The ancient Scottish sod beckons.
The pipes, the pipes are callin’ — Scotland The Brave!
Welcome to venerable Carnoustie Golf Links!
Welcome to the 147th playing of golf’s oldest major — The Open Championship.
Today we present you with a proper Scottish breakfeast:
Fried Haggis, potato hash, eggs, back bacon, potato scones, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, Lorne sausage, black pudding oatcakes, kippers, fried beans atop toast and porridge along with these DogLegNews picks to contend and perhaps win the title — Champion Golfer Of The Year — come Sunday.
Tommy Fleetwood: Europe’s best player shot a course record 63 at Carnoustie in October of last year during the Dunhill Links Championship. Tommy gave Brooks Koepka a run for the title at the U.S. Open and he has the skill-set to maneuver his way around this difficult layout as he proved last year. This, however, is a different season, a different course and a different challenge and oh yes, the pressure of a major weighing on everyone.
Justin Rose: The ball-striking machine that is Rose may be peaking at just the right time. His precision iron play should serve him well this week.
Francesco Molinari: Hottest player on the planet. Accuracy is his trademark but he’s also picked up more length. Putting quite well as his performances over the past six weeks have shown.
Jon Rahm: Came up just short defending his title at the Irish Open two weeks ago. We like his game for this layout, hopefully he can stay patient, which is always a challenge for the Spanish Volcano.
Brooks Koepka: Our only American in the Top Tier. Wasn’t expected to win the U.S. Open (again) but there he was. He’s well rested, that’s for sure. Has the complete game and Shinnecock was firm and fast.
Dustin Johnson: The world’s No. 1 has all the tools. With his length, he can probably hit mid-irons on a lot of holes this week. Has a pretty good Open record. With Tiger Woods sucking up so much attention, D.J. can quietly enter this week under the radar, if that’s possible for the world’s No. 1.
Rickie Fowler: Rickie played well last week at Gullane. “A successful week, getting relaxed and acclimated. I’m excited. I think we’ve got everything down.” So said Rickie after his final round on Sunday. Rickie’s got as good a chance as anyone this week.
Patrick Reed: Like him or not, he’s getting pretty good at competing in these majors. No reason he won’t be in contention this week. Good iron player.
Tyrrell Hatton: Good links player. Won the Dunhill Links last October. He’s in good form coming into this week.
Alex Noren: Good strategist, grinder, knows how to come from behind.
Justin Thomas: If he can come up with a good game plan and finds the putter working better.
Branden Grace: Likes to show up in majors. Good ball-striker, can make a lot of birdies.
Tiger Woods: Hasn’t played the Open in three years. Great strategist. Will be able to play a lot of iron shots but the problem remains that the Devil Ball shows up sooner or later. Missed the cut at Shinnecock, doesn’t bode well for this week.
Sergio Garcia: La Machine. No one strikes it better. Slower greens may help him.
Matt Kuchar: Was oh so close last year until Spieth’s big driving range save, then birdie on the next hole. Kooch lost it over the last five holes in 2017.
Jordan Spieth: A longshot? You betcha. Jordy’s game has been on a long sabbatical. Not sure Carnoustie’s the place where he’s suddenly going to come to life.
Henrik Stenson: Withdrew last week thanks to an elbow injury. Says he’s only 75%. That won’t cut it at Carnoustie.
Phil Mickelson: Too wild off the tee, he’ll get into too much trouble at the wrong time.
Paul Casey: Too good to be a longshot?
Kirdech Aphibarnrat: Carrying the banner for fat guys all over the world. Go FTG (Fat Thai Guy)!!!!!
There you have ’em. Our picks — some food for thought to go with your fried haggis!
And, yes, a Bellehaven’s Best to wash it all down — here’s to you — Jean Van de Velde!