British Open Championship odds 2014: Justin Rose takes over for Tiger Woods as major favorite

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of Euros are the favorites at the Open Championship, but there are plenty of red flags for two of the hottest and best players in the world.

In just a couple days, Justin Rose jumped four players in the eye of the oddsmakers to become the co-favorite to win the 2014 British Open. A second straight win will do that, and Rose's victory late Sunday at the Scottish Open vaulted him up the oddsmakers' board and into a tie with Rory McIlroy at 14/1. A few days ago, McIlroy was the sole favorite at 10/1 but Rose's record and two consecutive victories were too hard to ignore. The Englishman will certainly have his fair share of support at Hoylake this week, and it's a perfect chance to back-up that 2013 U.S. Open with another major.

Rose may be the hottest golfer in the world, but that doesn't necessarily make him a great bet this week. Ironically, Britian's best golfer has a pretty horrible record at his national championship. His best result came during the 1998 breakthrough, when he finished T4 as an amateur and whipped up the natives into a hyping frenzy that the next great English golfer had arrived. The story has been documented over and over, but things didn't go smoothly for Rose when he turned pro just days after that dazzling result. He completely fell off the map, his talent unrealized until the last four or five years when he became a force on both sides of the Atlantic.

But even this newer, world-class incarnation of Rose has not been able to make a run at the Open Championship. His career results to date are mix of underwhelming and n/a, his best finish a T12 back in 2007. Here are his results in the 16 years since his first wildly successful Open appearance:

1998 4th (amateur)
1999 Missed Cut
2000 DNP
2001 T30
2002 T22
2003 Missed Cut
2004 DNP
2005 DNP
2006 DNP
2007 T12
2008 T70
2009 T13
2010 Missed Cut
2011 T44
2012 Missed Cut
2013 Missed Cut

For someone so talented, and with so many career achievements, that's a startlingly bad record. Rose should be at home on the links of the Open rota, but for whatever reason, this tournament has never suited him.

On top of that history, Rose also comes to a venue this week with which he's totally unfamiliar. When he met with us after his Quicken Loans National win at Congressional a couple weeks ago, he was quick to point out that he had never played Royal Liverpool and "didn't know the course at all." It was a bit surprising to hear such a prominent English player say that about a course that has such prominence and history in the rota. When the Open was held here in 2006, he was still off wandering in search of his game and not good enough to qualify for and play in major championships. His scouting report from the last time the Open was held here and he was watching on TV:

I just remember it being burnt out, really warm, people eating ice cream and Tiger winning. That's about my memory. I guess I've got some work to do.

Rose undoubtedly got some reps in at the course last week before heading up to Aberdeen and winning the Scottish Open, but a little more familiarity and comfort on the course would be reassuring for those taking the betting favorite.

So despite those back-to-back wins, Rose has some red flags as the co-favorite. McIlroy is not without his issues. He's also a UK native who doesn't prefer the links golf of an Open Championship. He's got a high-ball hitting game that can get blown away in the links wind, and is better suited to the parkland courses of America. But that game held up at Kiawah's Ocean Course three years ago during that runaway PGA Championship win.

After those two co-favorites, it's a list of all the familiar big names who have a history of contending at the Open. Tiger Woods, who is almost always the favorite in every event he enters, is 18/1 behind four others. It's odd to not see Tiger in that top spot, but there was no way the oddsmakers could put him there with just two shaky competitive rounds since his late march microdiscectomy back surgery. That he's not on top gives you an indication of just how wide open this typically unpredictable major could be. Here are the updated odds with just 24 hours to go until the start of the 143rd Open (via Bovada):

Player Odds
Justin Rose 14/1
Rory McIlroy 14/1
Adam Scott 16/1
Henrik Stenson 16/1
Tiger Woods 18/1
Martin Kaymer 20/1
Phil Mickelson 20/1
Graeme McDowell 25/1
Sergio Garcia 25/1
Dustin Johnson 33/1
Jason Day 33/1
Jordan Spieth 33/1
Rickie Fowler 33/1
Bubba Watson 40/1
Lee Westwood 40/1
Luke Donald 40/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1
Angel Cabrera 50/1
Brandt Snedeker 50/1
Hideki Matsuyama 50/1
Ian Poulter 50/1
Paul Casey 50/1
Thomas Bjørn 50/1
Zach Johnson 50/1
Charl Schwartzel 66/1
Ernie Els 66/1
Jamie Donaldson 66/1
Jason Dufner 66/1
Jim Furyk 66/1
Francesco Molinari 80/1
Hunter Mahan 80/1
Jimmy Walker 80/1
Keegan Bradley 80/1
Louis Oosthuizen 80/1
Miguel Angel Jimenez 80/1
Mikko Ilonen 80/1
Robert Karlsson 80/1
Stephen Gallacher 80/1
Webb Simpson 80/1
Bill Haas 100/1
Brendon Todd 100/1
Graham De Laet 100/1
Harris English 100/1
Jonas Blixt 100/1
Joost Luiten 100/1
Kevin Na 100/1
Matteo Manassero 100/1
Nick Watney 100/1
Patrick Reed 100/1
Shane Lowry 100/1
Victor Dubuisson 100/1
Billy Horschel 125/1
Branden Grace 125/1
Chris Wood 125/1
Danny Willett 125/1
Gary Woodland 125/1
Pablo Larrazabal 125/1
Padraig Harrington 125/1
Ross Fisher 125/1
Ryan Moore 125/1
Thongchai Jaidee 125/1
Bernd Wiesberger 150/1
Brooks Koepka 150/1
Charley Hoffman 150/1
Chris Kirk 150/1
Edoardo Molinari 150/1
Fredrik Jacobson 150/1
Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño 150/1
John Senden 150/1
KJ Choi 150/1
Marc Leishman 150/1
Marc Warren 150/1
Michael Hoey 150/1
Paul Lawrie 150/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 150/1
Richard Sterne 150/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 150/1
Brian Harman 175/1
Kristoffer Broberg 175/1
Brendon De Jonge 200/1
Darren Clarke 200/1
George Coetzee 200/1
Gregory Bourdy 200/1
J B Holmes 200/1
Kevin Stadler 200/1
Kevin Streelman 200/1
Russell Henley 200/1
Ryan Palmer 200/1
Ryo Ishikawa 200/1
Stewart Cink 200/1
Tommy Fleetwood 200/1
Ben Curtis 250/1
Ben Martin 250/1
Boo Weekley 250/1
Brendan Steele 250/1
Chris Stroud 250/1
Erik Compton 250/1
Justin Leonard 250/1
Matt Every 250/1
Matt Jones 250/1
Matthew Baldwin 250/1
Oliver Fisher 250/1
Peter Uihlein 250/1
Yong Eun Yang 250/1
Cameron Tringale 300/1
Chesson Hadley 300/1
David Howell 300/1
George McNeil 300/1
Roberto Castro 300/1
Scott Stallings 300/1
Shawn Stefani 300/1
Anirban Lahiri 400/1
Brett Rumford 400/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 400/1
Billy Hurley III 500/1
Bradley Neil 500/1
Byeong-Hun An 500/1
D.A. Points 500/1
Hyung-Sung Kim 500/1
Jin Jeong 500/1
Justin Walters 500/1
Tom Watson 500/1
Victor Riu 500/1
Ashun Wu 750/1
Chris Hanson 750/1
David Duval 750/1
Dawie Van Der Walt 750/1
John Daly 750/1
Juvic Pagunsan 750/1
Mark Calcavecchia 750/1
Oscar Floren 750/1
Nick Faldo 1000/1
Sandy Lyle 1000/1

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