It's British Open season, which means golf writers everywhere are required to uphold their annual tradition and gamble away their pay checks because they think they know everything. Luke Kerr-Dineen, Alex Myers and Geoff Shackelford took the plunge this year. All odds are according to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.
__Luke Kerr-Dineen: Adam Scott, 14/1__The World No.1 finished T-8 here in 2006, and he has top threes in the last two British Opens. And he's won a major already. What more could you want from a market leader?
__Alex Myers: Henrik Stenson, 16/1__The Swede has posted his best ever finish at each of the past four majors. The clear best player in the world without winning one, I think he changes that this week.
__Geoff Shackelford: Justin Rose, 16/1__Yes, don't remind me he's won two events in a row. The man came in fresh as a rose after the Scottish Open win. It was not taxing. He's striking the ball as well as anyone on the planet. Even better, the punters have suddenly cooled on him and he's available for 16/1. Decent value.
__Luke: Zach Johnson, 50/1__Zach Johnson has two top tens in his last two British Opens, and his low ball flight and good short game will help him here. It's hard to see ZJ ending his career with just one major.
__Alex: Angel Cabrera, 60/1__Usually a total wildcard, but the Argentine actually comes to Hoylake fresh off his first "regular" PGA Tour win at the Greenbrier and he returns to the site of a seventh-place finish in 2006.
__Geoff: Paul Casey, 50/1__Trending in the right direction, another Englishman who at 66-1 is a bargain. Another great ball-striker who can manage his way around this narrow links, I am banking on a top 6 finish for a nice payout at 16/1 odds or so (top 6 here pays 25% of the final odds).
__Luke: Ryan Moore, 100/1__Ryan Moore is quietly putting together his best year on tour. His poor track record at the British Open is a concern, but he was in one of the final groups on Sunday at Muirfield and he's fresh off consecutive top tens in the U.S. All that more than justifies his 100/1 price.
__Alex: Jimmy Walker, 90/1__Sure, there were the three early wins this season that have made Walker a surprising leader in the FedEx Cup points race, but he's quietly continued to play very well. Walker missed the cut in his only Open appearance last year, but this year, he's the only player to finish in the top 10 in all three of golf's biggest events (Masters, U.S. Open and Players).
__Geoff: Mikko Ilonen, 80/1__The Finnish great who I couldn't pick out of a lineup won the Irish Open a few weeks ago and get this, won the 2000 British Amateur at, drumroll please, Royal Liverpool. Odds are ranging from 66-1 to 100-1. Go Mikko!
And for those followers of Alex's weekly fantasy round-up, here are his picks this week:
And for those in Yahoo! fantasy golf leagues, here's Alex's weekly lineup:
__Starters:__Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Sergio Garcia.
Bench: Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Angel Cabrera, and Jimmy Walker.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Sergio Garcia.