The Open Championship 2013 – Ernie Els twice defending champion

Ernie Els has the rare honour of being defending champion of the course and of the Open Championship in the same year. Last year Els lifted the Claret Jug at Lytham and St Annes beating Adam Scott by one stroke with a closing 68 and in 2002 at Muirfield, venue of the this year’s Open, the South African survived a 4-man play off triumphing over Thomas Levet, Stuart Appelby and Steve Elkington.

 Lytham and St Annes — 2012 Results

1     Ernie ELS     RSA     67     70     68     68     273
2     Adam SCOTT     AUS     64     67     68     75     274
3     Tiger WOODS     USA     67     67     70     73     277
3     Brandt SNEDEKER USA     66     64     73     74     277
5     Luke DONALD     ENG     70     68     71     69     278
5     Graeme MCDOWELL NIR     67     69     67     75     278
7     Nicolas COLSAERTS BEL     65     77     72     65     279
7     Thomas AIKEN     RSA     68     68     71     72     279
9     Matt KUCHAR     USA     69     67     72     72     280
9     Dustin JOHNSON     USA     73     68     68     71     280

Early Picks for 2013

Tiger Woods
Ernie Els
Justin Rose
Adam Scott

In with a chance –

Phil Mickelson
Rory McIlroy
Zach Johnson
Luke Donald  *
Ian Poulter   *

Sentimental Favourite

Fred Couples – Could he emulate Tom Watson in 2009 where a veteran nearly won it – going one better?

(*Non Major winner – the odds are stacked against them, but not impossible)

For some of these players they will either have to defend a title or win two majors in one year – a tall order – but the history of Muirfield tells us that a player  from the upper echelons of the golf win. Player, Nicklaus, Watson, Faldo have all won here before and are all multiple major champions. There are no players in recent history at this course that are “one shot major wonders”. Something to consider if you having a flutter on your favourite golfer.

Ernie Talks about defending and links golf.

Justin Rose discusses the challenge of the Open.

The 16th Hole at Muirfield – at taste of the course layout.

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