The (British) Open Preview 2018
With the Irish and Scottish opens both finished up, it’s time for the most hallowed of championship in the British Isles, if not all of golf: The Open. The oldest of the four major tournaments begins this Thursday, July 19 at Carnoustie’s Championship Course in Scotland. Here are a few things we’ll be looking out for during the 147th Open Championship.
The Carnoustie Golf Club was established in 1839, a fact which gives the club the claim as the oldest artisan course in the world. Carnoustie Golf Links is no stranger to the Open Championship during its long history — in fact, this will be the eighth time the course has hosted the tournament. It’s been more than a decade since the last time The Open came to Carnoustie in 2007, so the club is ready for the crowds again. And the club just opened a new Links House including a modern restaurant to serve guests in April of this year, helping to prepare it for the throng of visitors who will be coming through this week.
The Championship Course is regarded to be one of the finest courses in Great Britain, and many players have noted both its difficulty and fairness. Some refer to the course as “a monster”, and the par-four 18th hole in particular is known for being the hardest 18th in Scotland. While the course is situated near the North Sea, a view of the water is only available from the 15th hole. Also, unlike other links courses, the course does not take the there-and-back-again route; instead, each hole changes direction, so that only two face the same angle into the inevitable wind. This makes the challenging course that much more difficult, and if the rough is as overgrown as it was in 1999, the players are in for a frustrating game.
Young Players Making Their Marks
Jon Rahm is yet again a young player to look out for during The Open. He’s been coming into his own lately, sorting out his emotional standing and finishing strong. Although he’s not favored in this tournament per se, he’ll be one to watch, alongside others in the under-30 set, including Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka. Fresh off their major wins earlier in the year, they’ll both have to be careful not to rest on their laurels. Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler are another set of 20-somethings who may make their mark at this tournament with a breakthrough major win.
Of course, all of the aforementioned youngsters will have to play against their elders, including the greatest of all time. Tiger Woods will be a force to contend with during this championship, although most of the odds don’t see him winning. He’s taken the Open three times and a win this year would be his 15th major win, and also his first since 2008. As a favorite at Worldwide Golf Adventures, we’ve been as thrilled at Tiger’s return as anyone, and as disappointed in the few snags he’s hit in putting especially over the past few showings. A win at The Open for Tiger would be a welcome surprise for all of us.
Dustin Johnson, the 34-year-old American, is favored to win, although Rory McIlroy may give him a run for his money, not to mention England’s Justin Rose. These seasoned players are all hitting their stride in their prime years, and while younger and older players alike will present a challenge, the firm and fast conditions this week could negate the advantages of bombers like DJ and open up the field to make it just about anyone’s week.
If you’d like to play Carnoustie for yourself or visit any of Scotland’s famous historic links courses, get in touch today and we’ll get you a free quote!