If you place any relevance in recent patterns, then Tiger Woods will not be the 2012 British Open Champion. In March Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and became the Masters favorite. Woods went on to a disappointing finish at Augusta National.
Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tournament in June to tie Jack Nicklaus for second place on the all-time wins list. Woods then became the U.S. Open favorite. After holding a share of the 36-hole lead Woods faded on the weekend. On July 1 Woods won the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club for his third win of the year. He was then installed as the British Open favorite. Do you see the pattern? I am not sure which golfer will win at Royal Lytham and St Annes and hoist the Claret Jug on July 22. However, I do not think it will be Tiger Woods.
There is another pattern in golf at the moment. That is the tendency for players to win their first major championship. The last player to capture a major that had also previously won a major title was Phil Mickelson at the 2010 Masters. Additionally, no one has won more than one major championship since the beginning of 2009.
There are several good players on the PGA Tour that are quite capable of claiming their first major championship. Among them are Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Johnson and Fowler are especially relevant in this discussion because they each posted Top Five finishes at the 2011 Open Championship.
Looking across the pond, there are also some excellent European players that would dearly love to claim the title at what some consider to be their major championship. In this group I would include Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Justin Rose. All three are Englishmen and all three are in the Top Ten in the World Golf Rankings. I think the fact that the 2012 tournament is in England is not lost on these players.
Finally you have other players such as Jason Day and Sergio Garcia that need only a major championship to fill out their resumes. It would not be too surprising for one of these men to raise the Claret Jug. It would keep the recent pattern going.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
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