The Open Championship 2018 – Carnage again at Carnoustie?
The Open Championship comes to Carnoustie for the 7th occasion this week. The course is often referred to as Carnasty as though the Par is only 71 it acknowledged to be the hardest course on the Open Championship roster.
This is of course the where famously Jean Van De Velde blew a 3 shot lead on the final hole after finding the Barry Burn. The rough on the course is very unforgiving as are the pot bunkers. The course record is currently 63 which is held by Tommy Fleetwood but that was in the Pro/Am event last year where the rough was cut back and the pins were in the easiest position possible. I would be amazed if anyone got near that figure this week.
4 of the 7 previous Open Championship winners here have ended up with an over par winning total (1931 +7, 1937 +6, 1968 +1 and 1999 +6). Interestingly the last 3 Open Championships held here have all gone to a play off as well.
The winners here usually are those with the best “scrambling” stats. They also invariably putt well!!
The top 5 on the PGA Tour currently for scrambling in order are Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Kevin Na, Rickie Fowler/Henrik Stenson (Joint 5th). World No1 Dustin Johnson lies 8th and Jordan Spieth is just inside the top 20 at 19th position.
On the European Tour the top 5 are as follows Patrick Reed, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Cameron Smith & Rory Mcilroy. Justin Rose currently World No3 is in 6th position and Henrik Stenson is the only golfer in the top 10 on both tours.
The question is is the winner any of the golfers above? Or will the winner of the 147th Open Championship come from the pack? Come Sunday afternoon/early evening we will have the answer.
Open Championship – Carnoustie Contenders
With all of the above listed lets look at some of the contenders.
Justin Rose has great major form but for me this is possibly his weakest event. This may seem strange considering this is where he burst onto the scene as an amateur but that is still his best result in the Open (T4) and that was way back in 1998. His price currently at 16/1 2nd favourite is too skinny for me and I will be giving him a swerve.
Rickie Fowler is one of those American golfers who seems to love links golf. He comes to the Open Championship having finished 6th last week at the Scottish Open. He has only missed the cut once in 8 Open Championship appearances and has 5 top 30 finishes. Could this finally be the year and this the tournament that he claims the major that has far eluded him?
Dustin Johnson has got himself back up to World No1. With the course reputed to be bone dry his long game as long as it straight could well be a useful weapon here. The question has to be whether he can cope with not having played recently. He has not been seen on a course since the US Open? However he has fine form in the Open Championship and since 2010 has 5 top 15 finishes. He can still be backed at 12/1 in places and this could look a steal come Sunday afternoon.
Tommy Fleetwood currently hold the course record here at Carnoustie with 63. He also shot to many peoples attention with that incredible 4th round of 63 in the US Open. He will hope to strike an early Ryder Cup blow by lifting the Claret Jug. He has shown he has the temperament for the big occasion having won the Abu Dhabi Championship twice. This will only be his 5th Open Championship appearance but he will surely improve on his best finish of 27th. Currently available at 22/1 he is well worth an EW bet.
Open Championship Tip
MY OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP TIP IS FOR TOMMY FLEETWOOD E/W (1ST 8) CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT 22/1 CHECK YOUR BOOKMAKER FOR PLACETERMS.