2016 The British Open Championship Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Ah yes, Royal Troon and the British Open.  Visions of my best buddy and I pulling an all-nighter, drunk swimming in my apartment complex pool at 6am, me half passing out a few hours later with a Morgan Coke in one hand and my PS2 controller in the other hand (which later got destroyed by said Morgan Coke pouring directly onto it during said passing out), and yeah, Todd Hamilton and his handy dandy hybrid hoisting the Claret Jug.  Yep, that’s what I remember from July of 2004.

Now that Todd Hamilton, Ben Curtis, Paul Lawrie, Darren Clarke, (sadly) Stewart Cink are all distant memories (yep, they’ve all hoisted the Claret Jug within the past 17 years and three of em could sit down on an airplane next to you and you wouldn’t have a clue who they were), who’s this year’s winning nobody going to be?  I kid because it (a nobody winning) does seem to happen at the British Open more often than at other majors, but with the talent at the top these days it’s hard to imagine 2016 being one of “those” years (although then again, Danny Willett did win the Masters this year…).

My picks last week two weeks ago at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational were not stellar, as my BOLD play of the week on Jimmy Walker was the highest finisher of my trio at t-16th.  I did nail Billy Hurley III finishing well back in the pack at t-36th.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Furyk t-42nd)

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler
– From Mr Major Top 5 (top 5’s in all 5 majors in 2014) to Sir Major Chopalot Rickie has become, as since last year’s U.S. Open, his major results go like this: MC, t-30th, t-30th, MC, MC.  Oh yeah, and his last 5 major opening rounds have gone: 81, 72, 73, 80, 76.  How’s that for being part of the “Big 4.”  The good news?  Rickie has a very solid record at the British, with just one MC (2013) in 6 career appearances and two top 5’s: t-2nd in ’14 and t-5th in ’11.  Rickie’s game finally seemed to turn around somewhat with his t-10th at Firestone two weeks ago and that plus his British Open record, coupled with the fact that he’ll be overlooked due to recent poor form makes him a prime target of mine for this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Louis t-21st)

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood
– Here I am contradicting myself, when for Westy’s entire career I’ve widely proclaimed that he will NEVER WIN A MAJOR.  I even went so far as to boldly tell a couple buddies that I’d tee off naked during an upcoming tournament if he won the 2013 British Open even when leading entering the final round (he shot 75 on Sunday and faded to a t-3rd finish) and also got into a heated argument with Scott Van Pelt on Twitter about why Westy’s putter is not reliable, regardless of what the stats say.  So, what in the name of Todd Hamilton’s hybrid am I doing picking him at a major?  Well, I’m not saying he’s going to win folks, but he definitely has showed some serious major moxie thus far this year, with his t-2nd at the Masters and contention at the U.S. Open until melting in the final round.  Don’t be surprised whatsoever to see him there on Sunday once again this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Hurley III t-36th)

Justin Rose
Justin Rose
– Sadly, it’s been a lost year for the soon-to-be 36-year-old Englishman, as back injuries, putting woes and overall poor form have led to just one top 5 all season (Wells Fargo Championship in May).  Despite a t-6th at the British last year at St Andrews, Rose’s British Open record is surprisingly poor, with just one other top 10 in his career (his magical t-4th as an amateur way back in ’98).  Poor current form, injury concerns and not overall great history with this tourney and yep, I’m majorly on the fade train with Rose this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Walker t-16th)

Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan
– Shhhhhhhhhhh, don’t look now, but there’s another Brit who is in fine form at the moment and could take home golf’s next major championship trophy.  Danny Willett shocked the world at the Masters, and don’t be surprised whatsoever if his fellow countryman Andy Sullivan does the same this week at Royal Troon.  His form has been steadily peaking throughout the season, most recently finishing t-5th at the French Open and t-6th at last week’s Scottish Open.  He also finished a solid t-23rd at Oakmont in this year’s U.S. Open.  He doesn’t do anything overly flashy, has a happy-go-lucky walk and attitude and would make for a perfect, “wait, who?!” British Open champion.

#isitWednesdaynightyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

 

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