Who can end 26 years of hurt for English golf at Carnoustie?
Steve: We’ve all been banging on about 50-odd years of hurt this week. Will this Open be the one where an Englishman finally breaks the Nick Faldo curse?
James: You’d have to think there’s the best chance for a while with Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter all inside the world’s top 30.
If you’re going to push me to name the Englishman most likely to be holding the Claret Jug come Sunday evening then it has be Fleetwood.
He’s in the form of his life, has felt the pressure of contending in a major a couple of times now and is the course record holder at Carnoustie.
Pretty decent credentials eh?
Alex: I have thought about this every year since 1992, with Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Poulter among those who have teased me into submission. It’s happening this year, I can feel it. Step forward, Matthew Southgate.
Dan: Isn’t there a good quiz about all of England’s near-misses since then somewhere? Rose is the obvious place to start but his Open record is very poor for a player of his quality and experience. The likes of Fleetwood and Hatton certainly have a chance too. A reality check though: there are only (!) nine Englishmen in the top 100 of the world rankings currently. So you can’t say it is statistically likely that an Englishman will win next week.
If pushed, and at an attractive price, I would back the perennially under-rated Matt Fitzpatrick to be top-Englishman next week.
James: What would you rather win – three PGA Championships or one Open Championship?
Alex: It’s The Open for me. I’ve watched every single edition of golf’s oldest major since I can remember and one Claret Jug would mean so much more to me than three Wanamaker Trophies. And as Jordan Spieth says, Champion Golfer of the Year is a very cool title.
Dan: Just an Open for me, please. It’s really all that I would ever need. I’m not a greedy man. I’ll take being a one-hit wonder and I don’t mind being described as the worst major champion in history. I even promise not to block up a place in the field when I can no longer reliably break 90. I’d be well up for the Champions Challenge kind of stuff though when it’s a special St Andrews Open, I’d still be able to turn it on for four holes on a Tuesday afternoon, I reckon.
Steve: That’s a tough one. To have three major titles puts you into a very special group of players. Having said that, no one ever sunk putts as a child dreaming they were for the PGA Championship so it’s the Open for me.