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Frank Nobilo - July 19, 2012

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Justin Rose is playing in the same group with Tiger Woods but has struggled early on. Nobilo said that Rose may be struggling under the weight of high expectations. He is having a great 2012 and many are rooting for the Englishman to win the Claret Jug in his home country. It is possible that he is succumbing to pressure in the first round.

Bubba Watson has gotten off to a great start and at times he looks like he is just rolling along without putting much thought into his strategy on the course. However, he has given his strategy a lot more thought this week and stated that he needs to be able to hit fairways in order to contend. He is definitely doing that in the first round and it is likely that he learned a lesson during the U.S. Open. At The Olympic Club, Bubba tried to play his usual game and he struggled to a missed cut. That may have been a reality check for him and he realized that there are times that he will have to dial back “Bubba Golf” in order to succeed.

The thing that he is most impressed with so far with Tiger Woods is his strategy. 1969 Open Champion Tony Jacklin on the BBC has made the comparison between Tiger and Jack Nicklaus when it comes to Open Championship strategy. Tiger probably had 3 or 4 different game plans ready to go for the first round and he has responded to the weather conditions. While Wednesday had the worst conditions of the week, Thursday has the best conditions of the week. Royal Lytham is not an easy course but it is getable right now because of the lack of wind. That can happen in links golf but if the weather changes, the challenges will change.

Lee Westwood is seeking his first Major win this week and he has gotten off to a good start in the first round. Westwood seems to be the most comfortable Englishman in the field this week as all of the players from England are under a lot of pressure to win. The reason for that is that Westwood has been in these situations many times and while the pressure has increased over time, he understands what it means and what it is about. It is early, but he seems to be handling the situation very well.