A press conference put on my Reuters exposed the predictions of 1969 British Open Champion Tony Jacklin, and here are his thoughts on this year’s championship. Drawing on over fifty years of experience, the man had optimistic hopes of the championship, “Somebody is going to win, I’ll tell you that, no matter how unplayable it is,” he said. I suspect a bit of humor in such a prediction?
Or perhaps not, while Tiger Woods said the course is unplayable, and ‘brutal’ Jacklin is convinced that defeating the course can be done, “Somebody is going to do it. Somebody will figure it out and get it done. It's just about getting your head around it and getting on with it. Winging won't get it." Jacklin gave Woods some tough love continuing, "You really don't get the guys who are in with a shout complaining about conditions of golf courses."
However, Woods is excited about playing the championship, and both him and Masters champion Bubba Watson are planning on playing safely off the tee which Jacklin agrees is the only way to win the Open. "You cannot get out of the fact that it's controlling the golf ball that wins you major championships. That's the examination,” he said.
Jacklin said he was in favor of a Westwood win Lytham over Donald, “It's a daunting task but he (Westwood) has got all the experience in the world now and he's surely up for it. I keep my fingers crossed for him because I think he really deserves it.”
43 years have passed since Jacklin won his title at Royal Lytham and St Annes, and only the test of time can tell how his predictions will hold up at this year’s championship.
VIDEO: Tony Jacklin British Open 1970