Though it's nearly impossible to accurately predict a winner of professional golf tournament, I'm going to try.
All of the people "in the know" are saying the winner of this week's British Open at Royal Liverpool could be anyone. The smarties in the press claim that since the Championship has not been held at Hoylake since 1967, no one has enough of a home field advantage to be crowned the favorite. This sort of makes sense, but from what I've seen over the years, unless it's played at St. Andrews (see Tiger Woods), the Open is always up for grabs.
The bookmakers favor Tiger, then Phil, and then Vijay. They try to make money, so of course they won't be going out on a limb. In my fantasy league, I picked all non-Americans, which is totally against the grain, because Americans win this tournament all the time. My fantasy pics are David Howell (England), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Adam Scott (Australia), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Tim Clark (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), and Stuart Appleby (Australia). I probably shouldn't have picked two Aussies, but they're playing so darn well lately, that I couldn't NOT pick them. Plus, I didn't see anyone from Turkey or Romania in the field.
If you have an online bookmaker, you can get very good odds on most players not named Tiger or Phil. If Mickelson wins, it will be a great comeback after his 72nd hold disaster at Winged Foot, but I don't see it happening. Tiger will probably get a top 10, but I don't think it's his year. Who does that leave? Just about everyone else. Aside from Seve Ballesteros and some donk named Ben Bunny, nearly everyone in the field has a legitimate shot at winning.
I asked my wife for her top three picks, and they're pretty solid. She picked Jose-Maria Olazabal, Ernie Els, and Stuart Appleby. In her heart, she's rooting for Sergio Garcia.
My darkhorse pick is England's own, Nick Dougherty. He has a lot of game. Many people aren't familiar with him because he plays in Europe, but he's a young, rising star. And, he's a local Liverpudlian, and he claims to have played Hoylake countless times. Will course knowledge serve him well? I hope so. I have a small wager on him at around 300-1. Go Nick!