Writers from around the Tribune Co. offer their predictions as to who will win this week's British Open. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment of your own.
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times
Brandt Snedeker will win the British Open for all the obvious reasons: He’s a really smart guy with a Vanderbilt degree, and figuring out that your pitching wedge may end up going 190 yards with the last 90 bouncing on the hard ground will take a smart guy.
He also has hair that looks a lot better when it blows in the wind a lot, and they have a lot of wind at Muirfield. Also, he’s never won a major and the golf gods have been spreading them around lately.
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
Step right up and spin the wheel. That’s what major championship golf has become, with 18 different men claiming the last 19 trophies. (Rory McIlroy is the only double-winner.)
I figure that trend will continue at Muirfield with Lee Westwood taking home the Claret Jug. The course should suit him. It’s demanding off the tee, with the game’s best drivers hitting fades and draws, high and low (if the wind kicks up).
Westwood is like a ham sandwich on the greens -- nothing special. But Muirfield’s greens are not like those at Merion. They’re relatively flat, so you don’t have to be a magician to roll in long eagles and birdies.
Westwood also just hooked up with the game’s hottest coach, Sean Foley. Maybe some of that Justin Rose/Tiger Woods mojo will flow his way. It would certainly make for a good story to see an accomplished 40-year-old Englishman win the British Open.
Mark Wogenrich, Allentown Morning Call
There's a tendency to dismiss Phil Mickelson at the British Open, and probably for good reason. His record there is pretty middling, save for a tie for second in 2011 and a bronze in 2004.
That year, Mickelson acknowledged his rickety Open play, saying, "My record here at the British Open has never been the best, or something that I've been that proud of ...." But Mickelson likes Muirfield, though he finished 66th there in 2002, and claimed he has unlocked the mystery of play in Britain.
"I believe I have found the secret to my own putting," Mickelson said this week, while keeping the discovery to himself. Maybe it's nothing, and Phil misses the cut as he did last year. Then again, just maybe ....