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open2The British Open starts this Thursday and is being contested in Scotland at Royal Troon.  Many of the players traveled over to Scotland to play in the Scottish Open last week and got a taste of how the weather can play a factor in these events on Thursday.  The afternoon groups faced incredible winds that nearly made the course unplayable at times while the morning groups had gone out and enjoyed ideal playing conditions.

While the weather is often part of the storyline in the British Open, the best players in the world are also.  Here’s a look at who I think will factor into this year’s tournament and has the best chance to hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday.

The Favourites

  • Jason Day
    The clear number 1 player in the world right now is coming off a disappointing finish to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, but that shouldn’t linger with a player of his quality and resume.  Expect Jason to factor in this year’s event.
  • Jordan Spieth
    2016 has not been as strong of a year as 2015 for Jordan, but he is still remarkably consistent and can’t be counted out.
  • Rory McIlroy
    Rory is coming off a strong showing in France, but needs to find consistency with his putter if he is going to win this week.
  • Dustin Johnson
    He is the hottest player in the world right now and just won his first Major.  He also has played well in the British Open recently. He has  chance at going back to back.

The Contenders

  • Henrik Stenson
    Finished T13 at the Scottish Open.  Was T% at the US Open and has three top 5’s in the majors in the last 2 seasons.
  • Adam Scott
    Cooled off after a red hot start to the season, but is tending upwards with a T18 at the US Open and a T10 at the WGC Bridgestone.  He has four straight top 10’s in the British Open.
  • Sergio Garcia
    He has nine top 10’s in British Open’s and has finished in the top 5 his last three events.
  • Branden Grace
    Finished T29 at the Scottish Open, but has three top 5’s in majors the past two years.
  • Zach Johnson
    He has three top 10’s including a win (2015) in the British Open since 2012. Finished T8 at the US Open and T10 at the WGC Bridgestone.
  • Louis Oosthuizen
    The 2010 Open Champion is playing better as of late with a T23 at the US Open and a T21 at the WGC Bridgestone. Contends in a lot of majors.

Contenders or Pretenders?

  • Matt Kuchar
    His in “Mr. Consistent”. He has five top 6’s in his last six events.  Only has one tope 10 in the British Open though.
  • Phil Mickelson
    He is 5th on the PGA Tour in scoring average, he is a past champion and is coming off a T13 at the Scottish Open after an opening 76 in the treacherous Thursday afternoon wind.  He has also missed the cut in both majors this year.
  • Martin Kaymer
    Has had a rough couple of years after winning the US Open at Pinehurst, but is showing signs of turning it around.  The former world no. 1 finished T13 at the Scottish Open and has four top 7’s in his last six events.
  • Lee Westwood
    He has five top 15’s in his last six events and was in contention at the Masters and US Open until a final round 80 at Oakmont.  Can he bounce back this week to get is first major?
  • Hideki Matsuyama
    Has contended in major after major in recent years, but his game has fallen off in the past month.  He seemed ready to win a major prior to the US Open.
  • Scott Piercy
    No real history of success in majors until this year where he plyed well at Augusta and finished 2nd at the US Open and again at the Bridgestone.

Dark Horses

  • Chris Wood
    Has a win this year and finished T11 in France.
  • Rafa Cabrera-Bello
    Has four top 4’s this year and is coming off a T21 at the Scottish Open.
  • Graeme McDowell
    His game seems to be trending upwards. T18 at the US Open and T10 at the Scottish Open.
  • Russell Knox
    The Scott would love to win on home soil.  Is 5th in the FedEx Cup standings and finished T10 at the Scottish Open.
  • Patrick Reed
    Loves the links style and has embraced the fans.  Finished T10 in Scotland last week.
  • Alex Noran
    He won the Scottish Open and also finished 8th in France.

Enjoy the golf!

Rob

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