More than anything else, it’s unfortunately known as the site of golf’s greatest meltdown. The Open Championship/British Open (call it what you want!) returns to treacherous Carnoustie next month, but it’s the 1999 Championship that forever lives in golfing lore. Frenchman Jean van de Velde, needing no worse than a double bogey at the 72nd hole to win that year, compounded a poor drive with one error in judgement after another – he almost played a shot out of shin-deep water – and had to sink a six-footer for triple bogey. Eventually, he lost in a three-way playoff.
Peter Jacobsen, a partner and the Spokesperson for Golf Life Navigators, never played in an Open Championship at Carnoustie, but he’ll be in Scotland next month to help call the action for NBC Sports/Golf Channel. Here are Jake’s Takes on the Top 5 to Watch as the best in the game pursue the Claret Jug. Just no more meltdowns, please!
I think Rory is ready to win another major based on his record this year and his many close calls. He did win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March with an impressive back-nine charge and some clutch putting, but I still think he is the most gifted driver of the ball in the game today.
Already with a win this year, Paul is playing extremely well but has given up the lead a few times this season. He has the game to win a major and with his game in top form, this could be the year. It would be a popular win, with the fans and players alike.
A final-round 61 at the recent BMW International Open and a win last month in the Italian Open puts the Dane in my top 5. He’s been on the verge of stardom for a few years and, much like Tommy Fleetwood, is making some noise on the world stage.
It’s always easy to pick the world’s top-ranked player but Dustin has matured into a dynamic all-around player. He has no weakness in his game and has the power and finesse to win the Open Championship.
I’m a hug fan of Rickie’s demeanor and his ability to handle all of the chaos that can happen at an Open Championship. Just the weather conditions alone can rattle the best players and usually does. But if anyone can handle it, it’s Fowler.