Skip to main content

Punch Shot: Best bet to end the Spieth Slam?

Getty Images

Jordan Spieth isn't among the trio of co-leaders through 54 holes of the Open Championship. But given his track record this season, who would bet against him winning a third consecutive major? writers weigh in with their thoughts on who has the best chance to end Spieth's Grand Slam bid.


Jordan Spieth is putting like, well Jordan Spieth, and Louis Oosthuizen is playing the Old Course like its 2010, but it will be Jason Day who finally solves the Grand Slam puzzle on Monday at St. Andrews. After so many near misses, most recently at last month’s U.S. Open where Spieth and benign positional vertigo got the best of him, the Australian seems to have struck a winning balance.


Louis Oosthuizen knows how to conquer the Old Course in wind, sun and rain. That’ll be important Monday, because the forecast calls for all three. Wind is the only defense at St. Andrews, and Oosthuizen, the 2010 champion here, has the experience – and the confidence – to win when the weather turns sour. He showed mental strength in the toughest conditions in the marathon second round, grinding out a 70, but he also showed another gear in the calm conditions Sunday by ripping off three birdies in his last six holes. Playing in the final group can’t hurt, either – he’ll know exactly what he has to do coming down the stretch.


Let me take a brief moment to quote myself, “I’m on the Louis Oosthuizen bandwagon, if there is such a thing. His impressive U.S. Open performance, coupled with a victory here five years ago at the Old Course, make him impossible to ignore … Just a feeling that he’ll play well at a place he loves.” Those were words written by this man on this website earlier in the week when asked to pick someone who could win who was not among the top three favorites of Spieth, Rickie Fowler or Dustin Johnson. No need to change things up now.


Monday has all the makings of a shootout, which means there are probably 15 guys who could win. But it seems to me the player with the best shot of stopping Spieth is Louis Oosthuizen, because he won here at St. Andrews five years ago, he sort of understands the emotions of the back nine (though he did run away with that one), and he’s playing incredibly well.