2016 Open Championship Predictions

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The Open Championship returns to Royal Troon Golf Club for the eighth time, the latest edition being in 2004 where unlikely contender, Todd Hamilton, upset Ernie Els in a playoff.

Second to The Masters, the Open Championship is my favorite major. The aura and sense of tradition of being back in the land where golf originated is second to none. Players are required to show creative shot making skills, course management, and, of course, battle the elements.

Unlike the U.S. Open where the storyline is often centered around how the USGA plans to trick out the golf course, or boasts how fast the greens will be, the Open Championship does no such thing. They don’t need to. The golf courses are what they are and were designed to be played in windy conditions, so if the weather is good, the scoring will be good. If the wind picks up, it will turn into a brutal challenge. They just let the Open Championship happen, and don’t intervene with extreme course set-ups or quirky rulings.

With rain and wind in the forecast this week, weather is going to play a role. To become the champion golfer of the year will require a great deal of patience, and maybe even a little luck to get on the good side of the weather draw.

Our Offcourse panel of “experts” didn’t fair so well with their picks for the U.S. Open, with only one of us making any mention of Dustin Johnson contending (in a prediction of more U.S. Open heartbreak). The USGA did their best to make that prediction come true, but he was just too good.

With that, our team are poised for a big bounce back this week. Here are our Open Championship predictions:

Roger Kingkade’s picks (Offcourse co-founder)

Winner – Rory! His comments about his decision to skip the Olympics in Rio make him a winner already. He’ll cap it off with another Open Championship win.

Contender – Some European Tour player most North American viewers have never heard of. Contender status will evaporate on Sunday what he shoots close to 80.

Random prediction – There will be a three-man playoff to decide the event.

Josh Fafard’s picks (Offcourse co-founder)

Winner – Justin Rose.

Contender – Lee Westwood. This guy has to win a major at some point.

Random prediction – We’ll see about a million umbrellas in the gallery because the weather will be so crappy.

Josh Strukoff’s picks (Offcourse blog contributor)

Winner – Rory McIlroy – despite having a win under his belt at the Irish Open, the media’s expectations of Rory paint a picture of a disappointing year so far. I get a sense that Rory is tired of the questions about his game, and when Rory gets angry, he usually wins by 8.

Contender – Branden Grace – A gritty competitor capable of battling the elements will give Rory a run for his money.

Random prediction – Rickie Fowler’s major slump will continue. Unfortunately, he will miss the cut.

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Let us know who you have coming out on top this week!

by Josh StrukoffOffcourse contributor and owner of the Golf is Mental Blog.