Fantasy Island 138th Open Championship

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Good things come in threes. Maybe that's what Padraig Harrington is thinking this week as he seeks a hat-trick at the Open Championship, the third of golf's four annual majors. Of course, in that popular sport across the pond known as cricket, hat-tricks aren't always a good thing ' it means three outs in a row. Well, we don't have to remind you that 33-year-old Tiger Woods is 0-for-2 this year in majors. Will he strike out in his third at-bat? Or is the third time the charm?...
 

135th Open Championship

 
Here are a few more magical 'three' facts to help you hit it out of the Turnberry park:
 
  • Only three players have won the Open with four rounds in the 60s ' Greg Norman (68-68-69-64/Royal St. Georges/1993), Nick Price (69-66-67-66/Turnberry/1994) and Tiger Woods (67-66-67-69/St. Andrews/2000).
     
  • As of late Tuesday morning of Open week, Tiger Woods, 33, has already played Turnberry three times in the last three days. The guy has three wins on Tour this year. (This number three business is getting kind of eerie, huh?)
     
  • Winner of the last two European Tour events, Germany's Martin Kaymer is going for a third victory this week.
     
  • In his three major starts, Rory McIlroy hasn't missed a cut. More impressively, he's improved each time.
     
  • Anthony Kim, who struggled for much of the season, has come on strong lately, garnering three top-10s in his last three starts.
     
  • Three times Turnberry has hosted the Open Championship. And all three times, the No. 1 golfer in the world at the time has triumphed.(Tom Watson - 1977, Greg Norman - 1986 and Nick Price - 1994). So, what does that mean for Tiger Woods? Well, you do the math.
     
    A player can be picked to win a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.
     
    STAFF PICKS:


    NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
    Rex HoggardWinner:
    Padraig Harrington
    Yes, his swing is off and he's missed more cuts than a major champion should, but he won the Irish PGA last week and, if memory serves, he said there was a 50 percent chance he wouldn't even finish last year's Open Championship. And we all remember how that turned out. $2,831,602
    Contender:
    Tiger Woods
    Because he's Tiger Woods and because doesn't go 0-for-4 on the dance cards that count.
    Dark Horse:
    Martin Kaymer
    No German has ever won the Open Championship but the young man is on a roll.
    Jay CoffinWinner:
    Tiger Woods
    He's not going winless in major championships this year$4,976,839
    Contender:
    Ian Poulter
    A gut feeling. He played well at the open last year and was a contender at the players. He'll win a major sooner or later.
    Dark Horse:
    Graeme McDowell
    One of the few people in the field who grew up on a true links course. He proved he can handle major pressure at the ryder cup last year.
    Mercer BaggsWinner:
    Sergio Garcia
    Im not sure why Im doing this. Its like someone else is typing for me.$5,616,150
    Contender:
    Padraig Harrington
    Three in a row at the Irish PGA wont mean three in a row at the British, but he should hang around all week.

    Dark Horse:
    Colin Montgomerie
    If David Duval can nearly win the U.S. Open, maybe Monty can make a charge at a British Open in his native Scotland.
    Erik PetersonWinner:
    Tiger Woods
    Never played an Open here, but only 20 in the field have (and all are past their prime). $4,688,641
    Contender:
    Martin Kaymer
    How can you not pick the guy whos won the past two European Tour events?

    Dark Horse:
    David Duval
    At No. 145 in the world hes a long shot, but Mr. 59 hasnt felt this good about his game since he won the Open in 01.
    Brian KoresselWinner:
    Ian Poulter
    Hes going to breakout and win a major sooner or later and the British is the obvious place for that to happen.$4,843,188
    Contender:
    Lee Westwood
    Will plod his way around Turnberry and be in the hunt come Sunday.
    Dark Horse:
    Martin Kaymer
    Dark horse only in name recognition as the German is coming off two straight Euro wins and is now ranked 11th in the world.
    Dena DavisWinner:
    Ian Poulter
    This Brit's got the home-cooking going for him, the best pants, and a runner-up finish in '08 to build on. It's finally time for him to close the deal.$4,383,137
    Contender:
    Rory McIlroy
    U.K. betting parlors have him listed as second favorite behind Tiger. They know what they're talking about. The 20-year-old finished tied for 20th at his first Masters, then tied for 10th place at the U.S. Open. Just needs to shave off 10 mores strokes again and then....
    Dark Horse:
    Adam Scott
    It seems weird labeling the veteran Scott as a dark horse, but I think he's back on track after a tumultuous year. Also, he's got a new attractive tennis-star girlfriend. Seemed to help Greg Norman last year.
    Jerry FoltzWinner:
    Tiger Woods
    Without a major in over a year, he's as overdue as my tax returns.$4,322,307
    Contender:
    Martin Kaymer
    Why should he stop his meteoric rise at 11th in the world?
    Dark Horse:
    Brian Gay
    Accurate, steady, and a great putter. He waited forever to become a winner, and might just think this is the next logical step.

     

    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The 138th Open Championship
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