Austin will keep an eye on Els, Appleby

Austin moved away from Tampa 11 years ago.

Published July 19, 2007

Tampa native Woody Austin, 43, has competed in the British Open only once, in 1996, and didn't like this chances this year so he headed home to Wichita, Kan. (his spot taken by Richard Green of Australia). But that doesn't mean he won't be watching on TV. Austin offers a pair of picks - one established ("Not Tiger, everybody picks him.") and one lesser-known.

"As far as who I like, Ernie Els is finally playing well again," he said. "He hasn't won in a long time as far as a big event. He played halfway decent at the Scottish Open. I wouldn't mind seeing Ernie win another big one. As far as an unknown, I think Stuart Appleby is about ready to crack through and win a major."

Austin moved away from Tampa 11 years ago. But he'll be back July 27, and not to do any golfing.

"I graduated from Chamberlain High School in 1982," he said, "so I'll be coming back to attend my 25th reunion."