Phil Mickelson hasn’t had a major in a while. Is the British Open his shot?
Lucky Lefty has been a huge fan of gamblers and casual golf fans alike for decades. Combined with his incredible shot-making, his legendary instructional DVDs, and a razor-sharp wit, Phil Mickelson is undoubtedly one of the most popular athletes in the world, let alone golf by itself. But this year’s British Open, the oldest of all Major Championships in golf, is set to be one of the best in the world. This is not only an opportunity for casual fans who love the sport to watch the world’s greatest duke it out for glory and a massive purse, but it’s also a chance to cash some tickets.
Moving off of the “he’s due” factor is a popular reason for why people place wagers on certain athletes, and Mickelson is no different. There are a ton of casual fans and serious gamblers alike who really like Phil to win it all. But is he the best bet, and if not, who is?
Well, picking an outright winner in a golf tournament is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack.
In other words: Pretty gosh dang difficult.
Does Phil Win?
One of the biggest issues with Phil lately has been the consistency. While he and Henrik Stenson had a legendary head-to-head battle down the stretch in the final round of the 2016 British Open, it was an absolutely unbelievable example of just how ridiculous both players are. Going off the tee with a 3-wood, Mickelson was dropping pinpoint precision drives in the spots he had to make, but for the most part, he was simply unable to capitalize. For Phill to be able to win, he’s going to have to dink and dunk in really tough links golf conditions, which are a very unique style of golf that not all players are used to playing.
That said, Mickelson is undoubtedly one of the top players in the world when his ball-striking is on point, and he’s able to maximize his talent and ability. In this area, he’s one of the game’s best, but it’s going to be incumbent on how the rest of the field performs. In the meantime, while he is one of the most popular bets, the oddsmakers are not giving him much of a chance in this one. To round out the top three presently, Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, and Rory McIlroy are getting the vast majority of the wager. This preference for these “hot” names has relegated Lucky Lefty to dark horse status in the minds of some.
Presently, Phill is about a 100-1 underdog, clearly a massive long shot to win the British Open. That said, in terms of the pure wagering side of things, Phil definitely deserves a little action, but it’s definitely a wager that should be made with the knowledge that, despite the fact he’s a big dog, it shouldn’t sway more casual bettors from taking a shot on Lefty.
But as far as a winning wager? Here’s one that may surprise: Phil fails to make the cut. At plus money, you can take Phil to fail to qualify for the final two rounds, and if you’re willing to make that wager, you’d be fading one of the game’s greatest talents. In recent years, he has been unable to capitalize on the big-time major opportunities, thereby making him one of the more popular fades in this year’s finale to cap off the major season. While most books only offer matchups and outrights, this popular exotic is definitely something you should look out for if you’re trying to find an underrated pick with a lot of value.