St. Andrews will play host to this years 144th Open Championship. The build up already has been huge. Not only is it the home of golf but what lies in store is what everyone istalking about.
The Aussies: There will be 15 Aussies teeing it up at this years 144th Open Championship. The regulars in Jason Day and Adam Scott are coming in with good form after strong finishes at The US Open at Chambers Bay. The only issue is the health of Jason.
His well documented Vertigo was a factor at The US Open and although he pushed through with Aussie grit we’re hoping this doesn’t once again become a factor on the weekend. Scott on the other hand has Stevie Williams back on the bag and whether or not this was a key influence in the result, it certainly gave him the confidence to go after his shots around Chambers Bay. He’s previous results at The Open have been very strong and his preparation has been very good. All of the Aussies are bringing some good form into this week with Brett Rumford the exception after recently coming off the injury list. The one to watch out for is Steven Bowditch. A winner on the PGA Tour in 2015, Bowditch has strung together 5 made cuts after that victory, a first in his career on the PGA Tour. He bombs it a mile, putting consistently well and hitting his irons straight, a key ingredient when playing links style courses.
History has shown: players who are patient, putt well and hit their irons straight – not necessarily long – are in contention come Sunday. Players like Bubba Watson for instance, who traditionally shapes his shots run into trouble on links courses. Bubba’s record in The Open is extremely poor.
History: Can Jordan Spieth win his 3rd major of his career and 3rd major of this year? Winner of the John Deere Classic over the weekend, his form is unbelievably good, no question. With the world number 1 Rory McIlroy not able to defend his Open Championship this week due to injury, this certainly gives Jordan – and the rest of the field – a huge opportunity to win this week. Not only will the victory give Jordan a 3rd major and his 5th victory of the year but he will also take over the world number 1 position held by Rory. It just shows you how good Rory was playing. Someone has to win 3 majors in a row to secure that number 1 position, amazing.
Good form: Rickie Fowler. What a way to win the Scottish Open over the weekend. The Players Champion earlier this year Rickie is hitting good form at the right time. The last American to win the Scottish Open was Phil Michelson in 2013. Phil then went on to win The Open the following week.
Matt Kuchar: He’s been flying under the radar. Loves links courses. He finished 2nd last week at the Scottish Open, another top 10 finish for the tall American. Hideki Matsuyama. 8 top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour this year, great putter and hits dart like irons, he’s certainly one to watch.
Tiger: The X factor this week. Made the cut in his last start and shot 3 rounds in the 60’s, a first for some time. It looked like he had changed his swing from Chambers Bay to the Greenbrier Classic – standing taller in his downswing – and this seemed to deliver some good results with his ball striking. Don’t count him out. If you do, you’re on your own. A 3 time Open Champion winner (00, 05 & 06) he’s still going to draw a huge crowd and certainly a lot of media attention with every shot he plays. The reason you don’t want to count him out are for 2 reasons: 2 of his 3 Open wins where at St. Andrews (00 & 05) and secondly, this will be Jack Nicklaus last ever Open Championship appearance. Tiger has so long been compared to Jack with breaking his 18 major victory title, could this be the perfect time for Tiger to pounce?
Exciting Week: The Open every year delivers on the excitement. The Aussies have a good record and we all should be extremely confident with the players teeing it up this
week. Once again the weather will be a huge topic of discussion. Forecast at the moment is for rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The whisper is the greens are currently soft and with no sun predicted this week, that whisper will most liking become a key factor. St. Andrews is the home of golf, it’s one of the greatest celebrations in sport and this week promises to be no different. The Open Championship in golf and the Lord’s Ashes Test after the Aussies loss in the first test in Cardiff, what a week – and lack of sleep – coming up for all Aussie fans of sport.