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2014 British Open Preview

2014 British Open Preview

2014 British Open Preview

The Open Championship begins Thursday, July 17 through Sunday, July 20, 2014, but the focus — once again — is on Tiger Woods.
Can he return to Hoylake and repeat his emotional 2006 British Open win after years of rebuilding his uneven game and scandal-riddled image?
And will this season’s extended injury layoff impact his efforts to get back to winning consistently to into his hunt to surpass Jack Nicklaus in Major titles?

If anyone can Just Do It….

British Open

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are considered co-favorites by many for the 2014 British Open title.

A majority of the talk surrounding the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club concerns one player, Tiger Woods. Having missed the first two Majors of this season due to a lingering back injury that required surgery, the eyes of the golf world are on Woods. Will the golf’s prodigal son return finally — he’s come close since his 2009 downfall — and claim his 15th Major (Nicklaus has 18.).

It’s even at the site of his last British Open title. 

Although most of the television coverage on Thursday and Friday will likely track Wood’s group, he is not the only player worth watching this week. Here are a few top-tier players from the 156 person field to look for:

Rory McIlroy’s Friday rounds also have dominated much of the early Open Championship coverage. If he can carry his solid Thursday play another 24 hours into the weekend, McIlroy will be a contender come Sunday.

And Liverpool, England is just across a narrow sea channel from Northern Ireland. The latter’s wonderboy, McIlroy, who made his British Open debut at age 18, has two Majors to his name but not an Open win. He’s has been up-and-down (mostly up lately) this season in both America and Europe, which gives him a distinct advantage over many of his rivals this week. So McIlroy comes in as the odds-on favorite, at least, to occupy the British Open leaderboard’s top spot all through Sunday.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, who has struggled this season, always has the potential to show up and contend. I wouldn’t expect Lefty to repeat unless his putter channels the same magic it tapped into last year.

British Open

Can Mickelson hold the Claret Jug two years in a row? He’s been down but has proven capable of anything. Here he celebrates with his wife Amy, daughters, Amanda and Sophia, and son, Evan.

The planet’s No. 1 player, Adam Scott, somehow has been quiet this season, despite surpassing Woods in the World Golf Rankings. Still, the Australian has second- and third-place finishes to his name in the previous two Opens. There’s no reason to doubt he will be in a final group on Sunday.

Rickie Fowler seems poised to show that his swing changes have paid off. Coming off a second-place finish at the U.S. Open, he’s playing well at the right time. The British Open always seems to invite some unique wardrobe choices, and Rickie’s orange ensemble seems appropriate for a flashy final round.

British Open

Expect Rickie Fowler, and his trend-setting fashion sense, to both make a good showing at the 2014 British Open. He’s coming on at the right time.

Here are some other notable names I advise you to watch:

  • Henrik Stenson
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Graeme McDowell
  • Justin Rose
  • Hideki Matsuyama

It also just wouldn’t be the British Open if we didn’t at least mention the weather. Like any links course, the rolling fairways, bunkers and fescue of Royal Liverpool Club in Hoylake, England are going to be among the most challenging competitors throughout the tournament. To further dampen things, weather forecasts predict high winds and plenty of rain on this seacoast course.

British Open

The weather at the Royal Liverpool Club in Hoylake, England for the 2014 British Open isn’t expected to be so sunny and calm this week. So, it’s a real factor.

The 2014 Open Championship surely will deliver some of the season’s most exciting play. It’s difficult for me to name a favorite, considering all the variables of a new location, unpredictable harsh weather, personal storylines and musical chairs in the standings.

Sunday’s leader board could feature some of the game’s most familiar names, or leave casual fans muttering, “Who?”

 


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