If You Want To Know Who Is Going To Win The Open Championship, Keep Reading


“Carnoustie is like an ugly, old hag who speaks the truth no matter how painful. But it’s only when you add up your score, you hear exactly what she thinks of you.” – Tom Watson, who won his first Major and first of five Open Championships in 1975 at Carnoustie.

(Photo: 1937 Open at Carnoustie, which was won by Henry Cotton)


I love watching all of the Majors, but my favorite is The Open Championship.  There is a romance to The Open that I don’t feel with the other Majors.  It’s the history, the other worldly look of links courses, the fickle wind, the cold rain, the huge pot bunkers, the odd bad bounces and the odd great bounces and the totally faithful and learned fans.  The Open celebrates the world’s greatest game and its great traditions.

Before looking at who the bookies favor and before I reveal my predictions, here are a few interesting-to-know facts about Carnoustie:

  • Golf in Carnoustie goes back to the days when golf was known as “gowff.” The game was first mentioned in parish records in 1560.
  • The first “formal” routing at the current site was planned by Robert Chambers, a publisher from Edinburgh, in the early 1830s.
  • In 1850, Allan Robertson, who was then considered the finest Scottish professional, re-routed much of the course.
  • Five years later, a group of gentlemen formed the Carnoustie Golf Club.  The club was legally established in 1842. It is the world’s 10th-oldest golf club.
  • In 1867, Old Tom Morris turned the 10-hole course into an 18-hole layout of 4,565 yards.
  • In 1926, James Braid, who won The Open in 1901, ‘05, ‘06, ’08 and ’10, redesigned the course in order to bring it up to championship standards.
  • Its nickname is “Carnasty" because of the course’s degree of difficulty, which includes over 100 pot bunkers, and the intimidating final four holes: 15 -- 472 yards, par 4; 16 -- 248 yards, par 3; 17 -- 460 yards, par 4; 18 -- 499 yards, par 4.  All four holes played over par in the 2007 Open, including the 18th with its 4.61 scoring average.  According to former R&A Secretary Sir Michael Bonallack, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest course in Britain.  And when the wind is not blowing, it’s probably still the toughest.”
  • Carnoustie’s numbers are: 36 – 35 = 71, 7,402 yards. Par for 4 rounds is: 284.  This is the 147th year for The Championship and it’s the eighth time Carnoustie has hosted the tournament.
  • The past winners at Carnoustie are:

            2007: Padraig Harrington, Ireland (277/-6 under par)

            1999: Paul Lawrie, Scotland (290/+6 over par)

            1975: Tom Watson, USA (279/-5 under) (This was Watson’s first Major victory.)

            1968: Gary Player, South Africa (289/+5 over par)

            1953: Ben Hogan, USA (282/-2 under par)

            1937: Henry Cotton, England (290/+6 over par)

            1931: Tommy Armour, Scotland (296/+12 over par)

 

PAST CHAMPIONS IN THE FIELD




PLAYER

COUNTRY

 

YEAR(S) WON

Jordan Spieth

U.S.

 

2017

Henrik Stenson

Sweden

 

2016

Zach Johnson

U.S.

 

2015

Rory McIlroy

Northern

Ireland

 

2014

Phil Mickelson

U.S.

 

2013

Ernie Els

South Africa

 

2002, 2012

Darren Clarke

Northern

Ireland

 

2011

Louis Oosthuizen

South Africa

 

2010

Stewart Cink

U.S.

 

2009

Padraig Harrington

Ireland

 

2007, 2008

Tiger Woods

U.S.

 

2000, 2005,

2006

Todd Hamilton

U.S.

 

2004

David Duval

U.S.

 

2001

Tom Lehman

U.S.

 

1996

Mark Calcavecchia

U.S.

 

1989

Sandy Lyle

Scotland

 

1985

 

LIST OF THE FAVORITES -- OR THE LIST OF THE ONLY PLAYERS WHO HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING

 

PLAYER

ODDS

WORLD RANKING

COMMENTS

Dustin Johnson

12-1

1

He has no chance of winning! Yes, he was T2 in 2011, but in 2015, after shooting 65-69 at St. Andrews, he finished 75-75 to T49.

Rory McIlroy

14-1

8

Has 4 Majors, including his 2014 win at Prestwick.

Jordan Spieth

16-1

6

Defending champion.  His putting has been spotty lately, but he handles adversity well. He will contend.

Justin Rose

16-1

3

Best Open finish came in 1998 as an amateur at Birkdale. His lack of history at Open says it all.

Rickie Fowler

18-1

7

Two top 10s in eight Open appearances, including T2 in 2014. Plus, since 2011 he has 10 Top 10 finishes in Majors.

Justin Thomas

18-1

2

Failed to make the cut in ’17 after shooting 80 in 2ndround at Birkdale. Scars remain. T53 in ’16 L.

Tommy Fleetwood

18-1

10

The Englishman made his first cut last year at Birkdale with a T27. The bookies like his chances, The Committee doesn’t because of the pressure of playing in front of the British fans.

Brooks Koepka

20-1

4

The 2-time U.S. Open champion has finished in the top 10 in each of his last two appearances at The Open, including T-6 in 2017.

Jon Rahm

20-1

5

T44 in 2017. Still lacks the patience to deal with Carnoustie.

Tiger Woods

20-1

71

Has won 3 Opens, but hasn’t won a Major since 2008 U.S. Open.  The unwinning streak continues.

Jason Day

25-1

9

The Open doesn’t like Day. Only one top 10  in his career – T4 in 2015 at St. Andrews.

Henrik Stenson

25-1

17

Won in 2016 at Troon and T11 last year, but he has an elbow problem right now.

Sergio Garcia

25-1

19

2nd in 2007 at Carnoustie.  Also as 3 top-10 finishes in his last four Opens.

Hideki Matsuyama

30-1

16

T6 in 2013 at Muirfield, but no Open Top 10s since.

Patrik Reed

30-1

12

T12 in 2016 at Royal Troon. Has top-5 finishes in last 3 Majors, but no top 10s at the Open.

Paul Casey

30-1

14

Not sure why he is given a chance by the bookies. Maybe it’s because he is English. He did T3 in 2010 Open at St Andrews.

Alex Noren

30-1

11

T6 in 2017 at Birkdale.

Phil Mickelson

40-1

20

Won in 2013 at Muirfield.  However, his fear of Father Time has him pressing in Majors.

Marc Leishman

40-1

18

The Australian has 3 Top 10s in last four Opens, including T2 in 2015 at St Andrews.  Should contend, but won’t win.

Brandon Grace

40-1

35

Last year at Birkdale, he shot a 62 in the 3rd round, setting a record for the lowest round in a men's major championship. He finished T6.


Here is what the experts and bookies are saying:

Kyle Porter, CBS: 1) Marc Leishman. 2) Sergio Garcia. 3) Rickie Fowler. 4) Brooks Koepka. 5) Tommy Fleetwood

Joshua Schrock, New England Sports Network: 1) Fowler. 2) Jordan Spieth. 3) Fleetwood. 4) Henrik Stenson. 5) Tiger Woods

Sportsbook.ag: 1) Dustin Johnson. 2) Fowler. 3) Justin Rose. 4) Rory McIlroy. 5) Fleetwood

Bet365 (British bookmaker): 1) D. Johnson. 2) Rose. T3) Fowler & McIlroy. T5) Spieth & Jon Rahm

Alex Myers, golfdigest.com: 1) D. Johnson. 2) Rose. 3) Fowler. 4) Patrick Reed. 5) Fleetwood

Geoff Shackelford, golf blogger: 1) Fowler. 2) Alex Noren. 3) Woods. 4) D. Johnson. 5) Koepka

Brentley Romine, Golfweek: 1) Fowler. 2) Fleetwood. 3) Paul Casey. 4) Stenson. 5) Zach Johnson

Kevin Casey, Golfweek: 1) Rahm. 2) Rose. 3) Reed. 4) Jason Day. 5) Danny Willett (Won 2016 Masters)

After much reading and dissecting the strengths and weaknesses of each contender, The Committee gives you this year’s top 3 finishers of The Open Championship.

  1. Jordan Spieth will be the first repeat winner since Padraig Harrington won in 2007 and 2008.  He has patience!
  2. Rickie Fowler can play in the wind, but he will remain the Best Player To Have Never Won A Major.  
  3. Englishman Justin Rose, who won the U.S. Open in 2013, is due to play well in his own Open. 

This will be a great weekend for watching and playing! Can't wait! 

 

Allan (My handicap is going the wrong way. Up to 13 on my home course.)


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