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Off The Tee: Picking a Winner at the British Open

Just like that, we’re heading into the third major of the golf season – the British Open.

In this installment of ‘Off The Tee’, I talked with 4 Deep Golf’s Joel Harrington about who’s hot and who’s not, going into this week’s event at Royal Liverpool in England.

John Deere Classic - Final Round
SILVIS, IL – JULY 13: Brian Harman celebrates after winning the John Deere Classic held at TPC Deere Run on July 13, 2014 in Silvis, Illinois. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The latest winner on the PGA Tour is Brian Harman, who edged Zach Johnson by a stroke at last week’s John Deere Classic.  The win was Harman’s first as a pro, in fact, he hadn’t had the lead after a round in his career until last weekend.

The victory gives Harman a spot in the British Open.  I asked Joel about Harman’s chances at Royal Liverpool and what else we learned last weekend:

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143rd Open Championship - Previews
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND – JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland chips during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 15, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

As for the course for this year’s open, Royal Liverpool is a traditional links-style course, playing 7,350 yards.  Par is 72.

This will be the 12th time the course has hosted The Open, the last coming in 2006 after a 39-year absence.

I asked Joel about what makes this course so special:

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143rd Open Championship - Previews
HOYLAKE, ENGLAND – JULY 16: Tiger Woods of the United States hits balls on the range during a practice round prior to the start of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 16, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The last player to win The Open at Royal Liverpool was Tiger Woods, who shot 18-under par to capture a two-stroke victory eight years ago.

Tiger (16-to-1) is one of seven players listed at 20-to-1 or better to win according to the latest British Open odds.  That despite Tiger appearing in just one tournament so far this year.

Rory McIlroy (10-to-1) is the odds on favorite to win this week, defending champ Phil Mickelson is 20-to-1.

So who does Joel think is going to win?

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Back home, South Dakota crowned a pair of champions last weekend at the Golf Club at Red Rock, with Tyler Barrett for winning the SDGA Men’s Match Play Championship, 4 and 2 over Scott Nowak, and Janice Baumberger taking the SDGA Women’s Match Play Championship,  2 and 1 over Jordan Bormann.

Here’s Joel’s take on the tournaments:

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