PGA Tour Confidential: Is Graeme McDowell now the British Open favorite?

Graeme McDowell
Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
Graeme McDowell pulled away on Sunday at the French Open, his final event before the British Open at Muirfield.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. Graeme McDowell won the French Open on Sunday, his third win of 2013. With his low ball flight and links experience is Graeme McDowell now the favorite at the Open Championship?

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: In this summer of parity, I'm not sure anybody qualifies as the Open favorite. G-Mac is as good as any at this point. He's among a posse of favorites.

Joe Passov, senior editor, travel, Golf Magazine: I'm a fan of McDowell and his game, but missed cuts (and messed-up office pools for me) at the Masters, Players, U.S. Open and again last week at the Irish Open means he's nothing better than a coin flip. He's not the favorite for me. Of course he's a strong contender, but my lighter wallet tells me to be wary.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Unless you are betting, why does it matter who is the favorite to win the British Open? Oh, you're betting. Tiger Woods is the favorite to win the British Open, even rusty, injured and all the rest.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Yes, I would install G-Mac as the co-favorite along with Tiger, who must feel Muirfield owes him one after he was blown off the course in '02.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: We all know how streaky McDowell is and he seems to be peaking at just the right time, so he certainly has to be one of the favorites. Interesting that he is not playing the Scottish Open this week. That says to me he feels really good about his game.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: Tiger has four wins this year and will be the top choice in Vegas despite his elbow injury. But I can see a Euro winning the Open, and G-Mac is as good a choice as any. He should probably be listed as a co-favorite with Woods.

2. Who will win another major first, McDowell or his buddy Rory McIlroy?

Bamberger: I think Rory, because, as we have seen twice, when conditions in majors are just right for him he can lap the field.

Godich: Rory is streaky like his countryman is streaky, so until I see Rors streak in the right direction, I'll go with Graeme.

Morfit: At this point I'd have to say G-Mac. What's happened to Rory this year has been painful to watch. Such a nice kid. Such an awful '13. Makes you wonder if he'll start to fear the number if he doesn't already.

Ritter: You've gotta like G-Mac's chances far more than Rory's at the British, but I'll still take Rory in this one. The 24-year-old has more talent than just about anyone on Tour, and there's a chance he could suddenly snap out of this funk in a similar fashion as he did last year, when he scuffled all summer and then blitzed the field at the PGA.

Passov: Even when McDowell is playing well, his funky swing and grind-it-out style makes it look like work. When Rory's on, it's child's play. If Rory can get it to click, just like he did late last summer, he zooms to the top. I'll hang a little longer with Rory to notch another major before Graeme.

Van Sickle: This sounds like a trick question. So I'll say Adam Scott.

Go to Page 2

Forecast
PGA Tour News
Trips
Travel & Courses
Lessons
Tips & Videos
The Shop
Equipment News & Reviews