Picking the Open winner is anybody's guess

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It’s got to be the most open of Opens of them all and that’s all 146 of them. Trying to predict the winner at Birkdale this week is something of a hazardous, many would say impossible task.

No wonder the bookies, not exactly known for their generosity, are offering to pay out for the top eight, or ten players even.

In truth and reality there are so many players capable of lifting the Claret Jug this week and that’s even before weighing up the uncertainty and unpredictability of the course, the weather and conditions associated with The Open.

And let’s face it The Open has thrown up some shock winners in the past even when Tiger Woods was around and dominating the world of golf with the names of Ben Curtis and Todd Hamilton topping that particular hit list. Nowadays virtually anybody and everybody can emerge from the pack and is capable of contending for the biggest prize in golf.

The list is endless. The 21st century Opens boasts quality and quantity these days… Age is no barrier either with the likes of Els, Mickelson and even defending champion Henrik Stenson emerging triumphant in their 40s. So the big hitting young guns shouldn’t take anything for granted because experience counts for so much at The Open.

Yes, anything can happen at The Open and usually does. Everything has got to click neatly into place and very often the luck of the draw can be a major fillip as can the odd favourable bounce here and there. Yes, Lady Luck can play a big part too.

It’s a lottery and in fact you’ve probably a better chance of winning the Lottery this weekend than selecting the new Champion Golfer. You’ll no doubt have immense fun trying though and if you do manage to pull it off you deserve a Claret Jug of your own.

TG’s tips? Before the start of the week we asked each TG staff member to give their tips.. and this is what they came up with.

Kit Alexander: Senior Editor, Golf World
Winner: Jordan Spieth (£15m)
Outside pick: I think it’s pretty likely it’s going to be another first time winner outside of the top 30 in the World. Paul Waring (but he's not in the fantasy game) and Martin Laird (£7.5m) for me.

Camilla Tait: TG Digital Editor
Winner: Garcia (£14.5m), honestly wouldn’t be that shocked if he made it two in a year. I think Rickie Fowler (£14.5m) also has a good shot at it. 
Outside picks: Either Harrington (£7.5m) or Soren Kjeldsen (£10.5m)

Chris Jones: TG Editor
Winner: Tommy Fleetwood (£10.5m)
Outside pick: Ian Poulter (£8m)

Nick Jones: Golf World Editor
Winner: Either Matt Kuchar or Padraig Harrington (£7.5m)
Outside pick: Ian Poulter (£8m) or Paul Casey (£13.5m)

Kevin Brown: TG Travel & Courses Editor
Winner: Justin Rose or Hideki Matsuyama
Outside pick: Shane Lowry

Michael Catling: TG Staff Writer
Winner: Alex Noren (£13m)
Outside Pick: Ross Fisher (£10m)

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