This week is the third major of the golf year, the British Open. Held this year at the Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus Scotland UK. There is a rich and historic story to this course. It’s history of golf is traced back to the early sixteenth century. It has hosted the British Open several times, the first being in 1931. This weekend will be the eighth time Carnoustie is hosting this major event. If history is an indication it should be a great challenge to all. Let’s look at some of the high points to watch this weekend.
EARLY TEE TIMES AND FULL COVERAGE
Since there is a five hour difference between Scotland and the US Eastern Time zone. The coverage will begin on the golf channel at 1:30am Thursday morning. Now granted not everyone’s schedule can allow to watch all of this. But those who are great fans of the sport and can manage their time. Or simply want to give up some of their sleep (Me!!!) there is much to watch. Most of the players who will compete this week have been in Scotland for days to acclimate themselves to the time difference and of course to get to know the course. Those who start at the local time of 6:30am can still be on the internal clock of 1:30am thereby making a difference in their performance.
THE COURSE AND THE WEATHER GO HAND IN HAND
Every course that the British Open is played on certainly goes in the difficult column. This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year so certainly it can’t be easy, even for the best players. From the bunkers to the infamous Jean Van de Velde wading into the water at the burn to see if he could hit his lie out. Opting instead to take a drop and ultimately lose in one of the biggest falls from the lead to ever happen.
Many of the latest tournaments were played in extreme heat with dry conditions. Besides having to be careful of heat exhaustion, these conditions effected the greens making them tricky and fast. This weekend, the temperatures will be much better ranging from the mid-sixties to mid-seventies. However, scattered rain showers are in the forecast which will have a great effect on the lies and likely slow the greens down. Also another big factor is the windy conditions. The entire weekend the winds are predicted to be at least ten miles an hour. With up to eighteen on Sunday when players will need to make their final push up the leader-board. Eighteen mile an hour winds can easily wreak havoc on any swing.
WHO WILL RAISE THE CLARET JUG THIS YEAR
Last week’s winner was Michael Kim, the week before Kevin Na. Both are from South Korea, and both showing strong this year. But the majors are like tournaments on steroids, the pressure has an effect on players whether they want to admit it or not. It is not a question of if it will happen, but how well they can deal with it and move forward with perseverance. While some winners this year have been those who you would expect a win from. Others just kept pushing and made it to the top while the others watched.
Speaking of watching, the top favorites are still on the watch list. Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia are some of the big names that get the crowds cheering. And of course there is still the Tiger watch. Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008 when of course some days he seemed unbeatable. Even though his play is improving every week, even he isn’t immune to the major effect. And oddly, if he finally wins, it may take away from the suspense of his play every week. But then again, the crowd would probably erupt so loudly that we would hear it here across the pond.
Get some sleep, get up early and enjoy the tournament.