British Open odds 2014: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods jump into favorite position before 2nd round

Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Some big names populate the first page of the leaderboard after 18 holes at Hoylake, but Rory McIlroy is now the sole favorite according to the oddsmakers.

Rory McIlroy started the British Open as a co-favorite to win at Royal Liverpool with Justin Rose at 14/1. After a clinical first round 66 that put him on top by a shot at 6-under, McIlroy stands alone as a 4/1 favorite to close it out over the final 54 holes.

It's a sensible move, with Rory being such a public and well-known star that will attract bettors' money. But as we've seen so often from Rory this year, things change pretty dramatically for him from the first round to the second round. That's likely pure coincidence but it's happened enough that he's been pestered plenty about it this week as a trend. The Ulsterman even admitted that the peculiar swing from Thursday to Friday was "in his head." And he won't have much room to let up in the second round, as the group around him chasing is made up of some of the top players in the world.

Right behind Rory at 5/1 is Adam Scott, a really attractive option based on the way he plays tee-to-green and his second and third-place finishes at the Open the last two years. Scott was just as impressive as Rory on Thursday, even though he came in two shots worse. The Aussie and 2013 Masters champ was out in the afternoon playing in the more difficult conditions. He was really the only player to post a number within range of the Rory, reinforcing how much more difficult things got later in the day at Hoylake. Unfortunately for Scott, it looks like his half of the draw might be on the short end again on Friday, when the wind is supposed to pick up significantly from Thursday but then die off for the afternoon group, which includes McIlroy.

One player who's also made a big move is the usual heavy favorite at all these major championships, Tiger Woods. He's now 10/1, a jump from either 18/1 or 20/1 depending on where you looked before the tournament started. Tiger looked solid after those two opening bogeys, striking it well off the tee and on approach, and even mixing in a few draws that hinted at increased confidence with where he's at both healthwise and with his swing. Tiger, like Rory, will be out later in the day at Hoylake when the wind is supposed to be down. If he posts a number like he did in the opening round, he'll move closer and closer to becoming the favorite on the weekend.

Here are the updated odds to win the 143rd edition of the Open Championship after 18 holes (via Bovada):

Player Odds to Win
Rory McIlroy 4/1
Adam Scott 5/1
Tiger Woods 10/1
Sergio Garcia 12/1
Jim Furyk 22/1
Rickie Fowler 22/1
Justin Rose 25/1
Matteo Manassero 28/1
Shane Lowry 28/1
Francesco Molinari 33/1
Hideki Matsuyama 33/1
Henrik Stenson 40/1
Jason Dufner 40/1
Jimmy Walker 40/1
Dustin Johnson 50/1
Jordan Spieth 50/1
Lee Westwood 50/1
Robert Karlsson 50/1
Martin Kaymer 55/1
Zach Johnson 55/1
Brooks Koepka 66/1
Louis Oosthuizen 66/1
Stephen Gallacher 66/1
Thomas Bjørn 66/1
Edoardo Molinari 75/1
Mikko Ilonen 75/1
Phil Mickelson 75/1
Bill Haas 80/1
Marc Leishman 80/1
Ryan Moore 80/1
Boo Weekley 100/1
Charl Schwartzel 100/1
Fredrik Jacobson 100/1
Jason Day 100/1
John Senden 100/1
Matt Kuchar 100/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 100/1
George Coetzee 125/1
Graeme McDowell 125/1
Hunter Mahan 125/1
Kristoffer Broberg 125/1
Luke Donald 125/1
Bubba Watson 150/1
Chris Kirk 150/1
Graham De Laet 150/1
Keegan Bradley 150/1
Koumei Oda 150/1
Thongchai Jaidee 150/1
Ben Martin 200/1
Branden Grace 200/1
Brandt Snedeker 200/1
Brendon Todd 200/1
David Hearn 200/1
Erik Compton 200/1
Harris English 200/1
Ian Poulter 200/1
KJ Choi 200/1
Marc Warren 200/1
Matt Jones 200/1
Oliver Fisher 200/1
Paul Casey 200/1
Stewart Cink 200/1
Miguel Angel Jimenez 250/1
Bernd Wiesberger 300/1
Kevin Streelman 300/1
Nick Watney 300/1

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