Oh boy what a great week this is. It is British Open time!
The British Open is the third of the four major tournaments contested in a given golf season. The "Open Championship" as it is called outside of the United States features links style golf in conditions which are typically cold, wet and windy.
This years Open Championship is contested at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in Lancashire, England. The course is a par-70 links style course which measures 7,128 yards. Links style would typically refer to a course which is by the sea, with rolling dunes. Links courses are typically played with low running shots as opposed to the USA style high shots.
The challenges, especially for players used to playing on the PGA Tour, are the weather, working the ball around the dunes/terrain, slower greens and deep, penal rough. This quote describes the challenge of Royal Lytham: "Hit your ball to the right place and the way to the hole is open to you, but hit your ball to the wrong place and every kind of punishment, whether immediate or ultimate, will ensue"
Players to watch this week would include any of the big three from Ireland, Rory McIlory, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington. But lets not forget that last year's winner is also Irish, Darren Clarke.
Two players from England are in the top five in the world. Luke Donald and Lee Westwood both contend for best player in the world without a major. Will this week be the one?
American players Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson are all there of course. Phil Mickelson performed well at last week's Scottish Open. Will that warmup help Mickelson overcome the struggles he has had at the Open so many years past? Will Tiger finally break the major drought which dates back to the 2008 U.S. Open?
Keys To Victory
1. Keep the tee shots in the fairway.
2. Make birdies on the front nine.
3. Stay steady and try not to lose too many shots on the tougher back nine, especially with the finishing six holes which are all par-4's.