The Open Championship, or the British Open as we so affectionately call it here in the United States, is the biggest toss up for me every year when ranking the field of a major championship. The low-but-rising sweeping drives we see every weekend on the PGA Tour will not be showcased for four days at Royal Liverpool. Get used to seeing low screamers that roll for days or maybe even forever depending how dry the course is.
Iron play is going to be perhaps the biggest factor this weekend, followed closely by how well players can control the speed of their putts on the green. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Power Rankings for the 2014 British Open.
2014 British Open Power Rankings
1. Adam Scott
He’s ranked 3rd in birdie average, 4th in scoring average, and 1st in the World Golf Rankings. He collapsed late in the final round last year, but we’ve seen Scott mature into the kind of player who is always in the hunt at major championships now. This weekend will be no exception.
2. Rory McIlroy
If it was possible to just take the Friday round out of every major championship, McIlroy would have collected quite a few more of them in recent years. He’s openly admitted the Friday round has hurt him mentally and gotten “in his head.” McIlroy has had a whirlwind 18 months after a poor 2013 that saw him struggle with his switch to Nike equipment and the break up with his fiance earlier this year. All that aside, he finished third at St. Andrews in 2010 and has shown a consistently good game all year.
3. Henrik Stenson
Stenson was last year’s runner up and a fourth place finisher at the U.S. Open this year, which shows he’s got the kind of game needed to win the 2014 British Open and a good recent track record of success in major championships. He’s not a sexy pick by any means, but he’s the kind of golfer you routinely see in contention on Sundays throughout the year. It’s just a matter of putting it all together for four rounds.
4. Martin Kaymer
I haven’t seen Kaymer in the Top 5 of many Power Rankings lists and I’m a bit confused by it. It wasn’t too long ago that Kaymer ripped the U.S. Open apart and took no prisoners. He’s never finished in the Top 5 at the British Open, but if he finds a birdie streak the rest of the field better just duck and cover.
5. Angel Cabrera
I don’t know what it is about Cabrera, but he always seems to pop up into contention when you start to forget about him. When you can’t remember who won a major in a certain year, it’s usually him. He’s coming off a big win at the Greenbrier and since I haven’t heard much about him at the first two majors this year, he’s got to get a spot in the Top 5 Power Rankings.
6. Phil Mickelson; 7. Jordan Spieth; 8. Dustin Johnson; 9. Brandt Snedeker; 10. Rickie Fowler