2012 Open Championship preview
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM
The golfing world is eagerly anticipating the 2012 Open Championship
at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
in Lancashire, England. Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke is the defending champion after his first major championship at Royal St. Georges. This is the tenth Open Championship to be played at Royal Lytham and the list of past champions is an impressive list. Some of the previous winners included the late Seve Ballesteros, a two time winner, David Duval, Tom Lehman, and Gary Player.
The 2012 version will play as a par 70 at 7,086 yards. The course opens with a 205 yard par three with nine of the 200 bunkers on the course. The opening nine primarily plays with the wind and plays away from the clubhouse. The back nine plays primarily into the wind and returns toward the clubhouse. Royal Lytham is the only course in the Open rotation of courses that doesn’t have a view of a major body of water.
The field for the 2012 Open Championship, often labeled as the number one tournament in the world, lacks a heavy favorite. None of the world’s top ranked players have been playing particularly well entering Open week. Luke Donald
has had a miserable year, Lee Westwood
isn’t winning anything, Rory McIlroy’s
game has been in the crapper missing four cuts in his last six events.
McIlroy seems to have lost his edge since his relationship began with tennis star Caroline Wozniaki. Matter of fact, her tennis game is on the skids falling from number one to number eight in the world since she began her love match with McIlroy.
None of the Americans are hot at the moment as well. Tiger Woods
has won three times this year only to follow up each victory with a lousy tournament, even missing the cut at the Greenbrier Classic in his last event. Phil Mickelson
has been struggling in his last several events to even break par. U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson withdrew for personal reasons and Masters Champion Bubba Watson
lost his focus after the banquet and talk show circuit resulting from his Masters victory.
Some of the more interesting pairings include; defending champion Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, and Zach Johnson; Tiger Woods, Justin Rose,
and Sergio Garcia; Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen
, and Keegan Bradley
; and Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson
, and Geoff Ogilvy.
The winner of the Claret Jug could very well come from one of the second tier of players such as Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy, Matt Kuchar,
or Justin Rose
. None of the top players are in good form and they aren’t likely to recapture the magic at a tough venue like Royal Lytham and St. Annes.