Previewing the 141st Open Championship
As we roll into the 141st issue of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham/St. Anne’s, there’s a lot of unknowns.
Where is Tiger’s game?
Will Phil or Rory be a factor in another major?
Or will there be a 10th straight first-time major winner breaking through?
To answer those in order: IDK, yes/no, and no.
Tiger Woods is becoming an enigma. At times, I think I’m rooting for him, and at other times, I feel like watch him rot on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. That is, assuming Tiger plays the weekend at the British Open. That would be case, especially if a young gun like a Rickie or a Rory or a Ryo were to steal the show. As Tiger realizes his new home as a PGA Tour player, he’s even further detached from the man he used to be, but similar golf results seem to be slowly coming along. Almost 3 years removed from “the fire hydrant sleeping pill 7 iron to the windshield night” we are finally seeing glimpses of the old Tiger on a more regular basis, but not yet in a major. He has notoriously reclaimed the throne in the past with statement wins in the Open, including 05′ at St. Andrews and 06′ at Hoylake (who said Hank Haney was no good back then?). Is this his year? As for a prediction, I say he plays the weekend and finishes in the top 20 or 30, but nothing special. Let the search for a major continue to the PGA in August.
Phil tied for second behind Darren Clarke’s win at the 2011 Open Championship. A British and US Open have still alluded him amidst his collection of 4 major titles, yet he has 2 top 10’s in the overseas major. You would think the links-style makeup of Lytham would match well with Mickelson’s creativity around the greens, so I like a good finish from Phil this weekend. Look for Rory to join him in contention. In a recent presser, Rory talked about learning to adapt and stay more patient with the ebbs and flows of playing a links course in an Open Championship. If his “brush it off” attitude is able to complement his deadly driving, he can contend and give himself a chance come Sunday.
It’s destiny to have a 10th straight first time winner in the majors, but I’m gonna go against it. Recent major winners like Bubba,Rory, Schwartzel, and Kaymer were all no surprise to any steady golf fan. I’ll put my money on the 31 major champions in the field. Take a look at this list of major champions in the field this week, with the highlighted guys being the ones to look out for this week:
That’s right golf fans, John Daly is in the field taking advantage of that past Open Champion status! Gotta love it!
It’s all part of the greatness that is British Open week for the American TV audience. It’s an excuse to go to a bar in the morning. It’s an excuse to get out of errands and chores until the afternoon. Hell, it’s an excuse to go play golf…for the next few afternoons.