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And the 2012 British Open champion is …

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The first round of the British Open is almost here. — Getty Images

Ladies and gentleman, we're less than 5 hours away from Barry Lane kicking off the 2012 British Open with the first tee shot of the opening round. We've been talking all week about some of the biggest names, mentioned a couple sleepers and broken down some of the groups that could make some noise this week. With that in mind, it's time for the Devil Ball crew to pick a winner. This year the Claret Jug goes to ...

Jay Busbee (Twitter: @jaybusbee) -- Adam Scott: Don't ask me why. Seriously, don't. But I've got a good feeling about Scott this week. He's a Mickelson type, playing well when the attention is elsewhere, so he'll be well served while everyone is focusing on Rory, Tiger et. al. If he can keep his mind on his game, he'll be set up to claim his long-awaited first major.

Jonathan Wall (Twitter: @jonathanrwall) -- Lee Westwood: He's let me down more times than I can count, but for the umpteenth time, I'm taking Mr. Best Player to Never Win a Major. I know he'll most likely finish a couple shot back of the winner, but I can't help but look at Royal Lytham and think this course was made for him. He's a tee-to-green specialist and that bodes well for him at a course where keeping it in play is an absolute must. Another reason I like him this week? The greens at Royal Lytham are pretty benign for British Open standards. The flatstick always seems to be an issue for Westwood, so I'm hoping these don't trip him up. It's time a guy from England won the British Open again, and I think Westwood's that guy -- even if he has the weight of an entire country on his shoulder.

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