British Open 2016: Can Britain Bring The Trophy Back Home?
— 11 July 2016

British Open 2016: Can Britain Bring The Trophy Back Home?

— 11 July 2016

Venue: Royal Troon Golf Club – Troon, South Aryshire, Scotland

Date: July 14 – 17

Par: 71
Length: 7,175 yards (6,561 meters)
Field: 156 players

Defending Champion: Zach Johnson

Prize Pool: £6,300,000

Winner: £1,150,000

“It’s like two golf courses. It’s blowing out on the front and everything plays real short. Then you turn around and come into a left-to-right wind and you spend the back nine trying to kill it and keep it left.” – Jim Furyk

The 2016 British Open (or Open Championship) will be the ninth held at Royal Troon. The Championship was last held at Royal Troon in 2004, when American Todd Hamilton won his only major, defeating Ernie Els in a four-hole playoff. This was the sixth consecutive time an American has won at Royal Troon.

Considered one of the world’s finest links courses, the firm and running links turf will keep with the traditional characteristics of the British Open.

Jason Day once again goes in favourite in a major this year after finishing T4th last year.
We take a look at the players from the United Kingdom who have a shot at bringing the British Open’s ‘Claret Jug’ back home.

Sportsbet are currently offering a first bet bonus of up to $150 on the Open Championship.

Rory McIlroy

Nationality: Northern Irish
World Ranking: 4
Odds: $11
Form (Last 5): 3, MC, T4, W, T5
Open appearances: 6
Best Result: W (2014)

After suffering an ankle injury weeks out from last year’s British Open and not participating, Rory is back to defend his 2014 win. Despite missing the cut at last months U.S Open, his only lead up tournament was the recent Open de France and finished a respectable third. After some recent swing tinkering and reverting back to his familiar putting grip, Rory McIlroy will be in serious contention come late Sunday.

Danny Willett

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 9
Odds: $41
Form (Last 5): MC, MC, T37, 3, T27
Open appearances: 4
Best Result: T6 (2015)

You would expect Danny, the recently crowned Masters Tournament winner (and recent father) to be a little inconsistent these past few months. A third at the BMW PGA Championship has come amongst missing the cut at The Players Championship and BMW International Open. Danny is currently leading the Race to Dubai on the European Tour with two wins, so look forward to a strong showing by the Englishman.

Justin Rose

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 11
Odds: $31
Form (Last 5): T46, MC, T19, 3, MC
Open appearances: 14
Best Result: T4 (1998)

Always there or thereabouts when it comes to big tournaments, Justin Rose has had four top 10s in the last six majors. Having solidified his place in the top 10 each year since the start of 2012, Rose will hope to go a couple better than his tie for sixth in last year’s Open. However, his best result at the Open was a tie for fourth as an amateur in 1998. Justin’s consistent ball striking will put him in good stead for this years edition.

Chris Wood

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 24
Odds: $91
Form (Last 5): T11, T23, T6, W, T54
Open appearances: 5
Best Result: T3 (2009)

The lanky Englishman is currently having his best year on the European Tour. Starting the year with a world ranking of 44, he has jumped up to 23rd with a win at the BMW PGA Championship last month and currently fifth in the Race to Dubai. He followed this up with a T6th at the Lyoness Open and a tie for 23rd at the U.S Open. This form will hopefully follow through to the Open.

Russell Knox

Nationality: Scottish
World Ranking: 27
Odds: $81
Form (Last 5): T10, 54, T23, 64, MC
Open appearances: 1
Best Result: CUT (2015)

Playing primarily on the PGA Tour and the winner of the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, Russell has been in hot form recently. Having tied for second in both the RBC Heritage and Irish Open, he also finished a respectable T23rd at last month’s U.S Open. Russell is currently fifth in the FedEx Cup standings and fifth in greens in regulation on the PGA Tour. A recent tie for tenth at the Scottish Open, he should be up there this week.

Paul Casey

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 30
Odds: $67
Form (Last 5): T16, MC, MC, T23, T41
Open appearances: 13
Best Result: T3 (2010)

The last time the Open was played at Troon, Casey led after the first round with a brilliant 5 under 66 before fading and finishing T20th. A top 10 player in 2009-2010, Paul dropped out of the top 100 in 2012 but has slowly made his way back. A very encouraging T4th at the Masters has been followed up by some very mixed form, a T23rd at The Players Championship being his best result since.

Lee Westwood

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 39
Odds: $41
Form (Last 5): T11, T32, T8, T15, T10
Open appearances: 21
Best Result: 2nd (2010)

Westwood has the unfortunate distinction of being the best player to never win a major (a claim perhaps disputed by Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia), so can Lee finally win one? His record in majors includes 18 top 10s and four top 5s at the Open. A tie for second at this year’s Masters and a final group pairing with Dustin at the U.S Open, he’s been in contention at this year’s majors. At the recent Open de France he had a very solid four rounds and finished T11th. I think we’re all behind him to finally bring a major home.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 41
Odds: $67
Form (Last 5): MC, MC, T54, W, T47
Open appearances: 1
Best Result: T44 (2013)

The English young gun could be a bit of a roughie coming into this week. Currently sitting twelfth in the Race to Dubai and the winner of the Nordea Masters last month, Matthew is having a break out year. His first major as a professional was at this year’s Masters and he finished inside the top 10 tied for seventh before making the cut at the U.S Open. Fitzy (don’t know if that’s his nickname) collected his first professional title at last year’s British Masters at Woburn Golf Club.

Andy Sullivan

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 40
Odds: $81
Form (Last 5): T6, T5, T21, T23, T22
Open appearances: 1
Best Result: T30 (2015)

After three victories in the 2015 season, 2016 has been somewhat indifferent for Andy. In 16 events so far, he has posted only three top 10’s, two of them have been at the recent Scottish Open and Open de France. In a mammoth 36-hole day at the U.S Open he posted 72 and 68 to only be three behind Johnston after two rounds before finishing T23rd. Andy’s strength comes in rough weather so if the wind and rain plays a part, I like his chances this week.

Graeme McDowell

Nationality: Northern Irish
World Ranking: 78
Odds: $67
Form (Last 5): T10, MC, T18, MC, T27
Open appearances: 12
Best Result: T5 (2012)

In the year ending 2014, G-Mac was 15th in the world rankings, however from there it’s been a slippery slope. In 15 events played this year he’s missed seven cuts with a tie for ninth at The Players Championship and a T18th at the U.S Open being the only highlights. Though in twelve appearances at the Open he’s only missed three cuts with the last one being in 2011. A form golfer, a tie for tenth at last week’s Scottish Open is promising but a lot has to go right this week for G-Mac.

Andrew Johnston

Nationality: English
World Ranking: 105
Odds: $251
Form (Last 5): MC, T42, MC, T54, T12
Open appearances: 1
Best Result: CUT (2011)

2016 has been a break out year for the Englishman from North Middlesex Golf Club. His world ranking has flown in from 210 at the start of the season to 105 after he won his first European Tour event at this year’s Open de Espana. In that tournament, he impressively held off Joost Luiten and the local favourite Sergio Garcia to win by one stroke. Upon winning, the man endearingly known as ‘Beefy’ just wanted to ‘get hammered.’ A few dollars on that alone is worth it.

Darren Clarke

Nationality: Northern Irish
World Ranking: 703
Odds: $751
Form (Last 5): MC, MC, T43, MC, MC
Open appearances: 24
Best Result: W (2011)

The current Ryder Cup captain will tee it up for the 25th time at this year’s Open. The 2011 winner (and last win on tour) currently has no form to speak of in the lead up, missing the cut in six of eight tournaments in 2016. Pulling out of the U.S Open due to Ryder Cup commitments, one wouldn’t expect Darren to go far this year.

Colin Montgomerie

Nationality: Scottish
World Ranking: 1587
Odds: $201
Form (Last 5): MC, MC, MC, T64, 70
Open appearances: 21
Best Result: 2nd (2005)

Monty is back! Last competing in the Open in 2010, he had to do it the hard way coming through a 36-hole qualifier at Gailes Links to secure a spot. The Scot made 21 straight Open appearances (1992-2010) and will return to Royal Troon where his father was a club secretary and where he is an honorary member. Monty played the previous two editions of the Open at Troon in 1997 and 2004, finishing 24th and 25th respectively.

MC = Missed Cut
T = Tie

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