For the first time in his career, Phil Mickelson has won the Open Championship. The tournament that many, including Mickelson himself, thought he didn’t have the game to win is Phil’s fifth Major Championship and his first since 2010. On a day when nearly the entire field was moving backwards, Phil posted the round of the championship, making just one bogey against six birdies to finish at 3-under par. Mickelson drained putt after putt on the back nine, birdieing four of the final six holes, a stretch where he had made just two birdies in the previous three rounds. Although the score was posted well before the final groups finished their rounds, the win was all but assured once Mickelson rolled in his fifteen foot birdie putt on 18. Early in the round it looked as though Ian Poulter would be able to put up a number, but after a late bogey, he finished at 1-over par for the tournament. Lee Westwood took a two shot lead into the final round, but as has been his problem, he just could not keep it together on Sunday, finishing with a final round 75. Last year’s runner up Adam Scott looked to be in control for much of the round, but as was the case last year, four consecutive bogeys on the back nine ended his chances to kiss the Claret Jug. Now let’s take a look at how each team fared.
Although Mickelson won the tournament, it was Brent who led the league in points this week with a cool 245, thanks to a well placed Osicki Explosion on Adam Scott. Scott’s 80 points for the week give Brent 280 Osicki points on the season, well within striking distance of James’ record of 350. Adam Scott has been nothing short of spectacular in Major Championships over the past few years, and he’s the biggest reason why Brent finds himself leading the league with just eight weeks to play. Zach Johnson was worthy of a Mulligan this week, and he followed up last week’s runner up finish with a top ten at the Open. After snapping a wedge early in the week, Charl Schwartzel got his temper under control and found his way into the top fifteen. Averaging more than 20 points a start, Schwartzel has been a clutch player for Brent so far this year. Although Flatbill Fowler, Billy Horschel and Luke Donald all failed to card any points, Brent will be more upset by the top 3 finish he benched from Ian Poulter, which would have given him even more of a lead over the field.
With at least one Major Championship victory in each of Spreadsheet Fantasy’s first four seasons, James has been the man to beat in Majors. This year it was Phil’s turn again, with the aging Lefty earning his second win of the season and earning the vast majority of James’ 215 points this week. With more than twice as many points as anyone else, Mickelson has carried James’ team this year, and although it’s unlikely he’ll earn his fourth consecutive league championship, Mickelson has managed to James out of the basement so far. James’ other 15 points this week came from Jason Dufner, who managed to waggle his way to a T-26 with a final round 67. McIlroy’s struggles continued this week with a missed cut, and Louis Oosthuizen withdrew after just a few holes on Thursday, complaining of neck pain. All-in-all, James will take what he can get, and the win this week has him at least in contention for a podium spot.
With 140 points this week, Lawrence may just throw on a pair of aviators, grab a cigar and a bottle of wine, and hit the range. Although he finished with three top fifteens, Lawrence will not be happy about the result, as his brother from a Spanish mother, Miguel Angel Jimenez, shot himself out of the tournament with a third round 77. Although he didn’t pick him up in time to start him, Lawrence’s love for the Mechanic is undeniable. However, this week it was another Angel who earned his love, as an Osicki’d Angel Cabrera finished in the top fifteen, along with Keegan Bradley and Harris English. Although none of them were able to crack the top ten, Lawrence will be glad to have the momentum, as his last few weeks have been less than stellar.
Fourth place this week goes to Dave, who despite not turning in a roster for the 27th time this season, managed to card himself a respectable 110 points. The bulk of Dave’s points came from Lee Westwood, who’s third place finish brings his average for the year up to just under 25 points per start. Although Justin Rose and Robert Garrigus missed the cut, Bud Cauley managed to crack the top 50, along with Bubba Watson. Had Dave been submitting his rosters this year, he would find himself still in contention for the podium, but instead he still resides in the cellar.
It’s been a few weeks since Fuchs submitted a roster. That didn’t stop him from cracking the 100 point barrier for the seventh time this season. After going through a mini-slump following an injury, Brandt Snedeker is back to full speed, and seems to be in contention every time he tees it up. Finishing in the top fifteen, Snedeker is averaging nearly 31 points a start this year, second to only Steve Stricker on Fuchs’ squad. Hunter Mahan has also been a key cog on Fuchs’ team this year, and he followed up his top ten at the U.S. Open with another one this week. Ryan Moore appeared to be headed for a top ten, but an atrocious final round 79 dropped him down the leaderboard and he was lucky to stay within the top fifty. With two Osicki’s left in the bank, Fuchs is still very much in the hunt for a podium spot.
Nearly three and a half years ago, Bryce selected Tiger Woods first overall, hoping that he could reclaim the form he once had. There is no question that he has done so in the last couple of seasons, but the Major Championships still seem to elude him. It has been more than five years since Tiger won a Major, and yet again he found a way to come up short. With six bogeys on the day, Tiger looked lost on Sunday and wound up in a tie for sixth as his Major Championship drought continued. The big surprise this week was Bryce’s Osicki on Ernie Els, and while it wasn’t totally wasted as Els finished in the top 50, it would have been better used on Tiger. Dustin Johnson’s struggles continued, as he could only muster a top 50 finish, and he has just two top tens so far this season. With Brent’s exceptional week, Bryce finds himself once again in second place, but with the Bridgestone Invitational coming up in two weeks, it seems likely that he and Tiger will change that.
Beast has eclipsed 100 points just 5 times so far this year, yet he still finds himself in third place, thanks to a pair of wins by Matt Kuchar. Kooch was at it again this week, backdooring a top 15 finish, while Sergio made a couple of late bogeys to drop him out of that group. After top three finishes at both the Masters and U.S. Open, Beast pulled the trigger on an Osicki for Jason Day, but the talented Aussie couldn’t make a birdie on Sunday and dropped out of the top 25. Beast is hanging on to his podium spot for dear life, but Fuchs and James are within 100 points, and Beast will need to step up his game if he’s going to hold on.
That’s the wrap up for this week, Gents. Hope you enjoyed the Open Championship and the incredible show that Phil put on on the back nine. Next week we have the Canadian Open (or as Brent calls it, the fifth Major).