The last time The Open Championship strolled through Carnoustie Sergio Garcia looked like a an overwhelmed high school player who struggled to break 90 both days. Eight years later he's back in Scotland and he's just one round away from becoming this year's wire-to-wire champion. There's no question that he's done an outstanding job setting the stage for tomorrow's Van de Veldean style collapse. The only player within reasonable striking distance of the Spaniard is last season's Comeback Player of the Year, Steve Stricker. He stands three back at -6 after humbling the hallowed grounds with a record-setting 64.
A victory tomorrow will change the way everyone thinks about Sergio. His much-maligned performances in previous Championships would be tossed out the window and he might just start to gain back some respect on tour. But let's be real, nobody wants to see that happen. The real story of the tournament is the affable Stricker.
The Wisconsin native is playing about as well as anybody in the world right now and I couldn't be more thrilled to see him back on top. I had a chance to follow Stricker at US Open qualifying back when his game had fallen apart. Even though it was a frustrating time in his career he was about as likable as one could be.
Padraig Harrington, my pick to win, is lumped in a large group at -3 containing other stars such as Ernie Els and one of my personal favorites, Chris DiMarcco. Keep an eye out for those guys tomorrow, DiMarcco's claw style putting grip could get hot and knock off Garcia and his fruity belly putter. Go Gators.