Here are a few things you need to know about the British Open that will be played this weekend at the windy and wild Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
First you need to know that if you want to watch the action live plan on getting up early as ESPN, who will carry all four days of the tournament will start their coverage at 4 am both Thursday and Friday.
For all the details about the coverage our friend Andy Hall at ESPN fills you in here.
The second thing you will want to look out for is if anyone will actually using anything but an iron on this links course.
Lastly, you should know that it is indeed legal to wager on who will win the Open title. As a matter of fact there are betting parlors within a short walk to the course.
With that in mind we will share a little of their odds on who might win The Open title.
This marks the return of Tiger Woods so that will attract attention and the former World number one has said that nothing else but victory will do for him as he goes in search of a 15th major title and his first since 2008.
The 38-year-old, who won at Royal Liverpool back in 2006, but has only played two competitive rounds since undergoing back surgery in March, and his odds at winning are pegged at 25-1 with several bookmakers.
One thing that the handicappers in England are having a problem with is picking a clear cut favorite. This could well be the most wide open of any of the majors played this year.
At this point World number one Australian Adam Scott at 12-1 seems to be the favorite but he is hardly the odds on choice.
Other early favorites are Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, the great British hope who has won his last two tournaments, including last week’s Scottish Open,
Rose is at 14-1 while Stenson is on the books at 16-1 depending on which bookmaker you go to, and both are worthy of consideration.
Last year’s Open champion Phil Mickelson is available at 25-1, behind Rory McIlroy at 18-1 and U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer at 22-1.
Those who like a long shot well there are some good one’s out there, Rickie Fowler represents good value at 40-1, particularly given his eighth place finish at the Scottish Open, while ambitious 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who finished second behind Bubba Watson (50-1) at the Masters, is also good value at 33-1 as he looks to win his first Major.
The bookies are not playing howtown favorites with the British golfers. Paul Casey is at 70-1, while Lee Westwood (50-1) and Ian Poulter (66-1) are still looking to The Open on home soil.
However, if it is former Major winners that you are after, Angel Cabrera (66-1), Ernie Els (66-1) and Charl Schwartzel (80-1) represent good value on each-way bets particularly, with Louis Oosthuizen also worth a flutter at 100-1.
It has been known at the Open to see a winner come from nowhere – just think of Paul Lawrie in 1999, Ben Curtis in 2003 and Todd Hamilton in 2004, and that could just as easily happen again this year.
With that in mind, Irishman Shane Lowry is a good bet at 100-1, having finished fourth at the Scottish Open, and Jonas Blixt (125-1) has the talent to surprise a few people.
As for me, I am going with the 20 year old Spieth, who says he is already hoping to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles.
Enjoy The Open even if you can’t bet on the tournament.