Point/Counterpoint: Jordan Spieth or the field in the British Open?

BY DI STAFF | JULY 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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Jordan Spieth

Coming off of a recent first-place finish at the John Deere Classic, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth is driving for another victory.  

This year,  Spieth has played in 18 tournaments and has won four, including two majors, the Masters and U.S. Open.  

Currently ranked second in the world, Spieth will have the chance to overcome the defending British Open champion and currently ranked No. 1 player in the world Rory Mcllroy with a first place finish at the Open.  

Spieth will also have a better chance at winning the Open; Mcllroy will not play this year because of an ankle injury.  

Even though Spieth is favored to win, there are also some other competitors who will pose a formidable challenge. 

Dustin Johnson almost won the U.S. Open this season before missing two key putts that would have won him the title. Ricky Fowler is also trying for his first major title in his career; in 2014, he placed second in both the Masters and U.S. Open along with a third-place finish at the PGA Championship.  

The course conditions won’t help his chances, either.  The British Open returns to St. Andrews, the place of golf’s founding, and it is notorious for poor weather conditions that include high winds, rain, and cold weather that adds more challenges.

But Spieth has proved himself as a world-class golfer and has proven his ability to perform in high stakes situations in the U.S. Open, coming back to beat Dustin Johnson, and in the Deere Classic, beating Tom Gillis in extra holes.  

Spieth is on a hot streak and there is no other player in the field who can beat him if he keeps it up.

Rod Engblom

The field

Whenever a golfer gets hot on the PGA Tour, there is undoubtedly an analyst somewhere who proposes the question, “This guy or the field?”

Heading into the British Open today, “this guy” is Jordan Spieth — and for good reason. Spieth has four PGA event wins this season, the first since Tiger Woods in 2000 with that many heading into the Open. Two of those wins were majors. One of them came as recently as Sunday at the John Deere Classic.

He’s good, but he’s only one man. To pick anyone over any given golfer from a field of hundreds is statistically just a horrible decision — especially considering the guys trying to end his run aren’t slouches by any means.

Dustin Johnson will have revenge on his mind after blowing the U.S. Open. He’s too good to have not won a major yet. It’s only a matter of time.

Zach Johnson came close to defeating Spieth at the Deere Classic, and he has eight top-10 finishes on the tour this season. He also has two top-10 finishes in his last three trips to the British Open.

Rickie Fowler’s going to win a major one of these days too, right? And who knows, maybe even ol’ Tiger will show up and give Spieth a run for his money. Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and many others have the pedigree to win an event such as this.

And as always, there’s the possibility of the wildcard coming out of nowhere. Anything can happen.

St. Andrew’s is typically the site of poor weather, and unsurprisingly rain and heavy winds are expected for parts of the weekend — which gives even the best golfers trouble.

Is Spieth the best in the world? Yes. But as good as he is, to take him over a field of hundreds of professionals is ridiculous.

— Charlie Green

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