This is a huge weekend for the Swoosh at The Open Championship. With Anthony Kim, Simon Dyson and Scott Jamieson just getting in last week, our total jumps to 9 Nike Golf Staff Athletes in action for the 3rd major of the year.
Before Charl Schwartzel won the Masters, he was ranked 29th in the world. After the Masters, he was ranked 11th. G’Lover won the US Open being ranked 71st in the world. After his win he was 19th.Cink from went 23rd to 9th after his Open win.
Let’s hope there’s another big jump this week.
Charl Schwartzel – 11th
Schwartzel is flying way under the radar with McIlroy, Donald and Westwood stealing most of the limelight. However, as I’ve pointed out in my Major Champion Showdown, he’s been an absolute rocket. They’ll be a South African invasion this week, and it might end with a … BOOM! Schwartzel’d!
Paul Casey – 14th
Casey has missed 4 of his last 6 cuts and has dropped 4 sports in the golf rankings since the US Open. Casey missed the cut there and at the BMW International Open. However, there’s a bright spot for PC; his last 3 starts at The Open Championship are T3, T47, T7. I think he’s done some serious work to his game and is ready to come out with a bang
Francesco Molinari – 22nd
Francesco missed the cut at the French Open, T43 at the BMW International and CUT at the US Open. I think he’s rested and ready to go. He has 4 Top 10’s this year and they’ve all been against some of the best golfers in the world. He’s show up big at the WGC events, but still needs to prove himself on the Major stage. CUT here last year and T13 at The Open in 2009.
Lucas Glover – 59th
Lucas does have a win this year, but has finished T50, T40, CUT, T42, CUT, WD since then – not sure that he’s entirely healthy, but we know he has major game.
Anthony Kim – 73rd
AK made it into the field last week when Tim Clark withdrew, but make no mistake, he definitely wanted to earn his way into this one. However, AK has missed 6 of his last 10 cuts, finishing no better than T54 in that span. However, that was at The US Open. AK didn’t play last year at The Open because he was injured, but had a T7 at The Open in 2008. That’s something, right?
Simon Dyson – 74th
Simon hasn’t played in a major this year, but his last 2 starts (2010 Open T48 and PGA Championship T12) were pretty good. This will only be Dyson’s 7 Open championship and hasn’t finished better than T34. Like, AK, he’s playing here due to a withdrawal (David Toms in this case). However, Dyson has a better recent record, posting 4 Top 25’s in his last 6 starts, 2 of those bring Top 5 finishes.
Stewart Cink – 79th
Cink was playing great up until the US Open, where he missed the cut and then did the same at the John Deere. The 2009 Champion, was on a streak of 5 Top 30’s prior to that. Cink has missed the cut in his last 2 majors, but followed up his 09 win, with a T48. I think he should have a good bounce back this week.
Scott Jamieson – 158th
Jamieson has 5 Top 10’s on the year and only Charl Schwartzel can say that on this list. He’s definitely playing like the 2nd best golfer on this list. In his past 6 starts, he has 4 Top 25s and 2 Top 10s. He’s a rookie on the European Tour and we hope he makes the cut.
Justin Leonard – 207th
JLeo, since winning the Open Championship in 1997, you have made the cut 8 times, with 2 Top 10s and 5 Top 25s. I’m impressed. I’m most impressed with the T16 in 2008 and T8 in 2009. So far in 2011, Justin has 9 missed cuts and 3 Top 25s (0 Top 10’s). He’s one of the lower ranked players in the field, but he’s coming off of a T38 at AT&T National. He’s obviously been resting up to make a run at Royal St. Georges (where he missed the cut in 2003).
I’ll be back to recap after it’s all over! Hopefully we see some big jumps!