The British Open might still be Rory McIlroy's to lose, but heading to Royal St. George's this week, there will certainly be a new favorite to take home the Claret Jug, after Luke Donald captured the rain-shortened Barlcays Scottish Open with an impressive 9-under 63 to win by four shots.
As most already know, being labeled the favorite going into a major doesn't mean you'll be in the mix on Sunday afternoon. Donald won a few weeks prior to the U.S. Open and went in as the prohibitive favorite to win his first major.
But unlike the Masters, where he was able to fly under the radar and finish T-4, Donald seemed to wilt under the spotlight at Congressional, falling out of contention early and ending his week with a lackluster T-45 showing.
I'm sure Donald would rather be in the position he was in at Augusta, where the stakes weren't as high, but when you're the top player in the game and you're coming off a win the week prior to a major, it's impossible to dodge the questions and pressure that come with being a marked man.
Winning on a links-style course the week prior to the Open Championship will definitely up the ante, as will T-5 and T-11 finishes in the Open over the last two years.
Simply put, Donald's game is clicking on all cylinders at the moment. The only question that remains is if he can handle the pressure of being the favorite for the second consecutive major.