2018 British Open Predictions: Five Golfers Who Can Win Claret Jug
19 July, 2018, 07:21
After outlining his plan to grab Carnoustie by the scruff of the neck and blast his way up the leaderboard at The Open this week, Rory McIlroy looked to be enduring a frustrating final practice on the eve of golf's most prestigious tournament.
Tiger Woods - We know, we know, you've heard this before.
There was a spell not so long ago when Tiger Woods, in the depths of despair over recurring back problems, felt he would never again grace the fairways of a British Open. While he doesn't have a great record at The Open, he has a 12th and 20th place finish to go along with two missed cuts in four starts at golf's oldest championship.
"I look back at those pictures", McIlroy said Wednesday, "and the more I can be like that kid, the better". "So I think that's one of the reasons why you see them hanging around with each other all the time".
The world No 8, without a major win since 2014, spoke in bullish terms on Tuesday about how the conditions of the course fall into the hands of the players who can hit the ball long off the tee.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur on his Open debut in 2007, the last time the championship was held at Carnousite. He's also finished no worse than fifth in his last three Opens, including his win at Liverpool.
"I feel like, if you put yourself in position enough times, you'll find a way to get it done", McIlroy said.
"You can't click into this style of golf quickly, especially when the fairways are as fast as they are now", he told BBC Sport. For the week, Woods hit just a single driver, choosing to play irons off the tees for positioning and wearing out the field with some incredible iron play to the greens.
Rose ran through a host of English players, including US Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter as "guys who are completely capable of winning this week". Instead, most of his shots are with a 3-iron or 4-iron.
So is this the week he could secure his 15th major title?
Newton came closest. In 1975 he had a putt to win the Open outright in the fourth round that stopped short and right, leaving him in a playoff with Watson, who was about to win the first of his five Open Championships. Lawrie, who used to be coached by Locke's father, is missing because of foot and back injuries.
From Rickie Fowler still trying to win that first major championship to Jordan Spieth, the defending Open Champion struggling throughout the 2018 season with his once reliable putter.
The young quartet of major holders Spieth, Koepka, Patrick Reed (Masters) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) are expected to be in contention as they look to extend the U.S. winning run to six majors.
This was the McIlroy who said, when he was asked how he managed to shape the ball so well: "I just think draw and I hit draw, I see it in my head and then I just hit the shot". A lot of these regulars on the European tour have got more experience on the Scottish links which will be a point of emphasis this week.