July 17, 2018

2018 Open Championship: Carnoustie Championship Course

Did you think that the U.S. Open was pretty tough this year? If so, then you will be in for another treat this week. The Carnoustie Championship Course is next on the agenda for the 3rd major of the year in 2018. “Car-nasty,” as it is called in North America, has the reputation of being the hardest of The 2018 Open Championship courses in their rotation. The Open Championship has been held at Carnoustie a total of 7 times with Americans winning 2 times. The Americans that have won at Carnoustie are Ben Hogan and Tom Watson. Pretty elite company if you ask me. 2018 Open Championship

The Carnoustie Championship Course is located in Carnoustie, Scotland. Located seaside on the eastern part of the county, it is pretty easy to understand why this course is difficult. Not only is the layout tough, but the elements are always a factor. Pot bunkers, high winds, and rain are just the starting point for this course and how dreadful it can be for the competition.

If you aren’t too familiar with Carnoustie, take a look at this article here. This article from the PGA Tour does a great job of summarizing the course, the history of the facility, as well as Jean van de Velde’s infamous blowup back in 1999.

For the 2018 edition of The Open Championship I’m going to have my eyes on these 3 players:

Dustin Johnson:

I think that Dustin is the front runner for the Americans in this tournament (sorry, Jordan). I think that DJ’s length could be a game changer on this course. Carnoustie has never had a player as long and accurate as Dustin Johnson play their course before. I think Dustin off of the tee is going to have different landing zones than the rest of the field. This could take away some of those pot bunkers conveniently located in the fairway. Also, on par 3’s, he will likely take a club less than the rest of the field. I don’t trust his short game at all, but, he is always in the running for a major if he can make some putts.

Henrik Stenson:

Henrik has been a staple on the PGA Tour for years. He is easily in the upper echelon of golfers in the world and has 20 professional wins under his belt. With all of that being said I still don’t understand how he doesn’t win more. His iron striking is elite, he hits his 3-wood 300 yards, and he is a solid putter. I’m expecting him to play well this week, as long as he is healthy.

Tommy Fleetwood: 

Remember the guy in the U.S. Open that nearly broke the course record at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday? That was Tommy Fleetwood and he holds the course record at Carnoustie (63). He is playing incredible golf right now. He isn’t well known in the United States, but, he is a force on the European Tour. On a windy Sunday afternoon I’m predicting Tommy Fleetwood to be holding the Claret Jug as the 2018 Open Champion.

Posted by Jake Bandi: Assistant Golf Professional