Westhaven Pros Weigh in on British Open Championship

the open british open

The 146th Open Championship, from Thursday through Sunday, will be played at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Last year, Henrik Stenson won.

It is the tenth Open Championship played at Royal Birkdale, which held its first in 1954. The winner will take a $10.25 million purse. View the latest leaderboard right here!

Williamson Source asked local Westhaven Golf Pros a couple questions about The Open and here are their responses.

1. Who will finish in top 3?

Ben Pellicani, PGA Teaching Professional – Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Alex Noren

Chris Cauthen, Head Golf Pro – Ricky Fowler, Justin Rose and Alex Noren

Perry Lancianese, GM/Director of Golf – Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka or (and this is my wild card pick) John Rahm

Sandra Jaskol LPGA Teaching Pro – The top 3 players may be those that can handle the wind and rainy conditions the best. According to golfstrat.com, that would be Jordan Speith, Jason Day and I’m going to jump down a few spots and pick Dustin Johnson, rounding out with Paul Casey.

I also think Sergio Garcia will have the “Augusta Masters” momentum and will have a chance to place high, if not win this most elite event. I also think Rickie Fowler has been playing great with 7 top ten finishes this year.

2. Where is it being held this year, and what are the challenges to this course?

Ben Pellicani, PGA Teaching Professional – Royal Birkdale is a very fair test with a very exciting finish with two par 5s in the final 4 holes. Like any links course, the play off the tee is very important but the length is not needed.

Chris Cauthen, Head Golf Pro – Royal Birkdale in England. It’s a challenging course that will favor the better iron players and the player’s that can show the most patience. It is not a “bombers course”, as the driver will be taken out of many player’s hands. Par 70 with 2 Par 5’s that are both on the back nine is an interesting setup.

Perry Lancianese, GM/Director of Golf – The tight fairways will require accurate ball-striking. Another challenge will be the winds blustering from the Irish Sea. With these challenges, contenders will have to do their best avoiding the stacked sod bunkers as well, to remain atop the leaderboard.

3. How do you think the weather will affect this years Open?

Ben Pellicani, PGA Teaching Professional – Weather always affects the Open Championship but more because of the draw of the players. With tee times spreading over a long time period players in the morning or afternoon can see a very different course.

Chris Cauthen, Head Golf Pro – Weather is typically a factor at The Open Championship. Wind and rain generally appear at some point during the tournament. Those that can handle the adverse weather conditions or get the better of the “Draw” to avoid those conditions, will be in contention at the end.

Perry Lancianese, GM/Director of Golf – Weather is always a factor in this tournament on the weekend. With inclement weather, the putting surfaces are always much more of a challenge. A strong short game will be the key to victory.

Sandra Jaskol LPGA Teaching Pro – The Players that stay focused in these types of challenging conditions and being specifically prepared mentally, physically and emotionally for the tough weather will rise to the top of the leaderboard. Experience will definitely pay off here at Royal Birkdale Golf Club!

4. Can Jason Day overcome his recent struggles and finish high on the leaderboard?

Ben Pellicani, PGA Teaching Professional – I do think Jason Day will come back strong the remainder of the year but I don’t think it starts here. The links style of golf isn’t a strength of his high ball flight style.

Chris Cauthen, Head Golf Pro – I’m sure that he has not prepared this year as well as in previous years due to the health of his mom and how that impacted him earlier in the season. His putting has not been the same as it has been the past 2 years. I expect him to return to form but I don’t think it will be this week.

Perry Lancianese, GM/Director of Golf – Disappointingly, no. He has to play into condition to be a contender in a major again.

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