The 2007 British Open

Oh, Phil. Bogey on the last at the Scottish Open and a bogey on the playoff that was forced because of it. What to make? I have no idea. Mickelson could slay the field this week at the Open, his weakest major. Roll your dice, if you choose. I’ve been down this road.

I look forward to the early TV times. These are the dog days of summer, the height of the season, with all its natural beauty on last display before the rain stops, gardens flowering before the green will soon give way to parched earth and we transition anew to what lies ahead. The Open at Carnoustie, a links course with the hay off the fairway, bunkers edged with stones, and the spare vegetation is the perfect preview for those of us on this side of the Atlantic who are sweating box scores and personal days for the beach.

It’s Augusta’s promise and the UK’s reserve, balanced in a perfect dog day pursuit of the game’s oldest championship. I love it.

Take Tiger Woods (11-4), 1/6 unit: He’s going for three in a row at the Open, wife and child at home. I understand the distraction of the new father but Nick Faldo points out that he and others have won majors with newborns. And Tiger’s practical precision last year in Liverpool is likely to be aped by other would-be contenders who can’t play six-irons to birdie range like he can. Look for renewed focus after hosting in D.C. and his acute awareness of history, and the fact that the Royal Bank of Scotland routinely advertises Jack as the best major winner of all time.

Take Sergio Garcia (34-1), 1/6 unit: What can you say. He should have already won a major, probably several. He’s got a bit of Mickelson in him on the aggressiveness front but the bigger weakness is putting. He’ll put it together one day, I imagine, and it may as well be in the Open, where he’s finished T5 the last two years.

Take Graeme McDowell (101-1), 1/6 unit: He doesn’t play much in the states. After 15 starts on Tour last year he’s been pretty much full-time on the European Tour this year. He finished T11 in the Open in 2005 and is coming off a T11 at last week’s Scottish Open. He doesn’t do anything spectacularly well but he’s steady, finds greens and he’s a good putter. He’s worked for this week, according to his Web site: “Like last year, I had to go through 36-hole qualifying to make it to Carnoustie, but now I’m here and ready for whatever the course throws at me.”

by: Staci Richards - - Email Us

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