147th Open Championship
Carnoustie Golf Links
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth (Royal Birkdale)
Carnoustie or Carnasty as some call it, is no stranger to hosting the Open Championship, as this will be the 8th time the tournament has been held here, with the first being in 1931 with Tommy Armour winning, and with the most recent to hoist the Claret Jug at Carnoustie being Padraig Harrington in 2007. Carnoustie isn’t called Carnasty for no reason, as being highly regarded as the hardest course in the Open Championship rota, and has been responsible for some of the highest winning scores in tournament history. Not only is it famous for its tough conditions, but it has become infamous as the site of the biggest collapse this game may ever see, with Jean Van De Velde needing only a 6 to win the 1999 Open Championship, instead barely made a 7 to join a playoff, which he would lose to Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Champion Golfer.
Sidenote: I am not sure what is so hard about the final stretch of holes at Carnoustie, I mean I played there back in 2013 and shot an 80 (best round at the time), and made par on the final 4 holes #HumbleBrag, so I am not sure why Van De Velde made it look so hard. All you have to do is lace a 3-wood down the middle, skull an iron into the Barry Burn, get lucky with the Burn shooting the ball back into play, almost chip in for birdie, and tap in for par…see so easy.
As @theopen heads back to Carnoustie it seems fitting to #HumbleBrag that after finding the fairway bunker on the second hole (A nice welcome from @visitscotland) and making triple bogey. I went on to shoot an 80, my lowest round at the time, after making par on the final 4 holes #nbd Oh, and a woman in our group made a hole-in-one.
Now throw whatever you saw rewatching the 1999 or 2007 Opens at Carnoustie out the window because this is a whole other animal this year. Now, us here at Hash Sports are no stranger to being baked, but I don’t think any of us have been as baked out as Carnoustie is this week. I mean we got fairways running out for miles, guys hitting into burns 450+ yards away, and 3-irons going 333 yards, so this is a course we have never seen before. Sure we had Hoylake in 2006, where Tiger won in dominating fashion, but that was nothing compared to the roll out we are seeing at Carnoustie this week. While you may think that since these guys can SEND IT down the fairway that it should play easy, which will kinda be the opposite. Since virtually every club is rolling out, these guys are to have to make a smart shot on every single tee box to avoid either the first set of bunkers, the second set of bunkers, or even a burn or two, to put themselves in positions to attack these “softish” greens.
Just hit one 427 on 18 @TheOpen .. Guys would be hitting it in the burn in front of green 450+.. Carnoustie is baked out but greens are pure.. Never seen an Open this firm.. Will be an awesome week if it stays like this.. pic.twitter.com/AUXyPGF4iu
— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) July 14, 2018
— Sean Zak (@Sean_Zak) July 16, 2018
With the weather in Scotland virtually unpredictable there is always a chance for some wind gusts and rain, however the forecast looks relatively the same all day Thursday/Friday, so I do not think there will be a case of being on the bad side of the draw, but like I said who knows, it’s the Open Championship so I am sure someone will claim they got screwed.
If this is any way accurate, the Friday CUT SWEATS show is gonna be fun. pic.twitter.com/cQ3TyDANdi
— Patrick Mayo (@ThePME) July 17, 2018
TEE TIMES ARE OUT 🏌️
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 16, 2018
I know all anyone cares about is what time Tiger tees off, so make sure you are up bright and early on Friday morning to catch his round. However, if you are a true golf nut like I am, you change your sleep patterns for Open Championship week, so make sure to not miss any action.
Tiger’s tee times this week are 10:21AM on Thursday and 5:20AM on Friday. He’s going with Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox.
— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) July 16, 2018
Assuming there isn’t one side of the draw that doesn’t get completely screwed by weather, and the course is still baked out like Snoop in a recording studio, there are going to be a few ways to attack/tame this golf course. First, you have the aggressive player, who will take on the second level of bunkers and burns, in hopes they leave themselves a short iron or flip wedge into these pretty receptive greens (as of Tuesday).
Rahm's Carnoustie strategy: 'As many drivers as I can' https://t.co/mieNdWydq9
— Ball_Marks (@MattMarks19) July 17, 2018
Second, you will have the stinger player, who will be in the running for All Traj Team, as they use driving irons to try and run these tee shots just past the first level of trouble, while flirting with the second levels.
Phil’s stinger on repeat 🔄 pic.twitter.com/irzHStWeUv
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 13, 2018
Finally, you will have the boring player, who will pick his spots, but ultimately be taking 4-6 irons off the tee and just pick their spots they want to play their 2nd shots from. Personally, I think if done correctly, any of these strategies can work out, but in my opinion, the golfer who plays aggressive, AND gets a few lucky breaks throughout the week, will be the one to hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday. Now clearly to win your are going to have to make some impressive up and downs, and drain a few putts along the way, but the strategy off the tee is the most important challenge these golfers will face this week. I am beyond excited to see the different ways the best players in the world are going to navigate around Carnasty.
2018 Champion Golfer of the Year….
Jon Rahm +1800
I alluded earlier that I was going to take the aggressive player this week, and there is none better than my man Jon Rahm. Opposed to popular belief (even myself in the past), after the interview Rahm did with No Laying Up (free plug, but we have a golf podcast now so that’s the last one) I actually have a different perception of the anger he portrays on the course. I believe he is just a fiery competitor and he just outwardly projects his emotions for all to see, but inside it seems as though he tries to use it to his advantage. That being said, along with his aggressive strategy, and ability to win anywhere in the world, Rahms skills set up perfectly for a baked out Carnoustie.
Also, with the Ryder Cup coming up, and the fact that an American has won the last 5 majors, it seems as though someone from Europe needs to get a W before heading to France. Rahm is the perfect villain for the Ryder Cup, and I could definitely see him using that as motivation for this week as well as just claiming that first major victory.
Sleeper of the Week
Tony Finau +8500
Coming off a 5th place finish at Shinnecock last month, Finau is poised to make an even deeper run this week at Carnoustie. I am not sure how he is +8500 to win, that seems pretttty high for guy with as much talent and power as Tony. but hey we’ll take it. Hopefully he plans to play it aggressive like Rahm, and put himself in the best positions to make birdie out there. Between his ankle roll at Augusta, and his Saturday 66 at the U.S. Open, Tony has made headlines at each major this year, so why not really put your name in the spotlight and take home the Claret Jug.
Obligatory Tiger Pick
Tiger Woods +2500
If Tiger is going to attack Carnoustie with his vintage stinger, and keep the driver in the bag, there is no better time than right now for Tiger to get his first victory in this return. I mean, let’s be honest, this is BY FAR the best chance Tiger will have to win a major this year, and it comes as no surprise that Tiger has won on a baked out Open Championship course in the past (See: Hoylake 2006). I said it on the High Fade Pod that I think when Tiger finally gets that win, that it would come in dominating fashion, and I’d say this a better situation than any to have that come to fruition.
Welcome to #TheOpen
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 16, 2018
Nothing to see here.
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) July 17, 2018
When Tiger wins the Open this weekend, I will be taking my winnings and immediately buying at GAPR Lo 2.
Bonus DFS Plays
Obvious Picks of the Week:
Tommy Fleetwood $9,400
Tiger Woods $8,900
Gut Guys of the Week:
Charles Howell $6,700
Gary Woodland $7,000
Value Picks of the Week:
Matthew Fitzpatrick $7,600
Rafa Cabrera-Bello $7,600
DFS Team of the Week:
Bonus Open Impressions
Probably the best content to come out of the lead up to the Open is this dude Conor Moore, who has solidified himself as the Golf Frank Caliendo. The detail in each impression was so spot on from Tiger’s sniffles to Bubbas cry. A++ video
— Conor Moore (@ConorSketches) July 16, 2018