Wednesday, July 17, 2013

British Open Preview

The British Open returns to Muirfield in Scotland this week, the site where some of the all-time greats have hosted...hoisted the Claret Jug.  Hall of Famers like Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen and Ernie Els all won the British at Muirfield, proving that this course rewards only the best golfers on the planet.  How is that you may ask?  I'm glad you asked.  I've often said that the British Open (and I may have said this before as well, but I refuse to call it "the Open") is one of the truest tests in all of golf.  It requires the golfer to have every shot in the bag.  Well Muirfield requires the golfer to have EVERY shot in the bag.  And that is because of the wind.

Golfers are used to facing high winds and rough weather at the British Open.  That is part of what tests a true player's fortitude.  However, the design at Muirfield is such that the wind is coming from a different angle on almost every single hole.  Therefore, a player must know how to play all kinds of different shots; keep it low, throw it up into the wind, play a draw, play a fade, all while keeping it out of the legendary British Open fescue and pot bunkers.  Not an easy task for any golfer.  That is why I think you will see a stacked leaderboard at the British Open this year.  This course will leave all the one-trick ponies in the dust.  Here is who I like in this year's British Open:

Ernie Els - Ernie is defending both his British Open championship from last year, and his 2002 victory at Muirfield this year.  He also has three top-10s in his last four tournaments.

Phil Mickelson - Fat sack of crap apparently didn't have any dance recitals to go to last week and won the Scottish Open, good practice for Muirfield.  He has also pulled his driver out of his bag for the week.  We'll see if Phil can finally figure out the British this year.  Watching him fumble away another U.S. Open last month was great, but I will give him credit for being very candid with the media afterwards as they were eviscerating his guts all over the floor of the interview area.  Karma was watching.

Tiger Woods - Tiger was in the hunt here in 2002, when unfortunately he ran into huge winds and rain in the third round (see picture) and shot an 81.  What did he do the next day?  He shot a 65 and finished even par, only six shots off of the winning score.  With an 81 on the card.  I want to see that Tiger this week.  Remember what I said about karma.

Rickie Fowler - This would be a huge breakthrough for Rickie.  His British Open game has been on point the last three years, and he can hit all the proper shots with the wind.  His girlfriend is also a smoke.  Pres should probably get her on the Stool sometime.

Adam Scott - Apparently it slipped under my radar that Adam Scott nailed Kate Hudson a few years ago (one would only assume).  That casts him as a permanent villain in my book.  Stealing my girl like that.  He could still win the British Open after choking it away in epic fashion last year.  That tall putter could be his undoing though.  Also, Kate Hudson has had quite the string of douchey athlete boyfriends: A-Rod, Lance, Adam Scott, Eric Lindros.  Wow.

Nicolas Colsaerts - The Belgian Bomber has major game.  He finished tied for seventh last year, and can go low on links style courses.  I could also see him getting too aggressive and screwing up. 

SLEEPERS:

Nick Faldo - Unlike most of the other European golfers, Moose is a huge Faldo fan.  Even dressed like that.  He has won the British at this course twice before.  How crazy would a third be? 

Carl Pettersson - Another Euro golfer Moose is a huge fan of.  Easily Nike's best signing.  Cue up the music

Scott Jamieson - I honestly just picked this guy by closing my eyes and pointing randomly at the list of players on the computer screen.  He is from Scotland though, and won that awful trophy in the past.  

Honestly, I think we are going to see someone who already has a major trophy in their cabinet at home win again this week.  Let's all go to sleep early tonight so we can wake up for the first shot tomorrow live at 4am.  Cheerio!