Who will win the British Open?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the British Open, which starts Thursday at Royal St. George's. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in with a comment of your own.
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times
This 140th edition of The Open Championships, also known on the United States side of the pond as the British Open, will come down to a country-wrenching battle for the title between Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. The English will be torn. Their tabloids will wring their hands in indecision that will manifest itself in big, black wobbly headlines. Whom to root for? Which one is truly our lad?
They are both Englishmen, of course, but which is more English than the other? Soon, the tide will turn toward Westwood, born and raised and stayed on the Isles, over Donald, who went off to school in the States, at Northwestern. The surge of hometown public support will leave the Claret Jug on Westwood’s mantle.
Rory McIlroy now has the spotlight’s full attention. Luke Donald has the world No. 1 ranking. That leaves Lee Westwood no better than third for the attention of his own countrymen -- and maybe the perfect setting for him to finally nab that first major.
The 38-year-old pro has been knocking on the door long enough, with top-three finishes in five of his previous seven majors. That includes a runner-up finish last year at St. Andrews, albeit seven shots behind Louis Oosthuizen’s runaway.
Westwood also tied for third the year before at Turnberry, one stroke out of the Stewart Cink-Tom Watson playoff.
Links golf is often an acquired taste, even for Europeans, and the Englishman has seen enough windblown days by now to handle whatever Royal St. George’s figures to throw this week. He’ll catch the Brits' eye again when his name hits the leaderboard -– earning a hard-fought reward with his name on the Claret Jug.
Photo: Lee Westwood watches his drive on the fifth tee during the practice rounds ahead of the 140th British Open golf championship at Royal St.George's in Sandwich, Kent. Credit: Peter Muhly / AFP / Getty Images