Jul 17, 2014; Wirral, Merseyside, GBR; Sergio Garcia celebrates on the 13th green after holing a birdie putt during his first round at The 143rd Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
$9,900 to $9,000
Louis Oosthuizen ($9,900) dominated St. Andrews back in 2010. Oosthuizen, when healthy, has the kind of game that travels all around the world. At The Open, Oosthuizen has made the cut in four of his last five starts (he withdrew in 2013).
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I don’t have any complaints about Oosthuizen other than the fact that he costs a pretty penny and I’m sure he will be a pretty popular pick.
Rickie Fowler ($9,700) will be interesting. He burned a lot of folks at the U.S. Open and he hasn’t taken that next step since winning The PLAYERS. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs at the Scottish Open.
Jason Day ($9,800) and Bubba Watson ($9,400) are going to be two golfers where the weather will effect if I have exposure to them or not.
Day has yet to play well at a true links style golf course in windy conditions. Day’s best finish at The Open has been a T-30 which happened in 2011.
Once Watson gets a bad break, a bad bounce, it’s only a matter of time before he blows up. Watson is three-for-six in making cuts at The Open and his best finish has been a T-23 in 2012.
If the weather holds up, these two could overpower the golf course, but if it doesn’t it could get messy. Especially, for Watson. Day not so much, but still not worth rolling the dice on at that price.
Phil Mickelson ($9,600) and Paul Casey ($9,200) are both playing well and they’ve played well here at The Open. I don’t think the whole gambling, money laundering thing will be that big of a deal.
In fact that just might make Mickelson hitch up his pants and play better. Mickelson is a riverboat gambler as it is that kind of thing doesn’t bother him.
Casey finished T-3 in 2010 and has made the cut in seven of his last eight tries at The Open Championship.
For my pick in this range, I’m going with Sergio Garcia ($9,500). When I first looked at the prices, Garcia’s name just stood out to me. Garcia has just been playing well and this is the major he has done extremely well at.
Garcia has made the cut 13 of 15 tries at The Open with eight top tens. Call me crazy, but Garcia actually comes across as a safe pick with a ton of upside.
Plus, he comes at a relatively cheap price and if Garcia is going to win a major it will be this one. Throw in the fact that Oosthuizen, Fowler, Mickelson, and Watson all surround him and Garcia might fly under the radar.
Garcia has the potential to be a somewhat lowly owned golfer. Less than 10% isn’t out of the question.
Next: $8,900-$8,000: Contenders