Congrats to Darren Clarke
This week’s Open was fantastic, and I’m so thrilled that I was wrong in my prediction that Clarke wouldn’t hold on and win. Very happy for Darren Clarke, especially with the heartbreaks he’s gone through both on and off the course. Well done and congratulations. I really hope some day I run into Clarke in a pub somewhere.
Perhaps Phil Mickelson has quieted the critics who say he can’t play links golf, myself included. Looks like he may have finally figured it out after that super low 30 on the front nine yesterday and the T2 finish. Strangely enough, Phil’s play actually improved as the conditions worsened. Not sure he’ll ever win an Open, but it would be quite a story if he finally did. He needs to do it soon though. Not sure how many really good year’s he’ll have left with age and his physical condition with the psoriatic arthritis.
For the 3rd time in what, the last six majors, Dustin Johnson is in the final group? You’d have to think it is only a matter of time before DJ notches a win in a major.
Despite being the favorite coming in to this Open, I wasn’t surprised that Rory McIlroy didn’t quite have it this past week. This year has been huge, and I think he may have been a bit burned out. I do think he’ll be fresh for the PGA Championship.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Here’s another guy I’d love to hang out with in a pub somewhere. Jimenez was in the mix for much of the week and you have to love this guy’s flare. It almost seems like golf gives Miguel something to do during the day to kill time before he enjoys a fine wine and a cigar in the evening. Jimenez got a ton of air time with his warm up routine. Between his not so flat-belly body shape, his long hair and his cigar, the moves in his warmup were more entertaining than a Lady Gaga video. His description of the routine included, “that’s me on the dance floor.” Love it.
Rickie Fowler is building up a wealth of experience in pressure situations and major championships. Though he has yet to win a tournament as a PGA pro, hanging out in the top few spots on major championship leader boards will pay dividends in the future.
Fowler’s T5 this past week is his first top-5 in a major.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… If all major championships were played on links courses, Tom Watson would have won about 3x as many majors as Jack Nicklaus. It was fantastic to watch Watson’s ace on the par-3 6th hole in the 2nd round. Even more fantastic and amazing that Watson made the cut in the Open at the ripe young age of 61. Final position for Watson, T22.
Speaking of Watsons… Bubba Watson’s (T30 at +9) skill level is sick. He is an amazing talent who curves the ball more than anyone in golf right now. But those high spin shots could make playing in windy “Open” conditions could make it more difficult to control the ball. Bubba has the power for sure, but he’ll need to master low spin shots to contend in the Open in the future.
Top 10’s who missed the cut
It was quite amazing that though the Open was played in England, the top two ranked players in the world who happened to be English, missed the cut. Perhaps #1 Luke Donald emptied his gun in winning the Scottish Open the week before? And one of my picks to win this Open, Lee Westwood (#2 in the world) missed the cut too. Very surprising.
Add to those two a pair of other top 10 players who missed the cut, Graeme McDowell and Matt Kuchar.
One major to go – Which Irishman will win the PGA Championship?
With the conclusion of the Open, the PGA Championship is coming up next. Based on the fact that an Irish player has won three of the last six majors, which Irishman will win the PGA Champonship? Perhaps Padraig Harrington? His game hasn’t been at its best lately. He has won it before.