ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Some Early Open Thoughts

Although I'm not ready to pick my "5 to Watch" for next week's Open Championship, I don't think it's too early to look ahead at what we may be seeing.

First of all, the early weather report is for heavy wind and rain. Added to Royal Lytham & St. Annes' heavy bunkering and fairly narrow fairways, that's going to make this year's Open a real challenge. Ironically, I disagree with a number of commentators I've heard who say accuracy will be the big factor determining a winner. Rather, I think it will be creativity. Seve Ballesteros won on this course twice, and he wasn't particularly accurate with a driver.

This course has hosted the Open several times. It's interesting to note who the past winners have been. The asterisks denote playoffs:
  • 1926: Bobby Jones, 291 (should be about +5, based on Locke's score)
  • 1952: Bobby Locke, -1
  • 1958: Peter Thomson, -10*
  • 1963: Bob Charles, -7*
  • 1969: Tony Jacklin, -4
  • 1974: Gary Player, -2
  • 1979: Seve Ballesteros, -1
  • 1988: Seve Ballesteros, -11
  • 1996: Tom Lehman, -13
  • 2001: David Duval, -10
A wide variety of players with very little in common -- besides, possibly, a hot putter that week! Seriously, though, most of these players are multiple major winners... and many are multiple Open winners. Only Charles, Jacklin, Lehman, and Duval made this their only major, and only Seve won more than once at this venue. I don't know if that's a function of the course's difficulty or just the years when it was played more frequently.

Likewise, this course has been left out of the rota for over a decade, making it less familiar to the players. As best as I can tell, none of the previous winners at this course will be in the field. (UPDATE: Tom Lehman IS supposed to be in the field.) It will play as a par 70, the first time since 1962, and it will be close to 7100 yards, nearly 100 yards longer than 2001 (when it was a par 71).

Those of you playing fantasy golf might want to take those facts into account when you make your picks. I'll post my "5 to Watch" next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment