Place your bets: Odds at the British Open

From left, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Martin Kaymer during a practice round Tuesday at the British Open.

SANDWICH, England – It’s Open Championship time, and British bookmakers have entered the spirit of the competition.

No wonder, it’s a week for them to clean up. Millions of British pounds will be wagered on the 140th Open Championship.

British bookmakers will take bets on anything. Want to wager a crumpled £5 note that we get a white Christmas? British bookies will take that bet, thank you very much.

So a trip to the bookies is an education in itself. It’s always fun during Open week. You could literally spend a fortune on just about anything.

Of course, there’s your basic betting on who’s going to win. Rory McIlroy is the outright favorite at 8/1 with Ladbrokes to carry off his second consecutive major following his U.S. Open walkover at Congressional. Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the World Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, follow closely at 12/1. Martin Kaymer is next in line at 25/1.

Nick Watney and Steve Stricker are the highest-regarded U.S. players at 33/1, alongside Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia on the same odds. Phil Mickelson is a 40/1 shot to lift the old Claret Jug.

When was Lefty last listed at those odds in a major?

Don’t fear, though. If American golfers are the only players you’re interested in, then Mr. British Bookmaker will happily take your money on that front. They have a neat little category to cater to you.

As expected, Stricker and Watney are listed as 8/1 as most likely American winners. Yet Matt Kuchar is also listed at that price, even though he is quoted at 40/1 in the overall outright betting.

Who can figure out British bookmakers? Surely if Kuchar is listed as joint top American then he’d have the same overall odds to win as Stricker and Watney?

Moving right along, it’s not just the top American player you can bet on. You can bet top English player, with Westwood and Donald listed at 7/4 followed by Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey at 12/1.

Ireland only has four players in the field, but you can bet Darren Clarke at 20/1 to top McIlroy (2/5), McDowell (4/1), and two-time Open Champion winner Padraig Harrington (5/1) as top Irish player.

You can bet top Australian, top Scandinavian, top South African, top Scottish, top Australian or any other top golfer from any other nation. Heck, Camilo Villegas is Colombia’s only representative in the field but bookies could probably find a way to weasel a bet out of you on him.

There are group markets, where bookies place players in various groups and you bet on who’s going to win the group. So group A has McIlroy as a 5/2 favorite with Lee Westwood (10/3), Luke Donald (10/3), Martin Kaymer (9/2) and Sergio Garcia (9/2).

Then there’s match betting where the bookies pit players head to head and you bet either Dustin Johnson or Justin Rose at 10/11 to win the head-to-head contest, or bet 14/1 that they tie.

However, arguably the most fun betting you can have is betting on each three-ball. That can have you up all night trying to figure out who’s going to top the trio.

And for the romantics among you, those who believe in the long shot, Korea’s Jung-Gon Hwang and Adam Wooten of England are the 2000-1 shots to emulate such shock winners as Alf Perry, Alf Padgham and Richard Burton.

If you’ve got the cash, the bookies will relieve you of it on almost any bet you want to take. In a heartbeat.

Selected odds with Ladbrokes:

Rory McIlroy 8/1

Lee Westwood 12/1

Luke Donald 12/1

Martin Kaymer 25/1

Graeme McDowell 33/1

Nick Watney 33/1

Steve Stricker 33/1

Phil Mickelson 40/1

Matt Kuchar 40/1

Charl Schwartzel 40/1

Padraig Harrington 40/1

KJ Choi 40/1

Dustin Johnson 50/1

Justin Rose 50/1

Adam Scott 66/1

Ernie Els 80/1

Bubba Watson 100/1

Louis Oosthuizen 100/1

Rickie Fowler 100/1

Ben Curtis 150/1

David Duval 400/1

John Daly 500/1

Tom Watson 500/1

Peter Uihlein 500/1

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