I’m feeling pretty smart right about now. I think I said as part of the British Open preview here to keep an eye on Ernie Els. Then he goes out and wins the whole darn thing for his 4th career major. Els’s recent putting struggles have been well documented. His career even with 3 previous majors was little under appreciated, but this win validates Els as one of the top 3 golfers of this generation.
Obviously Woods is number 1, Phil Mickelson is probably number 2, but Els is clearly ahead of anyone else. Ok What other thoughts do I have on this year’s British Open.
- Poor Adam Scott… For 68 holes he was the tournament’s best player. The Aussie with all the talent in the world was about to cash in before Els put the pressure on and Scott collapsed with 4 straight late bogeys. Now Scott has more in common with his mentor Greg Norman than he cares for. Despite the result Scott is beginning to find his name on the major leaderboards more and more often. I’m not ready to say he won’t have a few more shots at one.
- Tiger Tiger Tiger Woods – wash rinse repeat. He’s a very good golfer he’s not a great one anymore. His intimidation factor is a memory and the weekends at majors are now in his head. That might be the most lackluster 3rd place major finish you’ll ever see. Jack’s record looks safer than ever, but if you keep putting yourself in contention, you’re going to win one eventually. Woods will win another major, he just won’t 5 more.
- Phil Mickelson has got issues. Since a strong start to the season, his game has gradually faded. Is it focus? Is he injured? I don’t know, but a season of great promise might get wasted if Mickelson doesn’t pull it together. He missed the cut this week.
- Rory Mcilory has got issues. Since a strong start to the season, his game… you get the idea. He finished T60. He’s young, but hold on to those will dominate golf thoughts for the moment.
- Lee Westwood’s T45 finish was not a good sign. The top 10 major machine, may be beginning to feel the wear of not yet winning one.
- What has happened to Sergio Garcia? He misses the cut and looks as lost as ever.
- Quietly 50 something Mark Calcavecchia finished in the top 10. Good for the veteran. You used to think the Masters was the event that the older fellas could contend in, but after Tom Watson’s recent near win, Darren Clarke’s and Ernie Els’s 2011, 2012 wins, it might just the British Open.
- The PGA Championship is in August near my neck of the woods at Kiawah Island off the coast of South Carolina. An ocean course where the wind could be a factor. The good wind players are a good bet.