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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Picks for the Open Championship

Though it's nearly impossible to accurately predict a winner of professional golf tournament, I'm going to try.

All of the people "in the know" are saying the winner of this week's British Open at Royal Liverpool could be anyone. The smarties in the press claim that since the Championship has not been held at Hoylake since 1967, no one has enough of a home field advantage to be crowned the favorite. This sort of makes sense, but from what I've seen over the years, unless it's played at St. Andrews (see Tiger Woods), the Open is always up for grabs.

The bookmakers favor Tiger, then Phil, and then Vijay. They try to make money, so of course they won't be going out on a limb. In my fantasy league, I picked all non-Americans, which is totally against the grain, because Americans win this tournament all the time. My fantasy pics are David Howell (England), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Adam Scott (Australia), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Tim Clark (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), and Stuart Appleby (Australia). I probably shouldn't have picked two Aussies, but they're playing so darn well lately, that I couldn't NOT pick them. Plus, I didn't see anyone from Turkey or Romania in the field.

If you have an online bookmaker, you can get very good odds on most players not named Tiger or Phil. If Mickelson wins, it will be a great comeback after his 72nd hold disaster at Winged Foot, but I don't see it happening. Tiger will probably get a top 10, but I don't think it's his year. Who does that leave? Just about everyone else. Aside from Seve Ballesteros and some donk named Ben Bunny, nearly everyone in the field has a legitimate shot at winning.

I asked my wife for her top three picks, and they're pretty solid. She picked Jose-Maria Olazabal, Ernie Els, and Stuart Appleby. In her heart, she's rooting for Sergio Garcia.

My darkhorse pick is England's own, Nick Dougherty. He has a lot of game. Many people aren't familiar with him because he plays in Europe, but he's a young, rising star. And, he's a local Liverpudlian, and he claims to have played Hoylake countless times. Will course knowledge serve him well? I hope so. I have a small wager on him at around 300-1. Go Nick!


Blogger Borger said...

Darren Clarke's going to win - Jb

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Dean's Martinis said...

J5, I tend to agree, this tourny could be anyone's for the taking. Gotta go with who's playing well. Both Monty and Els played well at the Scottish Open, as did Retif, Donald and Poulter (my dark horse). Ian "Pants" Poulter had a good US Open, played in the final pairing and made a strong showing at last year's Open. Tim Clark has been one of those "plays the Majors well" type guy. My fantasy squad is shaping up to be Howell, Padraig, Poulter and Bjorn backed up w/ JMO, Els, Ames and Darren Clarke. However, Ames isn't set in stone. Dino's promonition: Thomas Levett drinks champagne from the Claret Jug Sunday after holding off a final round charge from David Duval.

5:33 PM  
Blogger John Gorman said...

I'd love to see Clarke do it, but he seems to disappear on Sundays at majors. Not gonna happen...

As for Dean Martin's Martinis' picks, except for Levet, I think you're spot on. He hasn't shown up in a while, although he has had his moments in majors during the past five years.

Thanks for your input!

5:57 PM  
Blogger JTALIFER said...

Here is my ten cents (everyone waiting on pins and needles). There are certain factors that go in to winning a major. For example, the Masters champion must have a superb short game. The U.S. open champ must hit the ball straight to stay out of the sometimes unfair rough. As for the British open, it all depends on the weather. When I look for a player to take home the "jug", I look for a low ball hitter. There is never a guarantee that the weather will be horrible, but it usually is. I am definately thinking we will be seeing a european champion in 2006.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous jay said...

Tiger ... and Tiger.

Darkhorses ... Chad Campbell and Lucas Glover.

10:25 AM  
Blogger John Gorman said...

So you like Chad Campbell and Bart Bryant -- two good Texas wind players?? I think the wind issue is overhyped unless it blows at a constant 15+ mph or if it gets very gusty. Some low-ball players will have an advantage, but it usually serves to even out the field. Stuart Appleby seems to thrive in the wind as well.

As for Jay...your devotion to Tiger and Clemson is admirable. I wouldn't mind seeing Glover win, and you know how I feel about Tigger.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Harley said...

Tiger eats up the par 5s in majors. This course has 4 of them, therefore I think Tiger wins.

If not tiger... Furyk wins.

9:56 AM  

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