A Quick Nine: Who will win the 2012 Open Championship?

Tiger Woods
Getty Images
We can't even remember the last time PGA.com Facebook Nation chose someone other than Tiger Woods as the odds-on favorite.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series: A Quick Nine - Seagrams

Golf's oldest major -- the Open Championship -- is upon us this week at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England. How much fun is this tournament to watch?

Before the tournament teed off, we asked our dedicated friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation to offer up their predications for who would win.

A QUICK NINE

Our 150,000+ strong Facebook nation shares their expertise and experiences to help augment YOUR golf game in our Seagram's "A Quick Nine" series. Here are some important lists which show why "It's Good to Be You."

There were two big surprises: 1. For the first time since we've been asking this question at the majors that he's been in, Tiger Woods was not identified as the favorite; 2. For the first time since we've been asking this question at the majors, Phil Mickelson didn't even make the list!

So, who did make the list? Where did Tiger rank according to the hundreds of responses we received on the PGA.com Facebook page?

Here's a look at what you had to say.

9. Jason Dufner. OK, so he's probably not the first name that comes to mind when you're jotting down a list of potential favorites to win the Open Championship, but there's no denying Dufner is a name you can't pass over. He's a two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2012. He tied for fifth at the 2010 PGA Championship, lost in a playoff at the 2011 PGA Championship and tied for fourth a few weeks back at the U.S. Open. This will be his second Open Championship start. Yes, he missed the cut in two previous appearances, but you could argue he's a different -- world-class -- player this year.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Dufner." -- Greg Walker

"Jason Dufner." -- Bob Robinson

8. Miguel Angel Jimenez. OK, so the Spaniard isn't exactly a spring chicken at 48 years old, but if there's anything we've learned about the Open Championship over the years -- most recently a 59-year-old Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2009 -- it's that the Open is the only major that doesn't discriminate against age. Jimenez is an 18-time winner on the European Tour with seven top-10 finishes in majors. Winning this one would be the ultimate for the Mechanic. It would also be the cherry on top for an outstanding career.

Facebook fan quote:

"The Mechanic... Miguel Angel Jimenez." -- Christopher Warfield

7. Steve Stricker. Is there U.S.-born golfer who has yet to win a major you'd rather see cross that off his bucket list more than Stricker? Yeah, I didn't think so. It's the only thing Stricker has left to do and at age 45, time is running out.

Facebook fan quote:

"Steve Stricker." -- Joseph Keenan

6. Louis Oosthuizen. No argument from me. The South African commands one of the sweetest swings in all of golf. He demolished the field in 2010 at St. Andrews and lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson earlier this year at the Masters. His chances of winning this week are as good as anyone.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Louis Oosthuizen." -- Sam Spooner

"Oosthuizen!" -- Richard Coburn

5. Rory McIlroy. Rory was noticeably left out by our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation when we asked for U.S. Open favorites just a month ago... and he was the defending champion. We're glad to see him on this list, but in order for the Northern Irishman to win, he's going to need to find some form that just hasn't been easy to come by lately. Of course with a player of Rory's caliber, he could turn it around on any given week. Specifically, he could turn it around this week.

Facebook fan quotes:

"RORY MCILROY." -- Jason Nabess

"Rory!" -- Chad Gibbs

4. Lee Westwood. Regarded by many as the best player never to win a major, Westwood has 14 top-10 finishes in golf's biggest events. That includes four top-10 finishes in the Open. Westwood's best Open finish was runner-up when Louis Oosthuizen blew the field away at St. Andrews in 2010.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Got money on Westwood. He loves home links, just needs his break through." -- Matt Williams

"Westie." -- Steve O. Campbell

3. Luke Donald. The Englishman is on home soil this week for the Open and, rest assured, he'd love nothing more than to snag his first major title at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Like Westwood, Donald is in the argument for best player never to win a major. A tie for fifth in 2009 at Turnberry is stunningly the lone top-10 finish for the world's No. 1 player in an Open Championship. Will this be his week?

Facebook fan quotes:

"Luke Donald." -- Shannon Fitton

"Luke Donald!" -- Scott R. Wenzel

2. Tiger Woods. Is he back? Of course he is. Woods has three victories in 2012, which leads the PGA Tour. However, some would argue that the 14-time major champion won't officially be back until he resumes his chase of Jack Nicklaus's 18 major championships. Tiger hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. Think about Tiger's major record for a minute though -- remember earlier when we said Westwood is major-less, but has 14 top 10s? Woods has as many major victories as Westwood has top 10s!

Facebook fan quotes:

"El Tigre." -- Tyler Moore

"TIGER." -- Lamar Waller

"14-time major champion TIGER WOODS." -- Eric Newbold

"Tiger Woods." -- Suzanne West

"Nothing else... Mr. TW." -- Dian Moriya

1. Padraig Harrington. A three-time major champion -- including back-to-back Opens in 2007 and 2008 -- Harrington is one of those special players who just knows how to get it done in the majors. With three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2012 to go along with three on the European Tour this season, it looks like the Irishman is in fine form as he heads to Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Harrington!" -- Stephen J Serna

"Paddy." -- Mike Dove

"Harrington." -- Fearghal C. Donnelly

"Padraig." -- Daniel McCarthy

"I like Padraig Harrington this week." -- Steve Sampsell

"Padraig!" -- Zack Potten

"Paddy!" -- Dylan Sherry

"Harrington has to be a favorite this week -- best form he's been in for years. On a tough links course, it's hard to see him not being in the mix at the end. Open No. 3 is a realistic possibility." -- John Mccormack

"Padraig!" -- Brent Brady