Golf has four major championships each year. We marvel at the beauty of Augusta National and the Masters. The US Open is always known for it’s challenging layout and annual test that it puts on the world’s best golfers. The PGA Championship completes the golf season and it too is played at different courses each year. The British Open seems to come and go without much fanfare each calendar year.
This year is know different but I do want to get you prepared for golf’s 3rd major of the year. The 146th Open will be played at Royal Birkdale. Part of the problem state-side is the time difference. The tournament begins tomorrow and by the time most people on the west coast wake up the opening round will be complete. The die hard fans of the game may get up early or at least DVR the rounds but it makes it difficult on the golf watcher. This is something you can’t do anything about but you still can enjoy the tournament.
The links style courses offer something different to the players and certainly to the fans. The wind and weather is usually a factor too. It is almost a hard thing to comprehend while summer time temperatures rock the states the golfers in the British Open are often seen in layered clothing fighting the elements. As far as this year’s four day journey here are a couple of things to look for. The 156 player field takes to the course early Thursday morning and I will give you 5 to watch.
I believe the tournament winner will come from one of these 5 players. Some are on the short list of favorites and a couple of minor sleepers to watch. We have had a good run of first time major winners lately but I am taking a strong look at defending champion Henrik Stenson. Stenson is always strong, literally, and I believe has a good chance at a second straight Claret jug. Rickie Fowler always flirts with breaking through in the majors and he should be on everyone’s radar this week too. He is solid in all parts of his game and is ready to take the title. Rory McIlroy has so much game but has not been playing well. Call this one a hunch because like I said, he is not playing well right now but the talent is there. Jon Rahm has so many gifts in golf and it is only a matter of time before he wins a major and the local sleeper to watch out for is Tommy Fleetwood.
The tournament starts first thing Thursday, whether you watch or not. It should be fun and is a different look at the great game of golf. Enjoy the tournament and monitor with me how I do with my picks.