Open Championship Preview
Blimey! It appears we’re going to have another soggy Open Championship this weekend, with wind and rain in the forecast every day (as it should be, really). I’m not sure what that means for predicting this thing, as my crystal ball has been out-of-order this season. Henrik Stenson and Philthy Mickelson put on a fine display at Royal Troon (they sure know how to name courses across the pond) last year, and if we get a show half as good at Royal Birkdale it’ll be well worth the watch. So strap on your knickers, brew a pot o’ tee and be prepared to stay up until the wee hours of the morn to see the best in the world putt from 50 yards off the green.
Course: Royal Birkdale, Southport, England, 7,173 Yards, Par 70
Past Champions (at Royal Birkdale): Pádraig Harrington, Mark O’Meara, Ian Baker-Finch, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer and Peter Thomson
156 Players, top 70 and ties make the cut after 36 holes
The trophy now awarded to the winner of the British Open is officially named the Championship Cup, though it is widely referred to as the “Claret Jug”. Claret is a dry red wine produced in the famous French winemaking region of Bordeaux. The British Open trophy was designed to look like the silver jugs used to serve claret at 19th century gatherings, thus the name. (Courtesy GolfDigest.com)
The winner of the first dozen Opens at Prestwick was presented with a red Morocco belt with silver clasps. Dubbed the “Challenge Belt,” it was purchased by the members at a cost of £25. “Young” Tom Morris captured four consecutive Opens held there from 1868-1872 (still an unprecedented feat). Under the original rules of competition, if a player won three times in a row, he was entitled to keep the prize — meaning there was nothing to play for in 1871, and therefore, no Open was held that year. (Courtesy GolfDigest.com)
British Open Records
Most wins: Harry Vardon has the most British Open wins with six.
Most times as runner up: Jack Nicklaus has been runner-up at the British Open seven times.
Most appearances: Gary Player has appeared at the British Open 46 times.
Oldest winner: In 1867, “Old” Tom Morris Sr. became the oldest golfer to win the British Open at 46 years and 99 days old.
Youngest winner: In 1868, his son, “Young” Tom Morris Jr. became the youngest golfer to win the British Open at 17 years and five months old.
At the U.S. Open, a lot of big names missed the cut at a course players were torching. DJ, Rory, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and yes, even my boy Graeme McDowell didn’t make the weekend. While I don’t necessarily expect the same, I don’t love Rory and DJ here. Both could certainly get hot and win, but Rory doesn’t like bad weather and DJ still hasn’t seemed to recover from falling down the stairs. Here’s a quick look at the Vegas odds:
Dustin Johnson 14-1
Jordan Spieth 14-1
Rickie Fowler 16-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Sergio Garcia 18-1
Justin Rose 20-1
Rory McIlroy 20-1
Hideki Matsuyama 20-1
Tommy Fleetwood 22-1
Henrik Stenson 25-1
Adam Scott 28-1
Brooks Koepka 33-1
Jason Day 33-1
Paul Casey 33-1
Alex Noren 40-1
Phil Mickelson 40-1
Louis Oosthuizen 45-1
Branden Grace 45-1
Marc Leishman 50-1
Justin Thomas 50-1
Matt Kuchar 50-1
Thomas Pieters 50-1
I really like Fowler and Branden Grace in this spot. Rickie is due and Grace is a low-ball hitter who can keep it out of the wind. I’ll go with Rickie to win in a playoff. If you’re looking to lose some money, copy my $1,000,000 DK Lineup below:
Well, there you have it. Hopefully you’ve learned something. Enjoy the weekend and I look forward to being wrong as always. Happy golfing!