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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My "5 to Watch" at the Senior OPEN

Yes, let's get a little more links golf under our belts, shall we? The Senior OPEN Championship starts Thursday at Carnoustie, and it should be a good one. Marco Dawson is the defending champion, and he played in last week's OPEN (T68, +12).


For those of you who don't remember, Carnoustie is the site of Jean Van de Velde's notorious OPEN loss in 1999. (Do you remember the eventual victor? Paul Lawrie.) Van de Velde will be playing this week also, and I hope he gets some revenge.

But in the meantime, I need to pick my favorites.
  • It's impossible for me to make these picks and leave Bernhard Langer off the list. He already has three wins this season, including two majors. Why not one more?
  • And how about the Mechanic, Miguel Angel Jimenez? He hasn't played much on the Champions Tour this season but he still has a win. Not only that, he played the OPEN last week and finished T18, at even par. I think you have to like his chances at Carnoustie this week.
  • Billy Andrade hasn't won yet this season, but he has two 2nds and a 3rd, and he hasn't missed a cut. I don't know how well he plays links golf, but when a player like Billy is in good form on a well-conditioned course -- and I have no doubt that Carnoustie will be absolutely pristine -- you have to think he'll contend.
  • Paul Goydos may not be on a lot of people's radar, but he's played very well this year and picked up his first win just a couple weeks back. He hasn't really contended at a major this year, but there's no time like the present.
  • And my flier is Jesper Parnevik. His good friend Henrik Stenson just ripped the history books apart at Royal Troon, so I'm thinking Jesper may be playing with a new sense of what's possible.
It's true that I accurately picked Dustin Johnson to win the US Open but other than that, my record hasn't been too good of late. I've tended to go chalk, and the top players have let me down. For that reason -- and this is probably a bad time for me to do so, given his record -- I'm not going to take Langer, who is the obvious choice.

Instead, I'm taking Miguel Angel Jimenez to snag his first major on any tour this week. The Mechanic has played well this season, and I love that even par finish last week at Troon.

I also predict that Jean Van de Velde, out of practice or not, will successfully avoid the bern on 18. At least that way I should be right about something!

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