Predictions: The British Open

Yes ladies and gents, I have finally returned here to Pro Golf Now. I apologize for the lack of posts in recent weeks, but my grandmother passed away over the weekend, and as we all know, family comes first. But we will try to get back on track, as we’ve got the British Open (or Open Championship) coming up tomorrow at St. Andrews. This is golf’s third major of the season, and the links style is sure to attract even those who are just casual fans of the game.

I’d also like to point out that it was about one year ago that Pro Golf Now was created, just after Tom Watson had competed his amazing performance at Turnberry. I said then, and I’ll say it again now. Pro Golf Now was created because of Tom Watson, because his performance affected me like no golf tournament ever has.

Who knows if we’ll ever see something like that again, but if we do, we’re definitely going to be in for a treat.

With that being said though, let’s get to predictions for this year’s event!

The Sleeper

I’ve gotta go with Ricky Barnes in this spot. I wanted to go with Miguel Angel Jimenez…..just because that guy is awesome. He seems to always bring it in the big tournaments, but Barnes is who I will stick with here.

This guy has been rolling the last few months, with several Top 10 finishes. We all know that he has the talent to win a major championship, and there’s no doubt that he will at some point. He almost did it at Bethpage Black last year, and he has his game at a level where he could do it this week at St. Andrews.

The Favorites

Here are the top favorites for the week: Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington.

Honorable Mention: Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Luke Donald.

Elimination style to the finish, so let us begin!

McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but trust me, this type of course fits his game more than that one. He’s always played well at the British Open, and I expect that to be no different this week. If he picks up a second major this season, it will be an excellent story. I think he plays well, but I’m not predicting a win.

Mickelson also has a major championship this season, and is the leader in the clubhouse for player of the year on tour. He last played at the U.S. Open though, and that’s quite a layoff. I think he’ll be a little rusty this week, and will probably have to settle for a Top 25 finish.

Harrington always has to be considered a favorite at the British Open, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he will be in the hunt on Sunday. Paddy hasn’t had the type of year that he’s probably wanted thus far, but that can change with a win at St. Andrews. I’ve got a Top 5 for him…..not a win though.

McIlroy is in a very good situation here. He’s already won a tournament this year that featured all the big boys in golf (the Quail Hollow Championship), and this course is set up perfectly for him. We all know that he has a bright future ahead of him, and he’ll win some major championships. Will he win one here? I don’t think so, but he’ll be a contender.

The Final Four

Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Ernie Els

Rose has been red hot as of late, winning both the Memorial and AT&T National in recent weeks. He also added in a Top 10 at the Travelers Championship, which shows that he’s at the top of his game right now. I don’t know why I am picking against him, but I am. He’ll contend, but not win.

Westwood is still in search of his first major, and once again, he’ll head into this tournament as one of the top favorites. If there’s one thing we can bank on this week, it’s that Westwood will be somewhere towards the top of the leaderboard during the weekend. But can he get over the hump and win? He could, but I’m picking someone else this week.

The Finals

Tiger Woods vs. Ernie Els

Woods’ winning this week would be THE story. It would all come full circle, and a win at St. Andrews could catapult Woods into another great chapter in his career. After all that he’s been through, it would seem like the best place for him to take back the game of golf.

It would also be a great story for Els to capture another major championship, especially in a year that has saw him raise his game to a high level once again.

We’ve seen some great Woods vs. Els battles at major championships in the past. I think we’re going to see another one of those this week at the British Open.

This seems like a perfect place for Tiger to get back in a flow, and move closer to Jack Nicklaus‘ record. But while it may seem like the perfect scenario, I don’t think it’ll actually happen.

Els is my pick at St. Andrews.

Tags: British Open Predictions Golf Golf Majors Golf Predictions Graeme Mcdowell Justin Rose Lee Westwood Open Championship Predictions Padraig Harrington PGA Phil Mickelson Ricky Barnes Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods

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