I’M really looking forward to the Open – it’s a great event. It’s actually my second favourite in golf, and Royal Lytham’s a very good course. It’s looking like it’s going to be a cracker.
Royal Lytham is tight and short. There’s more emphasis on hitting fairways and greens than, for example, somewhere like St Andrews, so it’s therefore definitely one for the guy who is right on top of his game.
The four Majors are the four biggest events, and it tends to be where you’re from that decides which you consider the best. I’ve always thought the British Open’s the best, but the Americans prefer the US Open.
The British Open is a very challenging event because it’s always near the coast, and the elements can make it very difficult; unique even. You’ve got tee-off times from around 6.50am until 4.50pm so the weather can make a huge difference. If you’re playing early in the morning, and someone else is playing at 4.20pm, you can have a five- or six-shot difference in conditions.
Overall, I expect Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Webb Simpson and Justin Rose to be among those competing for victory.
Woods has already won three times this year, and he’s the greatest player that’s ever lived. It’s been said that short courses don’t necessarily suit his strengths but I disagree. His best play is when he’s playing position golf, as opposed to when he’s standing and smashing
it, so I actually see this event as being in his favour.
Westwood’s a great striker of the ball, he hits a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, but he fell down last week and hurt himself, though I don’t know how severe the injury is. He says he’s okay but with the elements it could be difficult, yet if he’s fit and healthy he’ll be right up there.
Donald’s an exemplary golfer, he’s No1 in the world, and he’s very accurate with his irons, so he’s another definitely suited to the course.
With Simpson, it’s a case of him having just won a Major at the US Open. He’s a young, up-and-coming American star – part of their next generation that’s coming through.
I also like Rose’s game, though. He’s been playing very well, and he’s a very good, solid player.
The pressure, however, for all of them, will be as high as it gets. It’s what the players compete for, but the pressure is what you make it and if you’re going to win Majors, that’s what you have to go through.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles in a career spanning 40 years, and sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. A player on the team on eight occasions, winning four times, he also led the side to victory as captain in 2002. Since 2004 he has competed on the European Senior Tour, winning the Order of Merit three times. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam