The Open Championship: Fast Starters Who Will Falter

Eric Guy@whoisericguyCorrespondent IIIJuly 18, 2013

Will Zach Johnson's impressive first round performance carry over?
Will Zach Johnson's impressive first round performance carry over?Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

In golf, a player can come out firing during the initial days of competition and suddenly falter heading into the final rounds. And at The Open Championship at Muirfield, the aforementioned will indeed take place.

While players like Rory McIlroy (79) and Justin Rose (75) have already cemented themselves in the depths of the leaderboard, some of Thursday’s finest will soon find themselves right alongside them.


Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson finished with a five-under 66 after the first round of play. Johnson even hit an eagle early on the fifth hole to catapult him to the upper-echelon of the leaderboard.

While it might seem as if he’ll be able to keep it going heading into the later stages of the tournament, expect the flames to die out quickly.

Last year at Lytham, Zach Johnson came out smoking with a 65 first-round score. The next day, however, Johnson followed up his impressive first day with a 74 in the second round. In the end, Johnson finished in ninth place.

Therefore, you never know which Zach Johnson will show up. Will the clinical finisher show up or will the bunker-loving one appear?

Hence, don’t be surprised if Johnson free-falls later on.


Phil Mickelson

In recent years, it has become difficult to make assertions about what Phil Mickelson will do heading into play. Sometimes he puts forth dazzling performances that lead to top-three finishes and, sometimes, victories. However, on some occasions he'll wow us initially and in the end leave everyone wondering “what happened to Phil?”

Although Lefty shot a 69 during the first day of the British Open, we might very well find ourselves echoing the aforementioned question.

Not too long ago at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, he seemed destined to achieve victory. However, Mickelson collapsed late, bogeying on holes 13 and 15.

While the clouds may seem clear heading into the second round, it wouldn’t be a shocker if an epic collapse happens again.


Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson finished first-round play with a three-under 68, landing him in the top 10 of the leaderboard.

Johnson has the skill needed to compete with anyone; however, Johnson has shown in the past that he is suspect to failing apart mentally.

At the 2013 Masters, Johnson shot an opening-round 67, only to come out the next day and shoot a 76—including double bogeys on holes 15 and 16—to lose the lead.

While it can’t get much worse than that, Johnson could very well produce something similar come the second round.

It definitely will be interesting to see how he comes out in later rounds.