Open Preview: Looking Ahead to Royal St. George’s

Posted: July 11, 2011 by mceagle611 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Fifty-Two threesomes of the world’s best golfers will tee off on very early Thursday morning eastern time at the renowned Royal St.George’s Golf Course in England as they begin their push to win one of the greatest Majors in all of golf; The Open Championship. Quite a few big storylines in golf loom for dissection as the 2011 Open Championship approaches, and it only makes for a more thrilling tournament. With Tiger again absent from play this weekend the field, once again, opens up significantly to those whom you would not ordinarily expect to be a contender on Sunday of a Major Championship. Coming off an improbable dominating first Major win, and just under a month of vacation, Rory McIlroy looks to go back-to-back. Finally after this weekend’s Scottish Open Luke Donald (World Number One) looks to keep his winning streak going – winning his first tournament as world number one this weekend – while Phil “Lefty” Mickelson desperately needs to get one started this weekend. These story-lines will surely play a role in what should be a drama-filled weekend, as many of these top players will be looking to hoist the Claret Jug and 5 million pounds.

Courtesy of msn.foxsports.com

It was pretty much assumed by everyone, but just to confirm that he would not be playing in this year’s Open Tiger Woods announced via his website this past Tuesday that he would not be in the hunt for this coming weekend’s Major event. Woods, who has been struggling with Achilles and Left Leg injuries, has not played since his brief, 9-hole return this May in the first round of the Players Championship. It was an injury that he aggravated during the third round of this year’s Masters, and one that has been considered by many to be career threatening. Obviously this is not good for the game of golf – as I would imagine the ratings for this year’s Open Championship would be much higher if Woods was playing – but Tiger is finally playing it smart; he recognizes that he may be able to come back in a few months at 100% and not Thursday at 50% where he has the chance to re-injure himself. This weekend will still be dramatic even in Wood’s absence, but clearly Tiger brings the life to the party.

Rory McIlroy, the Northern Ireland sensation who has received a bit too much credit for his record-breaking win in the US Open at Congressional Country Club just three weeks ago. I am curious to see how McIlroy, who took a supposed three-week vacation before this weeks Open Championship, will respond to those – such as I – who have not been so convinced that he is Tiger’s or Jack’s second coming. He has been praised ever since he tapped in for par on his 72nd hole of the tournament, and I really just don’t think that you can give a guy that much credit after one Major Championship victory. I am sure we will see McIlroy in the mix on Saturday and Sunday, but this time I would like to see him perform under pressure when he is right there with Mickelson, Donald, or Westwood breathing right down his back. I want to see him, this weekend, respond to adversity – something he did not have to do just weeks ago in Bethesda.

After his Scottish Open win, Luke Donald has the most to lose this weekend at Royal St.George’s Golf Course. You see if McIlroy crumbles again, or just loses, then our media will likely abuse him once more until he wins again – at which point everyone will love him. This is different for Donald as he is receiving the worldwide spotlight right now because fans are starting to believe that McIlroy deserves this World Number One; quite the contrary to what is actually the case – Donald does remain Number One as of now. So Luke Donald – dubbed Number One just before this year’s U.S. Open – has to lose because if Rory defeats the Englishmen then he may fall from the top.

Courtesy of s268.photobucket.com

Rory McIlroy is coming off a win, Luke Donald is coming off a win, Phil Mickelson…not so much. The World’s
Number Six golfer may not be as dangerous as he was prior to Tiger’s injuries, I mean you cannot deny that bad-blood between the two sparked their games. However Mickelson, who has not won since the Houston Open and put together a poor four rounds of golf at the U.S. Open, must deliver this weekend because his game is certainly being called into question by those who thought Mickelson may obtain an ‘elite’ status at the end of his career. I can say, however, that Mickelson does have this going for him….America is routing for Mickelson! Even though these European players are on the rise and winning more and more, they do not have something that we provide our top-tier players during turmoil; support!

I really do not know what to expect from the field this weekend; however check back as I will give me bold predictions post-round one or post-round two. The main question that I will leave with that is on my mind right now: who is going to deliver despite being under pressure when it gets into the thick of it? It is a very tantalizing question to say the least.

Comments
  1. […] Despite this story, it really drives me crazy when people already say that McIlroy is becoming the next Tiger Woods because he is not even close yet. McIlroy has one, Tiger has fourteen, and Jack has eighteen, so he still has quite a way to go! He does have the potential but I am in no real true seat to make the judgement on whether McIlroy will end up in the realm of all the greats of this game because there have been so many other careers that have begun with such promise and have not really gone anywhere. Oh, and let’s not lose sight of the simple fact that Tiger, Jack, and Arnold are all American! McIlroy is European, even though he is doing wonders for the game he is still the enemy. America’s threshold over Golf is slipping; ask yourself are the McIlroy-led Europeans about to take control of Golf? Maybe we will find out this weekend at the Open Championship. […]

    • know_the_truth says:

      the excited states dominated golf at one time, long ago, because it had all the advantages: 3 of the 4 majors were played in the excited states; the european nations were digging their way out of the horrors of the second world war; and golf was (save for the UK) mostly an afterthought in war-torn europe. Now, the rest of the world has caught up – actually, surpassed the excited americans – and there is a whole lot of pouting, but not much winning, going on.

      McIroy and European golf for the win!!!

      • mceagle611 says:

        Perhaps that is the case but only will i be convinced once Tiger returns. I don’t care what anyone says, if he returns at 100% and after about two years if europe keeps dominating then will i admit that america has taken a huge fall to the europeans. why do you keep saying excited states instead of united states?

  2. […] like an eternity, but they always fall in the cup for Tiger – who will not be playing in the Open Championship this […]

  3. […] Do not think that Clarke, however, was never challenged. As I alluded to above, Phil Mickelson opened his final round on Sunday by closing in on Clarke with a 6-under par through 10 holes; then the energy went off the course. Mickelson finished his last eight holes at a 4-over par, and despite a poor ending to his promising round grabbed a top-five finish; he was also only one of four players that finished with a score under-par (even par is 280 at Royal St.George’s). […]

  4. […] : Darren Clarke – What a strong weekend for the Northern Ireland native, who came into Royal St.George’s obviously as one of the competitors with an outside chance. He showed composure and the fact that […]

  5. […] his win here) was given 1:100 odds of winning the Major…however he came out on Sunday with the Claret Jug. Courtesy of http://www.bleacherreport.com and […]

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