British Open 2012: 3 Europeans Who May Win the Claret Jug as Their 1st Major
With the 141st British Open set to tee off on Thursday morning, the best golfers in the world have converged upon Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club.
The traditional links course favors the Europeans because they are more accustomed to the rigorous conditions. A plethora of bunkers played under softer course conditions promises for an exciting British Open.
The last three Open champions were all first-time major champions—Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen and Stewart Cink. A first-time winner is a distinct possibility in a wide-open field this year.
The following are three Europeans looking to win their first major championship this week at the British Open.
Best Finish in the British Open: Tied Fourth (1998)
Best Finish in a Major: 1998 British Open
Currently ranked ninth in world, it's time for Justin Rose to break through and win a major. His best appearance in a major was 14 years ago, so his high ranking more reflects consistency in non-majors.
Rose is one of the leaders in greens in regulation, though, and will be extremely focused his first two rounds playing alongside Tiger Woods.
Best Finish in the British Open: Tied Fifth (2009)
Best Finish in a Major: 2005 Masters and 2006 PGA Championship Tied Third
Luke Donald, the top-ranked player in the world, didn't even make the cut at the U.S. Open.
Donald's ability to keep the ball in the fairway gives him an advantage this week, though. That said, the winds at the Open can be unkind and unpredictable.
Donald is steady enough to be in the mix on the weekend even if he gets off to another sluggish start.
Best Finish in the British Open: Tied Second (2010)
Best Finish in a Major: 2010 Masters and British Open Tied Second
Lee Westwood is currently the third-ranked golfer in the world.
Westwood has been in the thick of so many major tournaments the last three years that it's shocking he hasn't won one yet.
This may finally be the weekend where Westwood gets some breaks. Playing alongside Masters champion Bubba Watson, he will get out early in the morning and hopefully post a solid score.