British Open 2012: Under the Radar Players Who Will Contend for the Win
After the first day of the British Open, there are numerous under-the-radar players who are in good shape heading into the second round—several of whom have a very good chance to win the tournament.
These players should be in contention until the final shots of the tournament.
Raw power defines Nicolas Colsaerts' game. His driving average of 317.7 yards leads the PGA tour, and that stat alone gives him a chance in any tournament he plays.
To win a tournament like the British Open, though, a player needs more than just power, and Colsaerts demonstrated the necessary control so far to contend for the title.
His ability throughout the year in escaping fairway bunkers has been tremendous which is especially important in the obstacle-laden Royal Lytham and St. Annes' courses.
If Colsaerts keeps his game under control, he has a very real chance to win it all after his stellar five-under par first round.
Paul Lawrie is a mostly unknown player, but after a five-under par first round, he may have put himself on the map.
Nothing about Lawrie stands out statistically, but he has played solid golf en route to an excellent first round.
What makes Lawrie excel at this course is his ability to recover from trouble, as he excels from both the rough and the sand.
Lawrie is also excellent at avoiding costly three-putts—a valuable skill on any course.
While Lawrie might not wow with flashy shots, his overall solid play should be enough to keep him in the hunt as his competitors find themselves in trouble with Royal Lytham's many obstacles.
Brandt Snedeker isn't known for his power, but it's power that has him within two strokes of the leader after a solid four-under par showing.
Snedeker averaged 307.5 yards on his drives in the first round, over 20 yards above his season average.
This, paired with his already excellent putting, has Snedeker in contention after the first round.
Snedeker's putting is especially crucial for the American, as it separates him from many of the top competitors at the British Open.
In the other areas, Snedeker is just good enough to handle the brutal obstacles at Royal Lytham, and if he can continue to get to greens in regulation, his putter should keep him in contention.
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