British Open: It’s Chad Campbell’s time to shine

July 16, 2009 | Drew Forrester

For Chad Campbell, the 2009 Masters was “the one that got away”.  

That won’t happen at this week’s British Open which starts today at Turnberry in Scotland. 

The Scots say “the wind doesn’t affect a well struck shot”.  

And that’s why Chad Campbell will win the British Open.  At least I think he will.

Campbell is a flat-swinging, low-ball hitting, wind-working iron player of supreme talent and his game fits perfectly with the winds and weather of Scotland in the summer.  

Don’t let it bother you that he couldn’t hit a 7-iron onto the green from 155 yards out on the 18th hole of Augusta National in last April’s playoff with Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera.  What’s done — is done.

Chad Campbell is due.  

I’m sure Tiger Woods will be heard from this week at Turnberry.  It’s not like it would be a shock if Woods wins.  He might win by six shots.  Or, as was the case at Bethpage four weeks ago, he might get the bad end of the weather draw and get behind the 8-ball early and never fully recover.  The weather in Scotland – and at this tournament – makes or breaks more players than talent, that’s for sure.

My other big name to keep your eye on is Lee Westwood.  He – along with Sergio Garcia, I suppose – might be the “best player to never have won a major” and this could the one for the elite Ryder Cupper.  He’s not going to be fazed by the weather and links golf fits his “hit and chase” style.  If Westwood’s putter cooperates, I think he’s a solid choice to be in the thick of things on Sunday.

I also like another American to contend:  Zach Johnson.  Like Campbell, his flat swing and low ball flight should serve him well this week.  Unlike Campbell, Johnson has a major title on his resume, having conquered Augusta in 2007.  He has more major titles in him.  Don’t be surprised to see Zach Johnson hovering around on Sunday.

Speaking of Angel Cabrera, what about his chances?  I’d say they’re very good.  The man’s a best off the team, hits his irons great and when the pressure’s on, he putts like the pressure’s NOT on.  

And then there’s my darkhorse, Andres Romero, who nearly won “The Open Championship” – as they call it “over there” – a couple of years ago and has slowly started to gain international respect as a player worthy of contending at a major.  He’s got game.  Lots of it.

Those are my names to watch:  Woods, Westwood, Romero, Cabrera, Johnson and the winner, Chad Campbell.  

I don’t have any money on it, so I don’t care if I’m wrong. 

But I’d like to see some exciting golf on Sunday afternoon if nothing else. 

And some wind.  And rain.  

It is, after all, The British Open.  If there aren’t umbrellas being blown inside out and people walking sideways at some point during the four days, it’s not REALLY a major championship in Scotland. 

Let it howl.

That fits perfectly with Chad Campbell’s golf game.