That’s what we get for ignoring the heavy favorites. Through all the research leading up to the British Open and all the previews & predictions, it was clear the two biggest names being overlooked, especially by me, were the two heaviest favorites: Adam Scott & Rory McIlroy.
It was nearly a media consensus ignoring Adam Scott’s chances at Royal Liverpool. Personally I don’t remember any of the prognosticators picking him to win this weekend even though he continued his tendency in majors to force himself into the conversation no matter how he had been playing leading up to the tournament.
Scott was at a distinct disadvantage teeing off in the afternoon on Thursday and early morning for round 2 on Friday, as the weather favored players drawing the opposite start times. A solid tie for 5th place from the world’s #1 ranked golfer could have been even better with some scheduling luck.
Don’t underestimate how good I am again. That’s what I will personally title Rory McIlroy’s 3rd round in the 2014 Open Championship from now on. Tied for the lead on the 13th tee during Round 3, Rory kicked it into a gear I forgot he had and proceeded to open up a 6 shot lead over the next 6 holes. It was a back 9 I won’t soon forget.
I admit it: I forgot how good Rory McIlroy is. I thought Sunday afternoon at the 2014 Honda Classic was the Rory we would live with moving forward. He would hit unbelievable 5 woods from 245 yards that land as soft as a wedge 10 feet from the hole but miss the putt. I was wrong.
McIlroy overcame his typical Friday struggles by shooting 66, then won this tournament on Saturday over his last 6 holes. He punched the accelerator like only the greats can. He will shoot to #2 in the world after his impressive win and cemented himself as a superstar this weekend.
How did we do?
The one heavy favorite I didn’t ignore, Justin Rose, finished in a tie for 23rd. He never got hot like he needed, but his play was steady recording 72-70-69-72.
Henrik Stenson had one of my favorite moments of the entire tournament when he snapped his wedge over his knee, but he just didn’t have it this weekend. He was inside the cut line by a stroke, so he got to play the weekend. His Sunday 69 was the only sub-70 round moving him into a tie for 39th place.
Graeme McDowell was one of my picks because of his impressive list of Top 10 finishes this year and he gets to add another one after Hoylake. (-10) for the tournament brought him a tie for 9th place. Anything under par in his first round would have brought him into the featured groups on Sunday, but his opening round 74 proved the only blip in a solid week for Graeme.
If Rory had called in sick, my dark horse pick would have paid off at 33/1 in Rickie Fowler. Three majors played in 2014 and three Top 5 finishes for Fowler, including back-to-back final groups in the last two major tournaments. It’s really coming together for Rickie this year as he shared 2nd place with Sergio Garcia. Can I go ahead and pick him now for the PGA Championship?
My 100/1 Flyer pick, Shane Lowry, tried to make me look good by shooting 65 on Sunday to make him (-10) for the tournament and popping himself into the top 10, tied with McDowell & Victor Dubuisson for 9th. I’ll take it and I like how he is playing. Don’t be surprised if he wins something over on European Tour soon.
All five picks made the cut and three of the picks were Top 10’s. We’ll try to improve on our decent results with the RBC Canadian Open Preview later this week.