The 2018 version of The Open Championship finds its return to Carnoustie, the most challenging of the Open Championship Courses. The combination of the course, its history and the field this week has provided viewers a chance to see one of the Best Open Championships in recent History.
Some Storylines we are following include the return of Tiger, Ricki Fowler still chasing his first Major Victory, and world number one Dustin Johnson chasing his first Open Championship and second Major victory of his career.
Former Champion Henrik Stenson is coming back for his first start after his recent elbow injury.
Jason Day is also trying to change is fortune and turn his game around with a win at Carnoustie. A win here would likely do just that.
Consider what Englishman Lee Westwood is chasing. Westwood is working on his 82nd start in a Major Championships without a victory. As the years creep forward the likelihood of that happening are becoming more scarce. Lee has 42 Professional victories on five continents but has never won that elusive major.
Ricki Fowler is likely the best young player without a Major victory that is desperately looking to get that monkey off his back. He has been very close including a one stroke loss at the Masters this season to Patrick Reed.
The closing holes at Carnoustie are some of the most difficult in golf. And those closing holes have provided the golf world some historic finishes both good and bad.
The one that most recall is Jean Van de Veld and his collapse on hole 18 that changed his career forever.
Hole 17 is reportedly playing very quick around the greens because of a tremendous lack of rain. There has been very little bounce on or around the greens and has the players looking at many options to combat that situation.
Putting aside all of the past, it is time to look ahead to this week and what I think could happen.
Three players I like this week include Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, and Ricki Fowler. They are all amongst the favorites, but I believe they have compelling cases for a win this week.
Patrick Reed won at the Masters this season, was close at the US Open and just seems to play big in big moments.
Dustin Johnson could be rusty, but he is the number one player in the world for a reason. He stated in his Pre Championship Presser that his putter has been the culprit to him not winning more this year. If that Putter comes to life, he WILL WIN this week.
Ricki Fowler’s story is well-known and I believe this could be where he gets that first Major Victory.
As for a longshot, Jason Day is one of the games best players but has not played well recently. Statistically speaking he is the best putter on tour right now. If he can bring the rest of his game to play this week I believe he could grab a victory.
Zac has a couple of players I looked at, but chose not to add to my favorite list.
- Ricki Fowler
- Justin Rose – I love that pick, nearly had that myself
- Alex Noren
Tyrrell Hatton is his Longshot of the week. Hatton has 3 career European Tour Wins, and has 3 PGA Tour top 10’s this season. One of those top 10’s was at the difficult US Open.
Tee Times For Thursday and Friday
1:35AM/6:36AM: Sandy Lyle, Martin Kaymer, Andy Sulliva
1:46AM/6:47AM: Erik Van Rooyen, Brady Schnell, Matthew Southgate
1:57AM/6:58AM: Danny Willett, Emiliano Grillo, Luke List
2:08AM/7:09AM: Mark Calcavecchia, Danthai Boonma, Shaun Nooris
2:19AM/7:20AM: Kevin Chappell, Oliver Wilson, Eddie Pepperell
2:30AM/7:31AM: Ross Fisher, Paul Dunne, Austin Cook
2:41AM/7:42AM: Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay, Shane Lowry
2:52AM/7:53AM: Thomas Pieters, Kevin Kisner, Marcus Kinhult
3:03AM/8:04AM: Phil Mickelson, Satoshi Kodaira, Rafa Cabrera Bello
3:14AM/8:15AM: Brian Harman, Yuta Ikeda, Andrew Landry
3:25AM/8:26AM: Si Woo Kim, Webb Simpson, Nicolai Hojgaard (a)
3:36AM/8:37AM: Stewart Cink, Brandon Stone, Hideto Tanihara
3:47AM/8:48AM: Gary Woodland, Yusaku Miyazato, Sung Kang
4:03AM/9:04AM: Ernie Els, Adam Hadwin, Chesson Hadley
4:14AM/9:15AM: Pat Perez, Julian Suri, George Coetzee
4:25AM/9:26AM: David Duval, Scott Jamieson, Kevin Na
4:36AM/9:37AM: Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer, Retief Goosen
4:47AM/9:48AM: Matt Kuchar, Anirban Lahiri, Peter Uihlein
4:58AM/9:59AM: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
5:09AM/10:10AM: Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Chris Wood
5:20AM/10:21AM: Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed
5:31AM/10:32AM: Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jhonattan Vegas
5:42AM/10:43AM: Yuxin Lin (a), Alexander Bjork, Sang Hyun Park
5:53AM/10:54AM: James Robinson, Haraldur Magnus, Zander Lombard
6:04AM/11:05AM: Kodai Ichihara, Rhys Enoch, Marcus Armitage
6:15AM/11:16AM: Sean Crocker, Gavin Green, Ash Turner
6:36AM/1:35AM: Brandt Snedeker, Sam Locke (a), Cameron Davis
6:47AM/1:46AM: Patton Kizzire, Jonas Blixt, Charles Howell III
6:58AM/1:57AM: Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Tom Lewis
7:09AM/2:08AM: Alex Levy, Ryan Moore, Byeong Hun An
7:20AM/2:19AM: Michael Hendry, Kelly Kraft, Lee Westwood
7:31AM/2:30AM: Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood, Jimmy Walker
7:42AM/2:41AM: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Jovan Rebula (a)
7:53AM/2:52AM: Rory McIlroy, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen
8:04AM/3:03AM: Dustin Johnson, Alex Noren, Charley Hoffman
8:15AM/3:14AM: Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Brendan Steele
8:26AM/3:25AM: Justin Thomas, Francesco Molinari, Branden Grace
8:37AM/3:36AM: Jason Day, Shota Akiyoshi, Haotong Li
8:48AM/3:47AM: Todd Hamilton, Beau Hossler, Jorge Campillo
9:04AM/4:03AM: Ryuko Tokimatsu, Chez Reavie, Michael Kim
9:15AM/4:14AM: Kyle Stanley, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jens Dantorp
9:26AM/4:25AM: Tom Lehman, Dylan Frittelli, Grant Forrest
9:37AM/4:36AM: Lucas Herbert, Min Chel Choi, Jason Kokrak
9:48AM/4:47AM: Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Matt Wallace
9:59AM/4:58AM: Ian Poulter, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka
10:10AM/5:09AM: Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Shubhankar Sharma
10:21AM/5:20AM: Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Knox
10:32AM/5:31AM: Jason Dufner, Ryan Fox, Keegan Bradley
10:43AM/5:42AM: Ryan Armour, Abraham Ander, Masahiro Kawamura
10:54AM/5:53AM: Jazz Janewattananond, Fabrizio Zanotti, Jordan Smith
11:05AM/6:04AM: Brett Rumford, Masanori Kobayashi, Jack Senior
11:16AM/6:15AM: Matt Jones, Thomas Curtis, Bronson Burgoon