I would say the first co-sponsored event by the PGA Tour and DP World Tour was a smashing success.  Xander Schauffele continues his red hot play winning the Scottish Open after his win at the Travelers two weeks ago.  I don’t think there is any way to fade him this weekend at the Open.  The reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick will be hard to ignore as well after his Top 10 last weekend.  The wind conditions ended up being more severe than originally forecasted and the final scores reflected that.  While you can’t take everything that happened at the Scottish as gospel when picking players for the Open, it will play into my selections.  Let’s take our first looks at the Old Course at St. Andrews for the 150th Open Championship.

I know personally I grew up calling this major championship the British Open but nowadays you’ll get reprimanded, so don’t do it.  This is the Open Championship and the winner will take home the famed Claret Jug.  It will be played at the oldest golf course in the world, St. Andrews.  This championship has been held at the Old Course 29 times dating back to 1873 when Tom Kidd won with scores of 91 and 88.  Zach Johnson took home his second major championship in 2015 the last time the Open was held at St. Andrews.  Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods both have three Open Championship titles in their legendary careers.  Both of them won two of those three at this very course.  Tiger did not participate in the U.S. Open to give his body a chance to recover and be as ready as possible for one of his favorite golf courses in the world.  Louis Oosthuizen, John Daly, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Sam Snead and Bobby Jones are just some of the great players to win at this storied course.  

St. Andrews is the quintessential links course where all links-style courses took their cues from this legendary venue.  It is set up as a Par 72 and stretches out just over 7,300 yards.  The only defense St. Andrews has against these fantastic players are the swirling coastal winds and 112 terrifying bunkers.  I’m sure you will hear stories throughout the week during the coverage about all the famous landmarks around this course.  There seems to be a story around every nook and cranny of this historic place. 

The forecast for this weekend at St. Andrews looks to be wild.  We could see the most difficult conditions in recent history.  The average winning score at the Old Course for the Open Championship over the last six is 14.6 under par but we could see a single digit winner with these winds.  We will see gusts increase from the low teens on Thursday to the mid-20s by Sunday afternoon.  I feel like these conditions will give us a true deserving champion at the 150th edition of the Open

This is a major championship and that means only the best in the world will participate over the weekend in Scotland.  It’s almost like a movie script with all this drama leading into this tournament at most considering the birthplace of this great game.  The golf landscape is at a crossroads with the soul of the game being challenged by money and greed.  Who knows where all of this goes, this could very well be the last time all these great players compete against each other on the same stage.  156 golfers from all across the globe are slated to compete for their name to be printed on the side of the Claret Jug.

I should remind you once again that the tournament begins overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.  You need to get those lineups locked by Wednesday before you go to bed.  Get your coffee maker primed and ready for some early mornings this weekend in Scotland. 

ONE AND DONE PICK: CAMERON SMITH