This week marks the beginning of the season’s third major. The Open Championship, maybe because it is the only major played off of U.S. soil, or maybe because it is the oldest major championship (by far), is one of the most interesting and prized tournaments in the golfing world. The prize to be handed out is the historically mystical Claret Jug, a trophy coveted by all who have ever picked up a golf club with the intention of one day playing professionally.
For the 2014 Open Championship, the action returns to Royal Liverpool for the 12th time. The Open was first hosted by Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, in 1897, and most recently in 2006, when Tiger Woods won his third Open Championship, and successfully defended his title from 2005. It was the first time the Open had been hosted by Hoylake since 1967, and Woods’ win came only weeks after his father passed away.
Now, in 2014, a big story line follows Woods once again, as he will make his second start after back surgery, and first start where he is being deemed healthy enough to be considered a factor. Another golfer who knows how to deal with major pressure, Justin Rose comes into the week red hot after consecutive wins – first at Congressional, and last again last week at the Scottish Open. Few will consider anyone to be playing better golf at the moment than Justin Rose.
Martin Kaymer, however, will have something to say about that. Though he has struggled since his history-making U.S. Open win, he still has two wire-to-wire wins in two of the most prestigious tournaments of the season thus far on his resume, and the German will undoubtedly be hungry for more.
Several other golfers will be fighting with everything they have, including those who will want to add to their major resume, like world number one Adam Scott, and past world number one Rory McIlroy; or, those who will want to finally add a major to their belt, like Henrik Stenson, and perennial Open contender Lee Westwood. No one knows for certain who will rise to the occasion, but one thing that is certainly known, this will be an epic week of golf. Stay tuned for more analysis on the season’s third majors, as well as our predictions.