The Open Championship rears its old head again this week for the 144th time, with the world’s best golfer’s descending on The Home of Golf, all vying to take home the highly coveted Claret Jug.
The Open Championship will be played at St Andrews for the 29th time on the Old Course and for the first time in five years. Back in 2010, South African Louis Oosthuizen won the Claret Jug on the 150th anniversary of the first Open Championship by shooting 16 under par and winning by seven strokes.
The two previous occasions that the famous old tournament has been played on the ‘oldest golf course in the world’ were both won by former world number one, Tiger Woods in 2005 and 2000.
The 2014 Open Championship was held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July, where current world number one, Rory Mcilroy won his first Open Championship by 2 shots ahead of Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia.
Mcilroy held off firm pressure from the chasing pack, led by Fowler and Garcia to make par in his final round which turned out to be enough to claim his third major title, having previously won the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Championship.
But most unfortunately, it’s looking more and more likely that Mcilroy won’t make it to St Andrews to defend his title. A freak accident whilst playing football with friends has left him with a “Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage.
Mcilroy v Spieth
The injury to Mcilroy is such a shame for so many reasons, not least the chance Mcilroy had to defend his title at St Andrews against the world’s in form man. Jordan Spieth who will be going for an unprecedented (in modern times) calendar year grand slam.
The two current holders of all four majors would have undoubtedly been everyone’s choice as firm favourites at St Andrews this week. Mcilroy absolutely blasted the field into submission in the first two majors of 2014 (The Open and USPGA). But he finished a mediocre (for him!) forth and tied ninth in the remaining two. Where it was Spieth’s turn to show huge maturity beyond his years, across two very different courses with two very different sets of challenging conditions, to claim the first two majors of his ever promising career.
My prediction was that whoever won the Mcilroy v Spieth battle, would go a very long way to winning the war! But I am now putting my firm faith in Spieth to go one step closer to his grand slam and three others.
Have a chance
- Dustin Johnson – Should have won the US Open, hitting the ball very well, will push Spieth very close.
- Justin Rose – Didn’t play well at Chambers Bay but Justin’s never too far away from the top five!
- Henrik Stenson – Never too far away from the top of the major leader boards, but still yet to win one. Maybe 2015 is Stenson’s year!