British Open 2012: Which Top Stars Will Fall Off?

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 21, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Steve Stricker of the United States waits on a tee during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 20, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Even the most talented golfers on the planet have trouble at the British Open.

Just ask Phil Mickelson.

The Southern California native has failed to win at the British Open after all these years, and he missed the cut on Friday.

There are some stars and former British Open champs who are within range of the lead heading into the third round of the 2012 British Open on Saturday, but some of them will falter.

Here's a look at some top stars I see slowing down moving forward.


Steve Stricker

Place: Tied for 11th

Score: -2

Steve Stricker may be ranked 14th in the world, and he's had some success in major championships in the past, but his driving accuracy will come back to bite him at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

It's worth noting that the weather at the British Open on Friday was uncharacteristically calm. Stricker ranks a decent 41st on tour this season (per, but he's hit just 16 of 28 fairways so far, well below the field average, and he slowed in the second round.  


Ernie Els

Place: 10th

Score: -3

Ernie Els may have been British Open champion before, but that was back in 2002.

The British Open hasn't treated Els well the last two years, as he's missed both cuts. Plus, he's 128th on tour in driving accuracy and there's bound to be more wind at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Els also isn't putting well enough to withstand a drop in his driving accuracy. He's averaging 1.67 putts per hole, above the field average. 


Zach Johnson

Place: Tied for 15th

Score: -1

Zach Johnson may be ranked 11th in the world, but he had a horrendous second round on Friday.

Johnson, who had seven birdies in the first round, fell apart in the second round, racking up four bogeys and one double bogey.

This is one of those cases where stats don't matter. He ranks well in driving accuracy, first in putting per hole and has a solid all-around game, but that second round was brutal, and it has already dropped him nine shots back from leader Brandt Snedeker.

Despite being an accurate driver, Johnson's best finish at the British Open is 16th place. Maybe he just doesn't like the weather?


Follow me on Twitter. We can talk about golf together.

Follow <span class=