Twenty-one year-old Jordan Spieth has certainly added some excitement to the 2015 Open Championship this year by winning both the Masters and the US Open. He now has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since 1953, and that is win the first three majors in a calendar year.
Of course, Ben Hogan won the 1953 Open Championship at Carnoustie for his only major win across the pond which followed wins at the Masters and the US Open.
The PGA was played in those days the week before the Open, and with travel conditions in 1953 where people had to ride a boat instead jetting around the world, was unable to play both events. This cost Hogan a real chance at the modern Grand Slam.
The following are my picks for the Open Championship:
I’m not sure Jordan has the experience to pull this thing off, but there is no question that he has the game.
He has played the course in the past, but does he know about all the quirky bounces? He comes in on a winning streak after his victory at the John Deere Classic last week, but did he need that extra time at St. Andrews?
Jordan keeps the ball in the fairway most of the time, and he is an excellent putter. If the wind comes up this week, and it is expected, there will be a lot of long putts. Many to save par. The youngster from Dallas is as good as anyone on the planet with the short stick in his hand.
On Thursday at the John Deere Classic Spieth had a -1.5 Strokes Gained Putting, on Saturday, he improved on the number to 3.824. That gave him a three-day total of 5.783.
If he is to win his third major this week at the Old Course, he will need every ounce of his excellent short game, and he will need to jar those 12′ par putts.
I’m rooting for him to win this thing, and send the golf world into a frenzy until the PGA Championship next month.
The 32 year-old South African won this championship at this golf course in 2010 and I expect him to be a contender on Sunday to win it again.
Oosthuizen loves the old course, and with a second place finish at Chambers Bay last month, I feel like his game is where it needs to be, to compete.
We haven’t seen the best from Oosty in the last couple of years, but he is a little like Angel Cabrera, and tends to show up in major tournaments. He appears to be healthy again, and I look for him to be in the mix when they tee off the finale’ on Sunday afternoon.
A great shot by Bubba Watson at the 2012 Masters kept Oosthuizen out of Butler Cabin and a Green Jacket. He is a tough competitor who will be heard from this week.
Yes..you heard me right…Tiger Woods.
Tiger has won this event three times, and twice at the old course. This is not the same Tiger who won this thing in 2005, but he certainly know how to win big tournaments, and he certainly knows this golf course as well as anyone. He just need for his game to cooperate.
He told us in his press conference this morning that he is not dead, and still wants to win. And I think if he can survive the cut(something he has had trouble with as of late) he could well be a factor on Sunday.
Tiger is one of the best iron players on the planet, and if he starts rolling in some putts..beware!
His big miss at this point is to the right with his driver. With the greener and softer conditions at St. Andrews, he will need to hit that driver but the only hole where he just can’t miss right is the Road Hole(17). The rest of the longer holes have room on the right.
Tiger Woods is only 14 months removed from a number one ranking, and if a few things start to click he could be a contender on Sunday afternoon.
Sleeper Pick Branden Grace
Branden Grace is a youngster who is just looking for a place to win his first major, and had it not been for a double bogey on the 16th hole at Chambers Bay on Sunday, may well already have that first major.
We don’t hear much about this 27 year-old South African here in the USA, but he is another player who tends to show up in big events, and the big names don’t scare him.
Grace beat Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a playoff at the 2012 Volvo Championship for his second of nine European Tour victories. He lost his only other playoff to Phil Mickelson at the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The 2015 Open Championship should be a great watch for golf fans around the world. We will need to get up early to see it in real-time, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
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