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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

My "5 to Watch" at the Senior Open

It's the final major of the year for the old guys, the Senior Open, and of course I can't let it go by without making an effort to pick the winner. I had Molinari in my "5 to Watch" last week, so perhaps I can do at least that well this week.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer

The Senior Open will be played at St. Andrews this year, which should get the blood of all the seniors pumping! We should expect another hard and fast course, with around a 15mph wind (if current conditions hold). So let's get to it and make some picks.
  • Everybody has Bernhard Langer, the defending champion, as the favorite this week... and with good reason. Langer's 3-under finish at Carnoustie against the youngsters shows that he's in good form and ready for tough conditions. But did last week's challenge tire him too much to compete this week? I wouldn't bet on it, but it's possible.
  • Although he missed the cut at Carnoustie by a shot, I like the fact that Tom Lehman has already played some competitive links golf going into this week, plus he has a win this season. Add the wider fairways at St. Andrews to the mix and you could be looking at a good chance for Lehman to pick up this major.
  • Paul Broadhurst won this event back in 2016 -- at Carnoustie, ironically -- and has picked up another major this season (along with a 'regular' win), so he certainly knows how to get it done on the links. Like Langer, he's another player in good form entering this event.
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez has been playing pretty well all season, and he did win the Regions Tradition earlier this year. Worldwide, he's got a lot of Top10s this season. You know he'd like to add an Open to those figures.
  • And for my flier, I'm taking Brandel Chamblee. I know Brandel hasn't played competitively in a decade, but he did go through qualifying to play this event which means his game is in pretty good shape. The video footage I saw of his play in the qualifier looked solid as well, and -- as with Lehman -- I think the wider fairways at St. Andrews might give him some confidence.
I have to go with Langer, of course, simply because he has the scoring this season -- and especially last week -- to back him up. But I think Chamblee might place pretty well also. Since he doesn't have any competitive rounds under his belt, I think he may play more conservatively than the others... and that could help him play better than most expect.

The Champions Tour website says the coverage starts Thursday morning at 7am ET on GC.

1 comment:

  1. Bernard Langer at 60 - still going strong. Fine performance at the Masters and also at the Open.
    What is next ?