What does it take to be a champion? Guts, gambling and game. Game is what I decided to look at for the last 6 Open Champions and maybe this can give some indication of the winner this week. Then, I’ll narrow down the field to those who I think will win based on my criteria.
Let’s start by taking a look at this table for the past 6 Open Champions. Below you have their Season Stats leading to their Open Win, along with their scrambling rank during The Open Championship;
Yes, I ignored the PGA. Just from this table, it seems that Cink’s win was the biggest anomaly. Some may think it would be Oosthuizen, but based on his win and 8 Top 25s leading up to his win, not that big. Here’s a few things that stand out to me looking at the above table;
- The past 2 Open champions missed the cut at 2 of the past 3 majors leading up to The Open.
- 3 of the past 6 Open Champions missed the cut at the previous Open.
- Top 10 in scrambling is key.
- US Open finish isn’t the best indicator.
Not all of that matters too much – but scrambling is obviously tops there. Let’s just get to my criteria for this year. Here’s the breakdown
- At least 5 Top 10’s OR 8 Top 25’s
- Top 20 in scrambling
- at least 1 Top 25 in the last 4 majors
That’s pretty much it. Let’s get through this breakdown;
All of the players with at least 5 Top 10’s or 8 Top 25’s this year (28) ;
Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, Graeme McDowell, Nick Watney, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, K.J. Choi, Hunter Mahan, Alvaro Quiros, Retief Goosen, Martin Laird, Bill Haas, Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Gary Woodland, Thomas Aiken, Pablo Larrazabal, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Anders Hansen, Nicolas Colsaerts, Scott Jamieson
Just Missed :: Ross Fisher – 4 Top 10s, 5 Top 25s, Mattero Mannassero – 4 Top 10s, 7 Top 25s, Miguel Angel Jiminez – 4 Top 10s, 6 Top 25s, Robert Karlsson – 4 Top 10s, 5 Top 25s, Ian Poulter – 4 Top 10s, 7 Top 25s, Ernie Els – 2 Top 10s, 6 Top 25s, Mark Wilson – 4 Top 10s, 6 Top 25s, Simon Dyson – 4 Top 10s, 6 Top 25s
Narrowed down by Top 20 Scrambling from each Tour (12) ;
Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Jason Day, Charles Howell III, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Fredrik Jacobson
With a Top 25 in the last 4 Majors (11) ;
Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Jason Day, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Fredrik Jacobson
And just for fun…A Top 10 in in the last 4 Majors (7);
Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Jason Day, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar
I think that’s as much as I will break it down. A lot of those guys that “JUST MISSED” have a great chance. Sorry, I didn’t break it down to 1, but I still this is this pretty solid. I will try and recap this after the Open to let you know how I did!