British Open 2013: Sleepers Who Will Surprise at Third Major of Year

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2013

ARDMORE, PA - JUNE 16: Billy Horschel of the United States hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the 113th U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club on June 16, 2013 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

If we have learned anything at major golf events over the past few years, it is that anyone is capable of winning.

Since the start of 2009, there have been 17 different champions at the 18 majors. Only Rory McIlroy has won multiple championships over this stretch, earning titles at the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship.

This means that while Tiger Woods remains the favorite to win the 2013 British Open, it is much more likely that the eventual victor comes out of nowhere to win a championship.

These sleepers have the ability to surprise the field and finish near the top of the leaderboard at the end of the month.


Billy Horschel

While the U.S. Open was the first chance many had to see Billy Horschel, the young player has been impressive all year. 

Thanks to seven top-10 finishes, including a win at the Zurich Classic, Horschel is No. 6 on the money list this year. The fact that he tied for fourth at the U.S. Open was simply icing on the cake.

However, that performance at Merion did show his ability to stick with the best players in the world on a tough course. There is little reason to think he cannot do that one more time at the British Open.

With his combination of power, accuracy and putting ability, he has the chance to contend for major championships for many years. The key will be for him to keep his composure throughout the four rounds.


Bill Haas

Although Bill Haas has been inconsistent all year, few players have had a better collection of weeks. His win at the AT&T National last week was his seventh top-10 finish of the year in 16 events.

He does not crush the ball off the tee, but he can hit fairways and greens all day. This helps him get a green in regulation in 69 percent of holes, good enough for ninth on tour.

This will be key at a British course that focuses on avoiding mistakes.

After a terrible showing at the U.S. Open, Haas now has momentum from winning his most recent tournament. If he can carry that over into the Open Championship, he will be able to surprise many with a great showing. 


Tim Clark

It seems like the South Africans are taking over in Great Britain. Wins by Louis Oosthuizen and Ernie Els give the country two of the last three titles at the Open Championship. Els also won at Muirfield in the 2002 championship. 

While Tim Clark is a long shot to make it three of four for South Africa, he is certainly capable of making a run at the title. 

The veteran is perfectly suited for the course due to his excellent accuracy off the tee. He ranks second on tour with a driving accuracy of 70.7 percent, trailing only Jim Furyk. He has also shown at times a great putting ability, which would help him a lot in this tournament.

If Clark can continue to hit fairways and avoid bunkers, he has a chance to put together some low scores in the tournament.  


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