Some facts and records of The British Open
Padraig Harrington won the last time it was played here back in The course this year is dry and hard - if the wind blows at all, we are going to see a bunch of high scores. Jordan Spieth threw away a final round lead but regrouped on the last nine to win by three over Matt Kuchar. The Texan declared an unplayable lie, then spent forever sorting out options that eventually left him hitting a 3-iron from the edge of the range.
A 7-foot bogey putt minimized the damage and after that putt went in, Spieth shifted to another gear. He nearly aced the par-3 14th, drained a long eagle putt at No.
The victory placed Spieth alongside Jack Nicklaus as the only men to win three legs of the career Grand Slam before turning ET - Golf Channel. The course is so dry and hard that many players will not use a driver. Maybe this week he shocks the world and picks up major No. Firestone is a par measuring 7, yards. Like most courses, how it plays depends on the weather.
Tiger Woods holds the tournament scoring records at in , but a couple of years ago the winner was only 6-under. The defending champion is Japan's Hideki Matsuyama. He tied the tournament record last year with a final-round 61 to finish at under, five shots up on Zach Johnson. Matsuyama started the final round two shots behind Thomas Pieters and Johnson but chipped in for eagle on the first hole and was off and running. Only one player has won this event multiple times. I'll get to him in a second.
Matsuyama isn't having a very good , partly due to injuries. DJ won here in at 6-under but otherwise doesn't have a stellar track record at Firestone.
You know my feelings about guys winning back-to-back tournaments I'll never recommend it. Tiger qualified by sneaking into the Top 50 with his strong play at the British Open. He has won this tournament eight times but hasn't played it since No player has won an event at the same course nine times; Tiger also has eight wins at Torrey Pines and Bay Hill, and Sam Snead won eight times in Greensboro.
McIlroy was the champion here and comes off a runner-up at Carnoustie. He was fifth in Akron last year. Neither has won here, but Spieth was third in and Fowler has four straight Top 10s at Firestone.
So, we'll just ride solo on Rory this week to win. Two of our top experts both Indian Cowboy and Raphael Esparza offer their expert golf picks every week of the season.