ST. ANDREWS (Scotland) The OpenThis week marks the 150th anniversary of the home of golf. The games homecoming at St. Andrews couldn’t have come at a better moment.
LIV Golf is poised to further fracture the professional tours. This drama is put on hold for at least a week by the Old Course, Ol Tom Morris. Tiger WoodsThe Road Hole.
I love this place, its amazing, two time major winner Justin Thomas said. Its unique. Its unique. Its the best Open I have ever played. Its such an enjoyable place.
Woods, the three-time Open winner, is the main focus of this weeks attention. He is not expected to be a contender for another Claret Jug.
Here are the players you should be watching, from the men who can win to the amateurs at St. Andrews.
Tier I: The men who can win
Here are the legitimate contenders to win The Open. They have the skills, courage, and nerves to deal with four rounds of pressure in windy conditions at St. Andrews.
McIlroy was the 2014 Open Championship Champion at Royal Liverpool. He accumulated three straight top-5s after winning. He was in the top 10 for each of the majors this season.
Schauffele is the most popular player on the planet. He won the Travelers Championship in June, and the Scottish Open last week. Last week, he also won the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland. Could he win his first major?
After so many near-misses, its only a matter time before Zalatoris wins his first major title. Few players have been more successful in majors the last two seasons. His exceptional ball-striking skills will be a major advantage in windy Scotland.
The world No. The world No.1 hasnt been crowned the champion in three months. He won four times in two-months earlier this season. Hes still playing like a top player in the world, and tied for eighth in his first appearance in The Open last season. Scheffler has not played St. Andrews since the practice rounds.
Rahm has demonstrated his ability to excel on links-style courses by winning two of the Irish Open. Justin Ray of Twenty First Group says Rahm has the most strokes (2.19) on British Isles coast courses among players who have played at least 10 rounds since 2019.
Spieth, 2017 Open champion at Royal Birkdale finished in the top ten in half of his eight starts. He was second by two strokes behind Collin Morikawa last year and fourth at St. Andrews in 2015. He narrowly missed a playoff.
Morikawa is the current champion after he won The Open in his first attempt at the event at Royal St. Georges back in 2021. He played four rounds in the 60s and his total of 15-under was an Open record for the course.
The Englishman won the U.S. Open major last month. His ball-striking skills are exceptional. His best finish at The Open was a tie at Royal Portrush in 2019, which he said was his 20th place.
The 2019 Open Championship was won by the Irishman at Royal Portrush. It was the first time the tournament has been played on Irish soil in over 50 years. He may have been one of the most content men to ever lift a Claret Jug.
Burnss stellar putting and iron playing will take him all over the world. Its now that hes a serious contender in majors. He finished 20th at PGA Championship and 27th U.S. Open, which were his best finishes in majors.
Finaus form isnt great this season but he has four top-25 finishes at The Open in five starts, including a solo 3rd in 2019.
The Australian will be playing his 85th consecutive major, which is the longest streak of any active player. Rose (47) is the next closest streak. Jack NicklausOwns the record with 146 consecutive starts in majors, 1962-1998
Fleetwood, an Englander, was second at this years Open Championship. He was six shots behind Lowry. Ray says that only Rahm and Finau have more strokes on links-style courses since 2019.
After finishing tied for 39th at Masters and missing the cut at PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup champion was tied for 14th at U.S. Open.
Koepkas game has been a bit slow lately. However, he was able to finish in the top 10 in four out of five Open starts.
Hovland is currently ranked eighth in the world. However, he hasn’t finished in the top-10 since The Players in March and hasn’t been in the top-20 since WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two months later. He missed the cut at both the U.S. Open, and the Scottish Open.
The former world No. The former world No.1 golfers last victory at an official tour event was more than 600-days ago, at 2020 Masters. This event was played in November thanks to COVID-19. He won the Saudi International on February 20, 2021.
The two-time major champ has been great in America, but has finished in The Opens top 40 in only one of five times he has played. He pulled out of the Travelers Championship to rest and treat a back injury. However, he was able to play in Ireland last week, and looked great at St. Andrews.
Matsuyamas season was hampered by injuries but he bounced back with a solo fourth at U.S. Open. He has one top-10 in seven starts at The Open.
The Englishman, who is hot-tempered, was tied for sixth at Royal Portrush 2019, and fifth at Royal Troon in 2016.
Smith has been a good player this season, but he doesn’t have a great record in The Open. His best finish in four previous starts was tied for 20th in 2019.
Oosthuizen was the South Africans second winner of The Open at St. Andrews 2010 and almost won a second Claret Jug in 2015. He lost to Oosthuizen. Zach JohnsonHe was in a playoff. He tied for third in the playoffs last year.
Rose has won The Scottish Open and tied for second at The Open. This shows that he is well-versed in the nuances of links courses. Rose tied for 13th at PGA Championship, and was fourth at RBC Canadian Open. This shows that hes on the right track.
Tier II: If all goes well
These are the top contenders to lift the Claret Jug. The list includes former major winners, rising stars, as well as other players whose matches are still being worked on this season. Will it all come together this weekend?
Niemann, aged 23, has won two times on PGA Tour and is ranked 17th worldwide. He has not had great success at The Open. Niemann tied for 59th place in 2021 and missed the cut this year.
In his 2021 debut at The Open, he was tied for 40th. Hes still winning on twitter.
SCOTLAND BOUND I have never been to Scotland and cannot wait for the next few weeks. I completed my Rosetta Stone, and practiced eating eggs without any cooking. Im ready to rock #golf
— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 3, 2022
Kisner was the 2018 Open Championship runner-up at Carnoustie. He played his final round in The Open in 2021 for two and a tenth of an hour. He wont be required to hit it as far at St. Andrews so he could still be a contender if his putter is hot.
MacIntyre from Scotland is going to be a gallery favourite this week. He has two top-10 finishes at The Open.
Power, an Irish racquetball player, was ranked among the top 10 worldwide at the ages of 11-12. He was a participant in the World Racquetball Championship.
Reed blocked you on Twitter?
South Korean Im dropped out of 2021 Open Championship to concentrate on the Tokyo Olympics. He finished 22nd. A gold medal would have allowed him to be exempted for two years from military service.
The PGA Tour rookie is one the longest hitters on the tour. He had mixed results his first three majors, missing the cut at U.S. Open, Masters and PGA Championship.
The Australians best chance of a major championship was at St. Andrews, where he lost to Zach Johnson in a three man playoff in 2015. Leishmans playoff debut tee shot ended in a divot which resulted in a bogey.
The former Oklahoma golf star finished 11th at Pumpkin Ridges first LIV Golf event.
DeChambeau placed 10th at Pumpkin Ridges first LIV event. In four previous Open starts, he was tied for 33rd.
Harman was 19th at 2021 Open. This was his first top-25 finish in six attempts.
Perez, a French-born child, won the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews.
Hughes, from Canada had four rounds in 60s and was tied for sixth in the Open Championship debut in 2021.
Pereira, who finished third at the PGA Championship following a collapse on the 72nd green, will make his first appearance in The Open.
The former Georgia star, who was only four months away from hip surgery, tied for 19th place at the Travelers Championship.
Gooch felt that the atmosphere at Pumpkin Valleys LIV Golf event felt like a Ryder Cup. He should have had oxygen ready at St. Andrews.
After scoring sub-70 scores in the first three rounds, the Canadian tied for 15th at Royal St. Georges 2021.
Simpson has moved up to No. Simpson is ranked 63 in the world. However, he placed in the top 20 at two of the three Open Championships.
Casey was last in the Top 10 at The Open in 2010. Due to a back injury, he has not played for more than three months.
The former Illinois star has been awarded six times in Europe.
His best finish in The Open was at St. Andrews where he tied 20th in 2015. He shot a 6-under 66 in round two that year.
The 2019 U.S. Open champion didnt have as much success in Great Britain. His best finish was a tie for 12th place at Royal Troon, in 2016.
Westwood, 49, is seeking his first major championship win in his 91st start in one. He was fourth at Royal Portrush in 2019.
The future U.S. Ryder Cup Captain has eight top-25s at The Open. He also won at the Old Course in 2015.
Frittelli, a South African national who played at Texas, was alone fifth at The Open 2021. Frittelli started the week as 11th alternate. However, he was made to the field when Louis de Jeger passed a COVID-19 test.
Poston will be making his debut in The Open. He won his second tour victory at the John Deere Championship.
Erik van Rooyen
He was a top-20 finisher in his two first starts at The Open. He then missed the cut at Royal St. Georges.
The 2016 Masters champion tied for sixth in the two Open Championships.
Tier III: Hey, miracles happen
Tiger Woods plays 18 holes in St. Andrews on Sunday to try and make a return at The Open.
They are the long shots. This tier contains former champions, players still searching to find their form, as well as some first-timers.
Woods two first majors starts this season revealed that the 15-time major champion still has a lot of work ahead of him after sustaining serious injuries to his right leg. He has won the Old Course twice, in 2000 and in 2005. He also says its his favorite golf course in the world.
His best days are behind him as the European Ryder Cup captain. He won The Open at Royal Troon 2016 but missed the cut last season.
At the 2021 PGA Championship, he became golfs oldest major winner. He missed the cut at U.S. Open, and was not very competitive in two LIV golf events.
Garcias performance in majors has fallen faster than his reputation among fellow players, which has been missed in 12 of his 17 past starts.
Bland, a 49 year-old Englishman, was tied for 22nd at The Open 2017, his highest finish in majors.
Argentinas Grillo was tied for 12th at Royal St. Georges, his best finish at The Open.
Migliozzi from Italy has two top-15 finishes at the U.S. Open. One Direction singer Niall Horan signed him as the first client of his golf management company.
Smith, an Englishman, won his caddie and new car last week at the Scottish Open.
Tier IV: Happy making the cut
They are unlikely to be included in the finals, unless something extraordinary happens at Old Course.
Carey, a native of Ireland, scored an 11-under 57 in the Cervino Open on May 2019 on the Alps Tour. It is believed to be the lowest score ever recorded in tournament golf.
Chesters, the first European Amateur winner twice, was tied for 12th at 2015 Open at St. Andrews.
Daly was the Champion Golfer Of The Year in 1995 when he defeated Constantino Roscca in a playoff at St. Andrews. He joined Jack Nicklaus, Johnny MillerTom Watson and Tom Watson are the only Americans to have won two majors in the post-war era.
Els won his fourth major, and second Claret Jug, ten years ago. He defeated Adam Scott by one stroke at Royal Lytham Golf Club and St Annes Golf Club.
Floydd, a James Madison golfer, qualified for the Open Championship via a five-man playoff that included four sports. He is ranked 1,346th according to the Official World Golf Ranking.
Harrington was back-to-back champion of The Open in 2007 & 08. However, he missed the cut in three out of his last four starts.
Min Woo Lee
Five years ago, Li shot 63 and finished solo third at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. It was the highest performance in a major by any Chinese man. After falling below the top 450 world in 2021, he almost gave up on the sport but rallied to win Junes BMW International Open to end a four year victory drought.
Mansell stated that this years The Open will be more significant than the previous two years, as Tiger Woods is playing in the field. Mansell said, Hes kinda stated that he will be at St Andrews, adding that it was a good sign that you might be in the same event that your hero.
The former Alabama star will make the first start at The Open, having won his first PGA Tour victory at Sundays Barbasol Championship.
Vincent, a Zimbabwean who lives in Denver, has won three times in the Japan Tour this year. It will be his debut in a major.
His wife, Lady European Tour player Johanna Gustavsson, will likely qualify for the AIG Womens Open at Muirfield from Aug. 4-7
Tier V: Amateurs
Here are amateur players who will attempt the same feat as pro golfers Rose, McIlroy and Woods, winning a silver medal as low amateurs.
Brown, a rising senior student at Stanford, was born in South Yorkshire, England. Brown and Bairstow are the only two amateurs to qualify for the field.
Celli, a TCU player, became the third Italian winner after eight years, when he won the European Amateur Championship in Juni.
Jarvis won the Latin America Amateur Championship held in the Dominican Republic in January. This earned him his ticket to The Open.
At 17 years old, the South African was the second youngest British Amateur champion. He won on a links course in June for the first time. He is a member of the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Golf Academy.