2018 The British Open Championship Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Ah yes, it’s British Open week.  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, Stewart Cink are all distant memories (yep, they’ve all hoisted the Claret Jug within the past two decades and yet 2 of them 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 and so many story lines going into this week, it’s hard to imagine 2018 being one of “those” years (although then again, 6-handicap Michael Kim did win by 8 shots at the John Deere Classic last week.  EIGHT!)

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

LOCKZILLA

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler– After his close call at the Masters in April, Rickie became the popular, sentimental pick for the U.S. Open two months later.  Getting engaged the week before teeing it at Shinnecock Hills probably didn’t play into his favor (#distraction), and it somewhat showed as he ballooned to an 84 on Saturday, before rebounding to a stellar final round 65 and a t-20th finish.  This week, with more eyes on Tiger, DJ, Rory and others heading in, now is the time to pounce on the mustached 29-year-old.  I still do worry that he’s too prone to either the blowup hole or round as we’ve seen too many times before, but he’s playing far too fine (comes in off the heels of a solid t-6th at the Scottish Open last week) to finish outside of contention.  Lock and load Rickie with confidence this week.

SEMI-FLIER

Alex Noren
Alex Noren
– I was all over the Swede at the U.S. Open last month and while he didn’t necessarily overly disappoint (t-25th), I did expect better.  After winning the Euro Tour’s French Open just a couple weeks ago, I’m back aboard the man with the incredibly calloused hands this week.  Noren finished t-6th at The Open at Birkdale last year and going a little further back was t-9th at Lytham in 2012.  He has major-level talent and no question in my mind that he could/probably will win a major within the next couple years.  Why not this week?

Also, Marc Leishman gets my nod as the second Semi-Flier of the week. #nowriteupnecessary

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST

Michael Kim
Michael Kim
– Props to Michael for his breakthrough win at the John Deere Classic last week.  Also, props to Michael for being the easiest fade on the board this week.  No further consult needed.  Stay away and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK

Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan- 
The last TWO years 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 Carnoustie.  He’s been quitely solid all season on the Euro Tour, with 10 top 25s, with a whopping 6 of those going for top 10s, most recently a t-6th at the Irish Open two weeks ago.  Sully hasn’t missed a cut at the British Open in 3 tries, with his best finish being a t-12th two years ago at Royal Troon.  He doesn’t do anything overly flashy, has a happy-go-lucky walk which I’ve labeled “horkily borkily,” a positive attitude and would make for a perfect, “wait, who?!” British Open champion.”   Pretty much sums it up.  Andy Sullivan is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week! #horkilyborkily

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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