The 2018 Open Championship Preview By Brian Hughes
The 2018 Open Championship Preview
By Brian Hughes
PGA Master Professional
Keiser University College of Golf
For the eighth time, The Open Championship will be played at the famed Carnoustie Golf Links. To quote World Golf Hall of Famer Sir Michael Bonallack, “When the wind is blowing, Carnoustie is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s probably still the toughest.”
The most recent edition of the Championship was held in 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff for the title, overcoming a 6 shot deficit in the final round. Other past champions at Carnoustie include Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Henry Cotton, Tommy Armour and Paul Lawrie. Wait – Paul Lawrie? How does he fit in with that group?
In perhaps the most memorable collapse of all time, the 1999 Open at Carnoustie is famous for Jean van de Velde snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, blowing a three shot lead on the final hole. After trampling through high grass, water hazards and who knows what else, van de Velde made a triple bogey on the 18 th , eventually losing a playoff to Lawrie.
Who wins in 2018? Carnoustie demands accuracy off the tee to avoid tall fescue grasses surrounding the fairway. With firm and fast fairways, that means straight hitters can play as well as the long hitters, making the possibilities endless for potential winners. The wild card in every Open Championship is the weather, so predictions of winners resemble predicting the weather – not much chance of success. With all that said, here are my picks: Winner – Louis Oosthuizen, with Brandon Grace and Paul Casey also in contention. Sleeper pick: the 67 th ranked player in the world who may get to leave his driver in Jupiter, Florida – Tiger Woods.