Football may not be coming home, but golf is about to do so. This coming week, beginning on Thursday and hopefully ending on Sunday, the Open returns. Of course, some will refer to this as the British Open, but we all know why it should be called simply The Open. While it won’t be contested at the original home of golf, St. Andrews, it will be played at the nastiest course on the rotation in Carnoustie. And with the next tournament set to commence, that brings a number of things with it.
First and foremost, the Claret Jug, the trophy given to the Champion Golfer of the Year has to be returned. Last season’s winner, Jordan Spieth, had a hard time doing just that. The American, a three time major winner already at 24, returned the keepsake in a ceremony. He wasn’t expecting that, but it made him, understandably, very emotional. His quest to get that back this weekend will begin in the earlier part of the day on Thursday, and he will be joined by Englishman Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Another famous former Open winner from America will start later in the day on Thursday. Tiger Woods is the player referred to, and his efforts will be in a ‘game’ along with Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox. No doubt that those two will have a career moment playing two rounds with ‘El Tigre’ around one of the toughest, oldest courses in the world in front of great fans. A good omen thus far for Tiger is that the course is dry and firm at the moment. If that holds up, it could be just what he needs, as he has won the Open twice before when the course ran out very quickly, using his power in days gone by to dominate the field.
A potential underdog that could prove tricky heads out early is Tommy Fleetwood, an Englishman that would get the home faithful riled up. He’ll play alongside the always steady Henrik Stenson and the capable-if-not flashy Jimmy Walker. Phil Mickelson, looking to become the second oldest major winner in history when he sets out early on Thursday as the first big star to tee off. Weather and tee times could prove crucial here, but we will not know exactly how it effects each individual until the week of what should be an entertaining week.