Fresh off a win in the John Deere Classic, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth looks to conquer his third consecutive major in his quest for the unthinkable: winning golf’s four “Grand Slam” events in the same calendar year.
The Dallas native has already banked a cool $8.7 million this season from four wins in 18 showings and 11 top-10 finishes. Bottom line: kid’s a freak. He’s been made the 5-1 favorite for The Open Championship, which kicks off tomorrow morning at 3:33 a.m. on the East Coast.
Prior to Spieth’s Sunday victory, a rumbling came from across the pond as fellow American and young gun Rickie Fowler edged out Matt Kuchar and Raphael Jacquelin to take the Scottish Open at Gullane.
Fowler, who finished in the top five of all four Grand Slam events in 2014, is still seeking his first major. His quartet of near-misses last year haven’t quite translated into the same game in 2015.
Inconsistent to say the least, Fowler finished a respectable 12th in the Masters, but was cut from three of his next five PGA events, including the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. Yet, in those same five events also came the biggest win of his career: the Players’ Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
I should also point out that Fowler went on a brief hiatus following his Players’ win, taking his smoke-show girlfriend Alexis Randock to the Bahamas for a couple weeks.
It appears Fowler has regained his focus, and with defending Open Champion and world number-one Rory McIlroy on the sidelines with a soccer injury, the Open Championship could be ripe for Rickie’s taking.
Who else is poised to make a run at the 2015 Open Championship? Here’s a look at the current odds:
I find it interesting that Dustin Johnson is the second-choice at 11-1, considering he hasn’t played since this heartbreaking miss that cost him his first major at Chambers Bay:
With a little over three weeks off, golf fans everywhere will be interested to see how Johnson responds in his first tournament back. I like DJ; but that type of loss can be detrimental to one’s confidence, no matter the sport.
- SHANE RYAN: Here’s what Dustin Johnson said — and didn’t say — in his first press conference since his U.S. Open loss (Golf Digest)
Another player I didn’t expect to see up so high on the odds list: Tiger Woods. While the “Big Cat” has been riding the struggle bus for a few years now, his core group of fans are quick to tell you that Woods still claims two of the last three Open Championship’s at St. Andrews (2005 & 2000).
To give some perspective, Spieth was 12-years-old when Tiger won his last Open in ’05 and seven when he won his first in 2000. 25-1 seems a bit generous for someone who hasn’t won a tournament since 2013 or a major since 2008, but who wouldn’t love to see his major comeback at a course he knows so well?
However the balls fall, it should be a fun weekend for golf. And guess what? We’re only about a month and a half away from the start of College Football. Here’s a look at the upcoming sports schedule:
- The Open Championship at St. Andrews (July 16-19)
- Del Mar Opening Weekend (July 16-19)
- Saratoga Opening Weekend (July 24-26)
- The Haskell (American Pharoah’s next race) on NBC (Aug. 2)
- The Whitney Handicap on NBC (Aug. 8)
- NFL Preseason starts (Aug. 13-16)
- PGA Championship at the Whistling Straits (Aug. 13-16)
- The Travers Stakes on NBC (Aug. 29)
- Opening weekend of NCAA Football (Sept. 3-6)
- Week One of the NFL (Sept. 10-13)