Golf: A too early look at the 2020 Open Championship
Dust off your granny’s teakettle and butter up the crumpets—we're looking toward the 149th Open Championship. Across the pond we go to Royal St. George’s Golf Club, sandwiched in Kent, England and the host of 14 prior British Opens. Most recently at Royal St. George's (2011) Darren Clarke became the oldest player to court the Claret Jug in more than 40 years when he thwarted the likes of Dustin Johnson (+1200 for the 2020 Open) and Phil Mickelson (+8000) to finish with a three-shot victory. As much as we would love to see Clarke’s brush cut flowing down the 72nd fairway in Sandwich next year, we are better off betting the over on how many pints he can put back at The St. George’s Tavern.
The British are comingEngland’s Justin Rose (+1800) and Tommy Fleetwood (+2200) will lead the British charge, as their games are well suited for the Open conditions. The 28-year-old Fleetwood finished in sole possession of second place at this year’s Open (Royal Portrush) and will be looking to avenge a final-round flop that handed Irishman Shane Lowry (+4000) the victory on a silver platter. Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, has finished in the top 10 at the British three times, including his fourth place finish as the low amateur in 1998. Suffice to say both Rose and Fleetwood will have the home-field advantage at Royal St. George’s and are well worth the cobblestone coin.
'T' timeMilton Pouha “Tony” Finau (+6600) continues to exemplify towering talent and that he belongs at the big-kid table. Finau has posted back-to-back top 10 outings at the Open Championship, and he finished alone in third place this year. His widely talked about short backswing clearly is suited for the wind-laden links. When the teapot begins to whistle, look for Tongan Tony to be in the mulberry mix.
Paul’s pickEven though Justin Thomas (+2500) was unable to maintain his accelerated FedEx Cup lead at the Tour Championship, his six-year-young career already features 10 tour wins and a major (the 2017 PGA Championship). Thomas’ game will be in full swing, as the American gallops through Royal St. George’s next summer—a revered victory and my ten-pence pick for the 2020 British Open.