It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
Listing This Year’s Wildcard Entrants at The British Open
This Thursday marks the beginning of this year’s British Open, golf’s most unpredictable Major event. Over the course of this event’s grand history spectators have been wowed by small time players putting in big time performances, so what better than to list our ‘wildcard’ entrants who might just snatch victory come Sunday.
Sergio Garcia needs no introduction to golf fans. His career has been a well-travelled road, one which has seen the Spaniard log four top ten finishes of the nine PGA events this season, and this has sparked some in the media to suggest he is finally rekindling that form so many saw in him back when he was just starting out in the game. At 33 years of age, it would be a remarkable achievement for Garcia to capture the Claret Jug. Over the years he has been in the British Open Championship's top-10 finishers seven times since 2001. Statistically, he is now the game's top-ranked putter, and that could be pivotal when push comes to shove in the latter stages at Muirfield.
At 24 years of age and still regarded by many as a rising star yet to fully realise his own potential, Rickie Fowler might finally be ready to grasp his opportunity at the British Open. 14 times in 16 attempts Rickie has made the cut in events this season, and his excellent showing at the US Open showed the promise of a future Claret Jug winner. Rickie needs to continue his growth this year, to hone that maturity which is evident in the best golfers. Some say he’s already matured to the level of a great player, and this year could be his time to shine.
Webb Simpson is riding pretty high right now. He shot a 65 in round four of the Travellers Championship to finish fifth, which was also a season high finish for him, and in his only appearance at the British Open, Simpson put together a solid weekend of golf where he was tied for 16th. Disappointment in missing the cut at this year’s Masters and Memorial, Simpson is still more than capable of performing here, which is why we’ve added him to this list.
“Wildcard” defines Graeme McDowell. A stellar performance in 2013 has swung momentum firmly in his favour, and the Northern Irishman has been all over the place in tournament results recently. He won his first PGA title since 2010 at Heritage and then missed four cuts in nine Tour starts. Those who are fans of McDowell must be tearing their hair out at the man’s stop/start performances, despite a lofty three victories in his past eight tournaments. Graeme McDowell is a dark horse as well as wildcard and who knows which player will take to the greens at Muirfield.
Bubba Watson has his sights set on improvement at this year’s British Open. The 2012 Masters Champion missed the cut at the British Open in 2009 and 2010 before a blast of form at the previous two Muirfield outings. Watson finished 30th in 2011 at the British Open and jumped to 23rd last year. Strong performances in June at the Travellers Championship drove him onto a fourth place finish. Can he replicate this form again?
Do you agree with our wildcard entrants? Who do you think will be the surprise package this year at the British Open at Muirfield? Let us know via our official american golf Facebook page.