Here’s a few predictions, picks and upsets for the 2018 edition of The Open Championship from Carnoustie.
The Open Championship, first played in 1860 and golf’s oldest major championship by more than three decades, returns to historic Carnoustie for the eighth time and the first time in 11 years. And if we’re talking storylines, the golf course itself may end up being the big winner as the week goes along.
Carnoustie Golf Links first played host to The Open in 1931, when Tommy Armour took home the Claret Jug. Following Henry Cotton’s win there in 1937, it was 16 years until the tourney returned to the Angus, Scotland track and what a week that was as Ben Hogan, in his first and only appearance at The Open, won golf’s Triple Crown after winning The Masters and U.S. Open earlier that season. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to compete for the Grand Slam as the PGA Championship overlapped The Open back then. Even 65 years later, that win remains one of the greatest moments in the history of this storied championship.
Fifteen years later, Gary Player won for the second time at The Open, besting Bob Charles and Jack Nicklaus by two strokes. The Open returned in 1975 as a 25-year-old named Tom Watson came from three strokes back in the final round to defeat Jack Newton in a playoff to claim the first of five Open Championship titles, good for a tie for second on the all-time list and eight overall major championships.
After a long hiatus, The Open returned to Carnoustie in 1999 as the golf world witnessed one of the greatest collapses in major championship history as Jean Van De Velde held a three-stroke lead on the 72nd hole and had to scramble just to card a triple-bogey and get into a playoff, which was won by Paul Lawrie, who was 10 shots out of the lead heading into the final round, completing what is still the biggest comeback in major championship history. While not quite on the same scale, Sergio Garcia, who had led the 2007 tourney all week long, allowed Padraig Harrington, who was six strokes behind on Sunday, to catch him and win the first of two consecutive Open Championship titles.
Let’s start out preview with a quick look at the 2018 edition of Carnoustie and how it’s going to affect the players.