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The Open Championship – preview

Britain’s biggest golf event is upon us – The Open Championship has returned to the home of golf in what promises to be yet another historic event. Who will take home the Claret Jug? Tiger could show some of his old form, Spieth could continue his quest for domination, or any number of people may clinch their first major victory.

The Open Championship – The oldest major

The history surrounding The Open Championship is incomparable to any other gold tournament – legends have been forged on the links around England and Scotland, nowhere more so than at St. Andrews on the Old Course. Otherwise known as the home of golf.

However, for a place famed for its Bucolic setting and tranquillity, winners are usually the polar opposite – this course is opened up by long hitters – the John Daleys of the past and the Dustin Johnsons of today. This is why most people think that The Open Championship will this year be taken by someone who can regularly bomb 320 yard drives somewhere in the fairway. The aforementioned springs to mind in the absence of world number one Rory McIlroy.

Johnson handed the US Open to the young Jordan Spieth his second major victory on a silver platter with a three-putt on the 18th, so will be hungry for a victory after his time spent recuperating. Johnson is one of the longest hitters on tour at the moment and many consider him long overdue for a major victory. If he is able to cope with the extra dangers added in by the organisers at St. Andrews, he could decimate the rest of the field. Bubba Watson could also contend for the same reason – though he already has two major victories under his belt.

Jordan Spieth is another person leading in many stats this year on the PGA tour, and there are a lot of reasons to like him. One stat he leads in this year is major tournaments won – He won the Masters and US open in succession, and looks to add The Open Championship this weekend. If he does, he will still potentially be able to win the Grand Slam, where a player wins all four major tournaments in a single year- this has not yet been done. However, Speith does not fall into the category of the long hitters, so the new dangers on course could prove too much. This is not guaranteed, since he is quickly earning a name as one of the most accurate players we have seen.

Could we see Louis Oosthuizen take home another title after his success here in 2010? The South African was on form for much of the US open, shooting a 7-over 77 in the first round before playing himself back into the competition with two 4-unders and a 3-under over the final rounds. Paul Casey is another name that springs to mind, after a run of good form in recent months. Then of course, there is the question of Tiger Woods, who has been lurking in the shadows of the up-and-comers for the last five years. This would certainly be a good time to show some of his old skill, having won here twice in 2000, then again in 2005.

One man who won’t be present in Rory McIlroy, the world number one. He recently sustained a severe ankle injury while playing soccer with friends, so will miss out this year, opting instead to go through intensive rehab.

Author Eoghan Aston
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