British Open Preview

Phil blew it at the US Open. He's having a great year and he seems more focused than ever to win majors. The US Open was one he wanted very badly. He and his staff have already been to the course where the British Open will be played. I think he wants to win this tournament to answer his critics and his fans.

Rare that Tiger isn't the first paragraph but he didn't even make the cut at the US Open. So everyone starts talking about his game being off, about how he took too much time off, about how his swing is off... It's crap. The course was tough and it beat Tiger, that’s all. He is the defending champ at the British Open and the FW's there are huge. Depending on the rain, the rough could even be light (for a British Open anyway). So if Phil and Tiger are near the top on Sunday, that’s enough drama to last a season. After missing the cut, you know he has a lot to prove.

Of course, Phil wasn't the only guy to blow it at the US Open. The "new" best player to never win a major also blew it. The 68-year-old Monty blew it big time with an approach shot that was a full club length short of the green. Although I can't stand listening to him, Johnny Miller was right on. Monty had been waiting approx. ten minutes before he could make his approach. As soon as the green was clear, Monty went over to his bag, switched clubs and then hit. Johnny Miller said, "He's been sitting there for ten minutes thinking about the shot that might win him his first major, and then he switches clubs? You'd think he would have had that figured out by now." Last year, Tiger squeaked by Monty to finish second at the British Open. Monty's familiar with the conditions of the courses over the pond and is a real contender at every British Open and I think he knows time is running out.

Who did win the US Open? Geoff Ogilvy. This dude has got game. He's won two tournaments this year. Both of these tournaments garner mucho respect. He won the Accenture Match Play and the US Open and he really deserved both wins. Yes Phil and Monty kind of sucked it up, but Geoff was solid and not sucking it up is what the US Open is all about. Ogilvy finished tied for 5th last year at the British Open. He's got the ability to beat the best players in the world and be in a position to do it come Sunday.

Although Ogilvy finished tied for 5th, he was still 7 strokes off of Tiger Woods -14 at last year’s BO. At -8, soft Spanish hands Olazabal was only 6 shots off of Tiger, but he shot a final round 74. Had he shot a 68 like he did the day before, he would have tied Tiger Woods or at least given him some pressure.

Where the hell has Ernie been? This is the longest he's gone without a win for years. Personally, I don't think he is on his game. I think the knee surgery earlier this year has changed his swing and it just isn't happening for him. He's still scoring well but I just don't think he'll be around.

Three more players I just think are notable. Adam Scott is really playing well this year. He's one of the Tour's hottest players. I heard one of the announcers say that Adam has the ability to be number one, he just doesn't believe it, and I kind of agree. On Sunday, he looks like he is trying to not mess up rather than go ahead by 10 strokes. Guys like Vijay and Tiger know how to get a lead and then make that lead grow. Speaking of, Vijay says he's having problems with his driver, but he just won a tournament a couple of weeks ago and says he's getting a good grasp on it now. It doesn't seem like Sergio can go much longer without winning. I keep waiting for Scott and Sergio and Donald and Villegas and Zach Johnson to take over and be the next wave of great golfers.

And what about Freddy Couples? Does he still have what it takes to be there on Sunday? He's got plenty of magic in him, and you know he'll be a part of some highlight reel on Sportscenter but can he win? I think he can, and I think he'll be around on Sunday. He and Olazabal tied for third at last years British Open.

I am missing somebody. Goosen. He's so boring to watch. He doesn't say a word, he makes 90 foot putts and hardly feigns a smirk, but you gotta love him. He's so solid and the faster the greens are, the better he plays. Same thing with Tim Clark and Michael Campbell. They alway seems to pop up around majors.

Remember all the hype last year surrounding the next great name in golf. The guy with the ugly swing and fat butt. Dimarco won’t even be close. I can't stand watching his swing. He seems like a really cool guy but, his swing, its so dang ugly.

Speaking of swings, what about Furyk? He looks very determined and he's been so close a number of times. The look Furyk has in his eye on Sunday is the look Adam Scott needs to have to start winning consistently. Jim has put himself in position to win, but it just seems like Sunday is a bad day for him. He seems to miss his those birdie putts by and inch, the ball just resting next to the cup. Those breaks that you need to win just don't semm to come to him. But, if you keep giving yourself a shot at birdie, sooner or later they'll all start falling. I love watching his swing, and usually say, "I love his swing," every time he is on the screen. My wife is like, "Yes, I remember you telling me that 8 seconds ago." He was in the crew of "blew it's" two weeks ago at the US Open. I’m really pulling for Jim to win.

You just know that one or all of these guys will be around on the final day, and I think there are storylines going in as many directions as my Drives go. There are so many people that could trip their way into contention that I haven't mentioned. Daly, Chad Campbell, Henrik Stenson, Greame Mcdowell, Jesper, who knows...