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BlogBritish Open Preview and Picks

Open Championship

July 17 – 20, 2014

Royal Liverpool G.C.

Hoylake, England

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,312

Purse: $ 8 million

with $1,546,838 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Phil Mickelson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 88 of the top 90 in the latest Official World Rankings, with just two players not in the field, Steve Stricker and Charles Howell III.  Both of them chose not to play.  Now on another basis, this year’s Open Championship has the best field that it ever has had and in talking with Tony Greer of the World Ranking he says that only four PGA Championships over the years has had a stronger field, based on World Ranking points.

The field includes 24 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014.  Those players not in the field are #24 Charles Howell III.

The field includes 25 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.

The field includes 27 players that have won 33 events on the PGA Tour this year: Jimmy Walker (Frys.com Open, Sony Open in Hawaii & AT&T Pebble), Webb Simpson (Shriners Hospitals); Ryan Moore (CIMB CLassic), Dustin Johnson (WGC-HSBC Champions); Chris Kirk (McGladrey Classic), Harris English (OHL Classic at Mayakoba); Zach Johnson (Hyundai T of C); Patrick Reed (Humana & Cadillac); Scott Stallings (Farmers); Kevin Stadler (WM Phoenix); Bubba Watson (Northern Trust & Masters); Jason Day (WGC-Accenture); Russell Henley (Honda); Chesson Hadley (Puerto Rico); John Senden (Valspar Championship); Matt Every (Palmer); Matt Jones (Shell Houston); Matt Kuchar (RBC Heritage); J.B. Holmes (Wells Fargo) Martin Kaymer (Players & U.S. Open); Brendon Todd (Byron Nelson); Adam Scott (Colonial); Hideki Matsuyama (Memorial); Kevin Streelman (Travelers); Justin Rose (Quicken Loans National); Angel Cabrera (Greenbrier) and Brian Harman (John Deere).

Those winners not in the field are Steve Bowditch (Valero Texas); Seung-Yul Noh (Zurich); and Ben Crane (FedEx St. Jude).

The field includes 17 past Open champions:  Phil Mickelson (2013), Ernie Els (2012 & ’02), Darren Clarke (2011),Louis Oosthuizen (2010), Stewart Cink (2009), Padraig Harrington (2007 & ’08), Tiger Woods (2006, ’05 & ’00), Todd Hamilton (2004), Ben Curtis (2003), David Duval (2001), Paul Lawrie (1999), Justin Leonard (1997), John Daly (1995), Mark Calcavecchia (1989), Sandy Lyle (1985) Nick Faldo (1987, ’90 & ’92) and Tom Watson (1983, ’82, ’80, ’77 & ’75).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Open Championship field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Open Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Open Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Check back over the weekend for our who should win pieces looking at how the Open Championship has gone.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the British Open

Player John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier French Open Quicken Loans BMW Intern. Travelers Irish Open U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Nordea Masters
Justin Rose
(311.33 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(50.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Henrik Stenson
(230 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP T4
(106.67)
DNP DNP DNP 5
(23.33)
Graeme McDowell
(218.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
T28
(29.33)
T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(210.67 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(44)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Rickie Fowler
(204.67 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(133.33)
T13
(24.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Martin Kaymer
(204 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP Win
(176)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Thongchai Jaidee
(202.67 pts)
DNP T48
(2)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Keegan Bradley
(193.67 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T4
(106.67)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP
Robert Karlsson
(182 pts)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP 4
(80)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(20)
Kristoffer Broberg
(181.33 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T60
(0)
Webb Simpson
(176.67 pts)
DNP DNP 3
(90)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(6.67)
T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP
Angel Cabrera
(170.67 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(169 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
Danny Willett
(154 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T3
(60)
T45
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
Brian Harman
(154 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T42
(5.33)
DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jordan Spieth
(148.33 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(44)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP
Shawn Stefani
(145.33 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(138 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T4
(106.67)
T24
(17.33)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP
Matthew Baldwin
(135.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP T64
(0)
George McNeill
(131.33 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Michael Hoey
(128.33 pts)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP 7
(55)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
Mikko Ilonen
(128 pts)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
Erik Compton
(127.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(4)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T2
(133.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Billy Hurley III
(127 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP T48
(2.67)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP
Billy Horschel
(126.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(36)
T6
(40)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the British Open

Player John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier French Open Quicken Loans BMW Intern. Travelers Irish Open U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Nordea Masters
Y.E. Yang
(-43.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jin Jeong
(-40 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jamie Mcleary
(-36.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
D.A. Points
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T86
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Darren Clarke
(-30 pts)
DNP T59
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Nick Faldo
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jonas Blixt
(-18.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brett Rumford
(-18 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Thorbjorn Olesen
(-16.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Been in England for about five days, and the weather hasn’t been like last year when it felt like being in San Diego.  With hot, warm days we all wore shorts.  So in coming over here it’s very hard to pack, do you bring warm weather stuff or cold weather?  I always go in the middle.  The last five days the temperatures have been in the high 60s and lower 70s with lots of clouds.  But in looking at the long range forecast things are about to change.

The last time we were at Hoylake seven years ago, the weather was like San Diego, temperatures in the 80s and not a cloud in the sky.  I saw the course in a span of 8 days going from a very green course to dirt brown during the course of the tournament with the lack of air and sun.

Won’t happen this year.  The course is green, with brown wispy rough, and even though the weather is ok, it won’t be.  According to Uk.Weather.com our nice weather will end late Wednesday night as rain starts moving into the area on Thursday.  It may not be that bad but by Friday we will be very wet for the last three days of the championship.  On top to the bad forecast, they are last saying thunderstorms could be around on Friday and Saturday a rarity in this part of the globe.  So that will make for some interesting picks, our fair weather Americans may not do very well in conditions better for ducks than golfers.

So this brings up an interesting question, who do we pick this week?  The good news is that there won’t be much wind so American’s like Dustin Johnson, Boo Weekly, Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker are guys that have proven they can play in rainy conditions.  Still in looking at some real “mudders,” guys that play great in poor conditions you have to go with some of the Europeans.  They grew up in bad weather, guys like Darren Clarke, Graham McDowell, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry to name a few along with guys like Martin Kaymer, Edoardo Molinari and Victor Dubuisson.

One thing about the Open Championship, you won’t find a fridge player like Brian Harman (who won John Deere) winning.  That has been a problem on the PGA Tour all this year, I bet you would be hard press to name a quarter of the winners from this year.  That just doesn’t happen in the Open Championship; you have winners that are harden with experience, just look at the list of champions the last three years, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Darren Clarke.  So it’s a different beast over in England to pick a winner, with the weather that is predicted to come in.

Open Championship information:

  • The British Open traces its roots back to October 17, 1860, at the Links at Prestwick. Eight professionals vied for the inaugural Open Championship, they made three trips around the 12-hole golf course at Prestwood. Willie Park Sr.’s 174 gave him a two-stroke victory over Old Tom Morris. The original prize was the Challenge Belt.  It’s interesting to note that a month later on November 6th, 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States.
  • In 1873, Tom Kidd’s victory at St. Andrews was monumental. It was the first-Open Championship held at St. Andrews, and with Kidd’s victory, he took home the first-ever Claret Jug. The jug was manufactured at a cost of 30 pounds by Mackay Cunningham & Co. of Edinburgh.  Now to put that in prospective, 30 pounds today would be worth about 50 dollars.  Not much money in today’s world but here is a better view of it.  In searching the value of the British pound in 1860, it had the purchasing power of about 63.10 today.  So if you multiply 63.10, 30 times you get 1,893 pounds which mean in today’s money they paid about $3,000 for makeup the original Claret Jug.
  • By 1892, The Open Championship had moved to a 72-hole format, 36-holes over two days. With the changes to Open Championship format, play began to increase. As play increased, a cut was instituted, beginning in 1898, to limit the number of competitors over the final 36 holes. The increase in competition led to a decrease in scoring. Jack White’s 296 in the 1904 Open Championship marked the first time a competitor shot an aggregate score under 300. His final round 68 also set a record for the lowest round by a golfer. The Open Championship went on a six-year hiatus beginning in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I. When the tournament resurfaced in 1920, it did so under new ownership. The R&A was entrusted with the task of managing the event. To this day, the R&A still manages the event.
  • The R&A quickly installed changes to The Open Championship. The event spanned three days, 18 holes on each of the first two days and 36 on the final day. Also, The R&A began charging admission to see the event. A year later, The R&A began to produce a replica Claret Jug that is awarded to each year’s champion. The original jug resides in the clubhouse of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. The suspension of the Open from 1939 to 1946 due to World War II represents the longest gap between Open Championships. Sam Snead won the 1946 U.S. Open at St. Andrews, defeating Bobby Locke.
  • The 1955 Open marked a new era for the event. BBC broadcasted the tournament on television for the first time. By 1966, the Open Championship was being played over four days, 18 holes each day. ABC, for the first time, broadcasted a live feed of the event in America in 1982. In 1977, Regional Qualifying around England and Scotland was introduced on a permanent basis, to help organize qualifying in which there were two levels, first local qualifying and then moving on the week of the championship. It had been an experiment at the 1926 Open, but abandoned after just one year. In 1980, the Open Championship was moved to its current format, 18 holes over four days, with the tournament concluding on Sunday. A decade later, in 1990, the event set an attendance record with over 208,000 spectators showing up to watch the tournament at St. Andrews.  One more major change in 2005 saw international qualifying, with different sites setup in Australia, South Africa, Asia, America and for the European players to try and qualify in their country instead of having to fly off to England.  Today things are a bit different, there are two ways you can get in.  One is either winning an important event, being high up the world rankings, being a top winner on either the PGA Tour, European Tour, South African Tour and Asian Tour.  Or you can get through in qualifying tournaments in which there are nine events in which the top players for that week can get into the Open and five qualifying sites, one in Thailand and the other four in England just two weeks ago.
  • The 2014 Open Championship will be the 143rd installment of the tournament. It will be held on Royal Liverpool for the 11th time and had a list of impressive winners like Tiger Woods in 2006, Peter Thomson in 1956, Bobby Jones in 1930, Walter Hagen in 1924 and J.H. Taylor in 1913 to name some great players.

Course information:

  • Royal Liverpool
  • Hoylake, England
  • 7,312 yards     Par 35-37–72

Royal Liverpool — or Hoylake, as it is usually known — is the second-oldest seaside links golf course in England, and was the first course in North-West England to host The Open. Built on the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club, it retained a dual role as horse racing venue and golf course for the first few years of its life.

The club played a key part in the development of Amateur golf: in 1885, it hosted the inaugural Amateur Championship, and 1921, it hosted the first informal match which would become the Walker Cup. Furthermore, two of the three amateurs who have won The Open were Hoylake members: John Ball and Harold Hilton. Fittingly enough the other amateur winner, Bobby Jones, won his third Open at Hoylake, an event which was the second of four steps in his unprecedented, and unmatched, grand slam.

Aside from Hilton and Jones, Hoylake has witnessed a string of unique Open winners.  Arnaud Massey became the only Frenchman to win the title here in 1907; Fred Daly became the first Irishman to do so, in 1947 (Padraig Harrington in 2007 was only the second).   Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo became the first South American to win a major when he triumphed at Hoylake in 1967.

After the 1967 Open, it seemed unlikely that the Championship would ever return to Hoylake. In 2006, following years of work undertaken to create the space needed for a modern Open, the event returned — and it did so in style. The “loose” talk was that it’s a great members course but may not holdup to the onslaught of the best players in the world.  Royal Liverpool is a relic of a bygone era in which persimmon was the rage along with fiber-glass shaft drivers and balls that felt like mesh peas.  They did add 263 yards since 1967 but many thought that wasn’t enough.  Of course, when the R&A choose to return to Hoylake, they expected to have a bit of wind helping their cause.  They also were hoping for a bit a rain to help them not only soften the rock hard fairways but make the rough lush and impossible in places.  But that never happened.  In a week of wonderful weather on a fast golf course, Tiger Woods produced an imperious display of intelligent golf — during which he only once used his driver — that would ensure a third Open Championship victory for him.

Now that brings up an important topic, 2006 was probably the smartest golf Tiger had played in his career.  He overpowered the course by keeping it in play.  So the question is, will Tiger relive 2006 and play the same way, keeping the driver in the bag?  The R&A have done very little to change the course from seven years ago, they have added 54 yards but the strategy of the course will be the same as it was seven years ago.  But will someone, maybe even Tiger watch old highlights on Golf Channel of 2006 and realize that’s the way to play this week.  Tune in.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the British Open:

  • In the past 23 years its been won by grinders like Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Darren Clarke and Stewart Cink who may not look pretty but knows how to place shots in the right spots.  There have also been superstars like Tiger Woods, who were expected to win.  And then you had your superstar that wasn’t expect to win in Phil Mickelson, do the job.  Its been won by great tour players like Ernie Els, David Duval and Justin Leonard who capped off there PGA Tour careers with their first win in a major.  But unfortunately the British Open has been won by guys that fell out of the limelight right after their wins.  Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara, Paul Lawrie, David Duval, Todd Hamilton and Ben Curtis all come to mind, since there win they have fallen from grace and have struggled with there games.  .
  • The field is great, 88 of the top-90 in the world rankings.  Every great player in the world is here and ready to go.  Right now Hoylake is playing very firm and fast, but all of that will change.  If it gets very wet, you will have to drive it in the fairway to have any chance.  You get into this wispy rough and your dead if it’s wet.
  • The big question on everyone’s mind is if Tiger Woods can do it.  I would say no, he hasn’t shown us anything in almost a year.  Yes he was injured, but you wonder how much drive he has to win again, also does he even know how to win again.

Some other keys to playing well this week:

  • Good bunker play – yes you want to avoid them, but for those that can escape and get it up and down it will help.
  • Some will say that length and brute strength will play an important role this week.  That’s not how Tiger did it seven years ago, but things are different today.  The longer you drive it, the more of an advantage you will have.  But with heavy rough that will be ticker when wet, look for more irons off the tee.
  • Putting is going to be a premium this week.  The greens are flat and slow under the standards of the top professionals so look for lots of 7, 8, 9 and 10 footers to be made.
  • Will Hoylake have a surprise winner or will it be a marquee name nobody can predict.  Look at the past, it has a history of any kind of Champion.  Last year at Muirfield it didn’t surprise me that Phil Mickelson won, he was a hall of famer, joining other hall of fame winners of Muirfield.  But in looking at the history of Hoylake, just as many Fred Daly’s and Roberto De Vicenzo’s have won compared to Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones.
  • Be able to play in all conditions.  For the practice rounds the course has been playing easy  and dry.  So nobody will know how to play once the rains start.
  • Scrambler.  Green are a bit small and a player must have the skills to get it up and down from off the green or from greenside bunkers.
  • Player that doesn’t hit it into bunkers.  One of the key stats for Tiger Woods win in 2000 and Justin Leonard’s win at Troon in 1997 is that they didn’t hit it in a bunker during the 72 holes.  If that gets repeated this week, that person will win the Claret Jug.

Who’s hot, whose not:

  • Justin Rose could be the hottest golfer coming into Hoylake, winning at the Scottish Open and Quicken Loans National.  Also have to say that Martin Kaymer is hot, even though he missed the cut in Germany three weeks ago he bounced back with a T-12th at the French Open.  But he has won the last two important events in the Players and the U.S. Open so you have to think he is ready for this week.
  • Whose not playing well?  Have to say Tiger Woods, I also don’t think Rory McIlroy will play well along with Phil Mickelson.  Sorry guys, they just haven’t shown us much of late.

Couple of things to think about:

  • Out of bounds will prevent a total drive fest so don’t think the longest hitters will dominate.  Look for a good combination of length and finesse to win out.
  • Last but not least, don’t listen to any of the experts that make picks, that includes me.  Golf has become close to impossible to gauge and picking a winner is almost impossible.  The game has gotten so refined with swing gurus, mind coaches, fitness coaches and dietary experts that golfers can change from playing terrible to winning in a matter of a week.  Just look at a couple of the winners of late.  Brian Harman came into the John Deere missing his last two cuts.  But with rounds of 63-68-65-65 he went from despair to the winners circle.  Talking about despair how about Kevin Streelman, he went into the Travelers missing his last 4 cuts.  But in a matter of days was able to change everything around to win again.  Yes golf has gotten very complicated these days.

 

Who to watch for at the British Open

Best Bets:

Justin Rose

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT CUT T44 CUT T13 T70 T12 CUT T22

Yes the obvious choice with two wins in his last two starts. Has been talking about this week since Pinehurst, he is primed and ready to win his national championship. Can he be stopped, I don’t think so. He is a seasoned player that will do anything to win. One negative about him, has missed three cuts in his last four starts.

Martin Kaymer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T32 CUT T12 T7 T34 80

Will the “Kaymer-express” keep it rolling this week? He does well on firm, fast courses so it will be interesting to see if the rain affects him. I still think he will contend.

Henrik Stenson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2 68 T3 T13 T3 CUT T48 T34

Just look at his record of late, five top-seven finishes in his last six starts. Was runner-up in Germany three weeks ago. Plays well in muck and wet weather and have to think he is ready to win. This is probably his best shot at a major so watch him play well.

Best of the rest:

Adam Scott

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 2 T25 T27 CUT T16 T27 T8 T34 T42 CUT CUT

A nice safe bet because he always seems to get in the mix in majors. Many will forget this fact but at Hoylake in 2006 he finished T-8th. So look for a good week out of him.

Sergio Garcia

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T21 CUT T9 T14 T38 T51 2 T5 T5 CUT T10 T8

Gosh you mention this man’s name to any die-hard golf fan and you get that expression like you have bad breath. Garcia has disappointed so many folks over the years, Garcia has never done the deed and seems not to care a lot of times. But this could be a great week for him, don’t disregard him. Oh one favorable thing, he was T-5th at Hoylake in 2006.

Zach Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T6 T9 T16 T76 T47 T51 T20 CUT CUT CUT

Has played well in the British the last three years including a T-6th last year. Has the game for Hoylake, can he do it down the stretch is the question.

Angel Cabrera

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T11 CUT CUT CUT T24 CUT 34 7 CUT T22 CUT

He is very dangerous right now. After his Greenbrier win you have to think he is ready to pounce out another major, he has always thought the British would be his best shot. Was 7th at Hoylake in 2006 so anything can happen with him

Solid contenders

Rickie Fowler

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T31 T5 T14

Has shown steady improvements of late with his T2nd at the U.S. Open and T-8th at the Scottish to show he is ready to make a run. Could be this week.

Keegan Bradley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 T34

Plays well in bad weather, has played great of late including a T-4th at the U.S. Open.

Graeme McDowell

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T58 T5 CUT T23 T34 T19 CUT T61 T11 CUT

Will come to Hoylake under the radar screen and ready to go. Was T-5th last year and T-11th at Hoylake in 2006 so he could be a great pick for this week.

Ian Poulter

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T9 CUT T60 CUT 2 T27 CUT T11 T25 T46 T50

The strangest player in golf, you think he would contend every week but never seems to play good. But he always has that one or two great performances of the year, could think be the week?

You never know, could come through and have a great week:

Hideki Matsuyama

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T6

Love this guy, I will put five dollars on him because I know it’s only a matter of time before he will win.

Webb Simpson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T64 T16

Playing well, knows how to win a major and this could be a good place for him.

Brendon Todd

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Yes a first-timer has never won since 2003 with Ben Curtis. Could be a good time for Todd, his record has been great in the last eight weeks since winning in Dallas.

Jordan Spieth

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T44

We have heard very little from him for weeks, but he is still around. Finished T-7th at John Deere, T-11th at Quicken Loans so he is playing well.

Worst Bets:

Tiger Woods

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T6 T3 T23 CUT T12 Win Win T9 T4 T28

Sorry, he may make the cut but I don’t think he will rekindle the magic of seven years ago. Just have to wonder what the real state of his game is.

Phil Mickelson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win CUT T2 T48 T19 CUT T22 T60 3 T59 T66

His putter is not been his friend in 2014. I just can’t see him string up four good rounds, he could get into the top-ten.

Rory McIlroy

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T60 T25 T3 T47 T42

Just don’t know about him, has a bad record in the Open Championship and I just don’t think he has four great rounds in him, this week.

Lee Westwood

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T45 CUT 2 T3 T67 T35 T31 CUT 4 CUT CUT

Normally would be a favorite, but he has been a stinker over the last year.

Ernie Els

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T26 Win CUT CUT T8 T7 T4 3 T34 2 T18 Win

Just doesn’t have the game he had two years ago.

Comments

  1. alex munro says:

    Brian Harman was tipped in last weeks Racing Post[UK racing daily] at 100/1 !

    Jaidee is playing well enough for a place at 125/1 , had Matsuyama last year at 300/1 for a place he,s only 50/1 this year lol . Stenson should go close, bookmakers a paying a place for the first 7 home so you have yo look at 100/1 shots to be there or thereabouts. Poulter is nursing a sore wrist not good enough in anycase.. Robert Karlsson and Victor Dubuisson may well do well.

  2. It’s still guess work, I know that Racing Post tipped Harman last week, I talked with Jeremy Chapman the other day and he told me. Still it’s hard to “tip” someone, specially someone that missed his two previously cuts.

  3. martin j says:

    Don`t agree with your weather forecast.
    Thursday will be warm and sunny.
    Friday Sat and Sunday will have showers although not too heavy.

  4. Martin,
    I did that preview on Monday morning, will update it tomorrow.
    The link that I set up shows that the storm is late and probably won’t hit until Friday.
    I can tell you this, Monday and Tuesday were San Diego type of days, temperatures in the low 80s, no humidity and very little wind.
    Be wearing my shorts on Wednesday.

  5. martin j says:

    No problem Sal. Good luck if you have any bets.

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