The British Open is by far my least favorite major for obvious reasons. I’ll admit that I don’t know too much about about the overseas courses, but a look at the course layout and past results will tell a lot.
This year’s British Open is back at St. Annes. The past two champions there, David Duval and Tom Lehman, were tremendous ball strikers, however they worked the ball in opposite directions. Usually when drawers and faders win on the same course, it is a second shot course. A deeper look reveals that Seve won the two St. Annes Opens before them.
For all you rookies, Seve is famously the worst driver of any player with multiple majors. It’s pretty clear that driving the ball well isn’t a big deal here. However, Seve had argueably the best short game of all time, and the winner this week will have to be no exception. Major champions these days must sport their best short game. So, if anyone can scramble over 90%, the Clarett Jug is within their grasp.
The Americans are half way to the grand slam. We haven’t been halfway since Tiger won the first two in 2002. If we win all four this year, it will be the first time since 1982. Since it is a Ryder Cup year, the bubble men are working extra hard. I like our chances to make a clean sweep, and Medina is the perfect spot to top off the best year in modern golf. Here’s a look at the best golfers from the best country.
I personally believe the British Open is Tiger’s best major. This is highly debateable, but I really don’t care about your opinion. The stinger looks as good as ever, the short game is at least acceptable now, and Phil’s shitty game will take some of the heat off him. At 6/1 odds, this one is hard to pass up.
Last year’s results were flukey at best. Phil’s results at the British Open are laughable. Phil has the classic American game, and because of this he doesnt have the shots necessary to win. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn from time to time, but this year is not going to be one of those times.
He never seems to play well in the British. Coming off strong play at the US Open, he could do just about anything. Since Seve won here twice, the winner will need an impeccable, creative short game. This is probably the biggest con for Furyk. I’m not too worried about him making the cut, but anything better than 40th will be a great Open.
This is only Bubba’s third Open, and his game is as American as it gets. His ability to work the ball confidently is going to work nicely. However, I think Bubba cares about winning the British Open about as much as a hipster cares about hygiene. If he plays great, it could be a good story, but he’s much more worried about the Ryder Cup.
Argueably the best athlete on tour, Dustin is coming back from a back injury. With all that time off, the short game gets ice cold. However, his record on links style courses is immaculate, so this is another toss up. Being a betting man, his 33/1 odds seem to be the diamond in the rough pick.
Fowler’s game is a terrible fit for the British. Aside from playing college golf at windy OSU, he really has no business playing good golf in England. With this being said, last year’s T-5 is a head scratcher. The breaker for him this year will be the short game. In my opinion, he will be battling Furyk for 40th.
He has had the second best year behind Tiger. Mahan has played in windy weather his entire life, and he has major champion capabilities. However, Seve and Mahan have polar opposite games. Therefore, I think the lack of short game magic keeps Mahan out of contention.
Kuch’s British Open record is awful at best. In 10+ career Open starts, he has made the cut once. If he was going to have a breakthrough, last year was his year. His game isn’t as sharp, so expectations are very low.
Stricker hasn’t missed a major cut this decade. He has made five straight British Open cuts, and the John Deere brings out his best game. A course like St. Annes doesn’t seem like a great course for him, but if he gets the flat stick hot, it won’t matter. Look for his name in the top 10 all weekend.
His fall from grace has been tragic, and lately his game is shaky at best. Duval hit the worst shot I’ve ever seen a pro hit in person. His snap hook off the first tee at the 2008 Texas Open reminded me why he is so shitty. After all this, his play in the 2009 US Open left us scratching our heads. The putter has never left him, so when he keeps the ball on the map, he seems able to make the weekend. For Duval, a missed cut is probable, but I wouldn’t be suprised if he’s in contention Sunday.
If Tom Watson can lose in a playoff at age 59, JD can make a run this year. Without any pressure, he can be great. It’s been 17 years since he lifted the Clarett Jug, and his good play at the Greenbriar was promising. I got lucky picking John Peterson in the US Open, so it’s time for double or nothing.