Masters and find out.
2017 Open Championship picks
Kyle Porter, golf writer
Winner -- Rickie Fowler (14/1): He's had success at Opens in the past and generally plays links golf quite well. The best-case scenario for him is if the wind howls and it rains sideways. His ball flight and temperament are built for that.
Top 10 lock -- Jordan Spieth (14/1): He's just so freaking tough to put away. He's coming in off a win, and I think he wins multiple Opens in his career. If he drives it straight, that could be game, blouses for the rest of the field.
Sleeper -- J.B. Holmes (125/1): He infamously finished third last year in one of the great shootouts in golf history. He's also coming off a 12th-place finish at the U.S. Open.
Top five in order: Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Soren Kjeldsen, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood
Surprise prediction: Jon Rahm will miss the cut. Rahm will win one of the next five majors, but it won't be this one.
Lowest round: 65
Winning score: 278 (-2)
Winner's Sunday score: 70
Chip Patterson, writer
Winner -- Sergio Garcia (16/1): With 10 Top-10 finishes since 2001, The Open Championship was the logical choice for Garcia's first major victory until he finally had his moment in Augusta earlier this season. The last three appearances, in particular (T5, T6, T2), have contributed to him having one of the lowest Open scoring averages in the field over the last five years, and his recent form has continued to be great with a T2 at the BMW International Open and no missed cuts since the Masters win.
Top 10 lock -- Rickie Fowler (14/1): I'd love to see Rick win this, and wouldn't be surprised if he does, but the stone-cold lock is Fowler finishes in the top-10. Royal Birkdale is going to be a second-shot course he's currently No. 8 on tour in strokes gained on approach and No. 3 in strokes gained putting. Fowler's last five starts (PGA and European Tour) include four top-10's, and after a strong showing in the Scottish Open it's hard to fade his play this week in Southport.
Sleeper -- Francisco Molinari (100/1): I like that Molinari is good with his irons and has a pair of top-25 finishes (T9 in 2013, T15) in the last four Open Championships, but I love his driving accuracy on a course where other players are going to be really penalized for wayward shots off the tee. The putting can get a little shaky from time-to-time but if you're looking for a long-shot to make some noise take one of the best tee-to-green players around with four top-10 finishes on the season.
Top five in order: Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter
Surprise prediction: Phil Mickelson goes low on Sunday to finish in the top-five. I love that Phil has become an Open Championship savant late in his career, and as great as it would be to see him win it after falling short in the legendary duel with Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon a year ago I think it's even more likely he drops a 64 on Sunday with an earlier tee time to finish in the top five.
Lowest round: 64
Winning score: 277 (-3)
Winning Sunday score: 69
Adam Silverstein, editor
Winner -- Rickie Fowler (14/1): Just as I felt with the U.S. Open, everything is telling me to take Jordan Spieth to win. He's improved his fairway play and settled down after some rough patches earlier this season, particularly on the green where he is normally extraordinary. But here's the thing: Fowler has to win sometime, and he just teased us a month ago with a tremendous showing. Fowler is better this season in stroked gained putting, and his calm demeanor should be an asset. Spieth has played well of late, but he's struggled mightily with the pressure on in some big events.
Top 10 lock -- Jordan Spieth (14/1): Despite the aforementioned concerns about Spieth, he will almost certainly be in contentiont throughout the four days at Royal Birkdale.
Sleeper -- Tony Finau (125/1): He's finished in the top 20 of three of the five majors in which he's made the cut (two MCs) and offers some tremendous value. This is more of a longshot than I normally pick, but it's worth it considering I think someone with 33/1 odds or better will wind up winning.
Top five in order: Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka
Surprise prediction: Danny Willett misses the cut. It may not seem like much of a surprise for someone like Willett to miss the cut, but consider he's only done so once at the Open since 2011 and finished T6 just two years ago. But here's the thing: The 2016 Masters champion has pulled out of three of his last five events over an injured back and will be attempting to play while on painkillers. Remember, the prediction is that he misses the cut, not that he withdraws. That means 36 holes of not-good-enough golf.
Lowest round: 64
Winning score: 275 (-5)
Winning Sunday score: 68
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