Thursday, July 16, 2009

The 138th Open Championship

Today is the first round of the 3rd major of the year on the PGA tour. This is a great tournament mainly because it is played on a links golf course and that is not something that most Americans are familiar with. Most links courses are located in coastal areas with few water hazards and very few if any trees. They have uneven fairways, thick roughs and small deep bunkers. Also due to their proximity to the coast, they are often windy and have unpredictable weather. For the European players, they are used to courses like this, but for the Americans and Asian players, they rarely play courses like these and it takes some time for them to adapt their games. This year, the Open Championship is being held at Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Here is a picture of the 15th hole at Turnberry.

I would love to see another great showing by Greg Norman this year, but I am not counting on that! I am counting on the fact that Tiger Woods will be somewhere towards the top of the leader board this weekend. Actually he is favored to win 2-1 while the next closest player is Sergio Garcia at 22-1 odds. But I think there are several players that have a shot at winning. I would look for guys like Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy, all of whom are players from the UK, to play well. I expect Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Adam Scott to have a shot. Also I feel that Americans (besides Tiger) like Ben Curtis, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, David Duval and even John Daly to make a run. Daly has spent the last several months playing in Europe and might have his game zeroed in for a links course. It is a long shot but who knows?

Another thing I like about the British Open is that it is televised live in the mornings here in the states. So on Saturday and Sunday morning, I can wake up and watch golf for a few hours instead of having to wait till the end of the day. That is always fun! Another fun thing about the Open Championship is the weather is always crappy! That makes for more difficult shots and helps level the playing field.

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