2017 The British Open Championship Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Ah yes, Royal Birkdale 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, 8-handicap Danny Willett did win the Masters last year…).

My picks last week at the John Deere Classic were a bit of a mixed bag, as Lockzilla Zach Johnson resurrected his game from a poor season thus far and scratched out a t-5th finish.  I also spot on nailed my Hosel-Rocket BUST of the week on previously hot Danny Lee as he WD’d after round 1.  I whiffed on Semi-Flier Kevin Na (MC) and BOLD play of the week Michael Kim made the weekend, but finished t-71st.

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Zach t-5th)

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler
– I pegged Rickie in this same spot last year to hoist the Claret Jug, but he stumbled to a t-46th finish.  Have no fear, he loves him some links golf and arrives in prime form, on the heels of a t-5th at the U.S. Open and a t-3rd at the Quicken Loans a couple weeks later.  He also finished t-9th at the Scottish Open last week as a final tune-up to this week.  T-5th at the British in ’11 and t-2nd in ’14.  Time to keep that upward trend going.  I’m all-in on Rickie this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Na MC)

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar
– Drives it well with a penetrating ball flight, and is rock solid on the greens.  I do worry a bit about him if the wind blows hard, as that tall frame of his along with his whirlybird swing can get all sorts of wobbly, but he’s in such solid form at the moment I’m certainly taking the risk.  I predict he’ll finish right around his best finish ever at the Open (t-9th in 2012).

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Lee WD)

Padraig Harrington

Tin Cup Training Aids
Padraig Harrington
– Been on a heater here in this spot lately, nailing Danny Lee as a BUST last week at the John Deere (WD after round 1), flavor-of-the-week David Lingmerth to suck it up the week before (t-64th) at the Quicken Loans National and Bill Hurley III (t-64th) the week prior.  This week’s flavor-of-the-week sleeper?  None other than the 2008 British Open champion at Royal Birkdale himself, good ‘ol Padraig (or “Porg” as they call him across the pond) Harrington.  Don’t get me wrong, I naturally have to cheer for us fellow Harringtons, but a recent discovery of form, along with his Gary Player-like step through doesn’t mean that suddenly the 45-year-old is back in 2008 form. Trust me folks, he’s more gimmicky than Roy Mcavoy from Tin Cup.  He very well might make the cut, but no chance he contends on the weekend.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Kim t-71st)

Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan
– Last year in this very same spot, I wrote this about the Englishman- “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.”   Pretty much sums it up.  Add in that he arrives in even better form this year (top 20s in 4 of his last 5 events, including t-9th last week at the Scottish Open) and yeah, roster up and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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