The Open Championship is upon us for the first time in two years, and with it brings us glory’s last shot. Being a links golf tournament, The Open can bring out the best in many different styles of play.
This includes older players. We’ve seen guys like Tom Watson and Miguel Angel Jimenez come so close to winning the event, and this being the year of the old man, there are definitely a few guys over the age of 40 who can take home the Claret Jug.
More from Pro Golf Now
Paul Casey is first on my list. Casey at age 43 is still ranked 21st in the World Golf Rankings, and has had a bit of a resurgence over the last few years, following some time out in the wilderness.
He’s finished in the top 10 in the last two majors, T4 in the PGA Championship and T7 in the US Open. He’s in a really good place with his game right now, I really like his chances in his home country to win his first major.
The next two are both playing in the same group Thursday and Friday, we’ll start with Lee Westwood.
To reiterate some of what I wrote a few days ago, Lee Westwood has been a model of relative consistency throughout his career. He’s finished in the top 10 a whopping 19 times in majors in his career, with 10 of those resulting in top 5 finishes, but no wins.
He still has all the skills to win, even being 48 years old. I’ve gone on the record saying that a Westwood victory would be the most satisfying of anyone in the field, and I stand by that.
Lee Westwood is running out of time, and this might be his last best chance to win the major that has eluded him for over two decades.
Playing with Westwood, is a man that I think, could, be a sneaky, mega, ultra darkhorse this week. That man’s name is Stewart Cink.
Now before you dismiss it out of hand, just think about it for a second.
Stewie Cink has 2 wins this season, which ties for his career best in one season. He is ranked in the top 25 in both driving distance and greens in regulation percentage. He’s 15th in the FedEx Cup right now. He also had a T12 finish at The Masters this year.
More importantly though, Stewart Cink has won this tournament before. I think most forget that Stewart Cink defeated the aforementioned Tom Watson in a playoff to win the 2009 Open Championship. He knows what it takes to win this tournament and conquer its demands.
Call me crazy, but I think Cink has a legitimate shot to win this week.
Age is not nearly as much of a factor in The Open Championship. Natural regression is somewhat offset by the weather conditions and the links style of golf that players have to adapt to.
We’ll see how the old bodies hold up as the week progresses, I do think Casey, Westwood, and Cink will all be fine this weekend. I think all three can contend on Sunday.
After all, the old man energy has won out a few times across sports this year. Maybe we see it again at Royal St. George’s.