For the primary time in his profession, at this Open, Spain’s Jon Rahm will tee off at a significant championship on Thursday morning with out the burden of getting by no means gained one.
After profitable his first ultimately month’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Rahm will try and turn into solely the seventh participant — and simply the second in practically 4 a long time — to win the U.S. Open and The Open in the identical yr at Royal St. George’s.
“Yeah, I am often fairly good in golf historical past,” Rahm stated this week of the uncommon feat. “I do know Tiger has finished it. May need been possibly Ben Hogan has finished it, too, and never many extra. I am assuming Jack. Jack is at all times in all of these lists. It will be fairly unbelievable to win each Opens in a single yr. It will be wonderful.”
Truly, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer by no means did it.
Tiger Woods was the final participant to do it, in 2000, and Tom Watson earlier than that in 1982. The others — Bobby Jones (1926 and 1930), Gene Sarazen (1932), Ben Hogan (1953) and Lee Trevino (1971) — occurred at the very least a half-century in the past.
“A minimum of I did have a way of aid after profitable the primary main,” Rahm stated. “I felt like for the higher a part of 5 years, all I heard is main, main, main simply because I used to be taking part in good golf, as if it was straightforward to win a significant championship.”
Leap to a tier:
Tier I: Guys who can win | Tier II: If every thing goes proper | Tier III: Miracles occur | Tier IV: Joyful to make the reduce | Tier V: The qualifiers | Tier VI: The amateurs
Tier I: The blokes who can win
Listed here are the legit contenders to win the The Open. They’ve the video games, guts and nerves to deal with 4 pressure-packed rounds on Royal St. George’s tough setup.
The Spaniard will go for back-to-back main championship wins after claiming his first on the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. His finest end at The Open was a tie for eleventh at Royal Portrush in 2019. He would turn into solely the seventh participant to win the U.S. Open and The Open in the identical yr.
The four-time main winner used to appear unflappable on Sundays, however not recently. Since profitable his final main title on the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, the place he practically squandered a 7-shot lead with a final-round 74, he has matched that rating over the ultimate 18 holes in three of the six majors by which he made the reduce.
The newly married Schauffele ending within the prime 10 of a significant is changing into as predictable as Koepka rolling his eyes at you-know-who. He tied for seventh at Torrey Pines, his ninth top-10 in 17 main begins. He’s now the highest-ranked participant on the planet with out a main championship win.
DJ returns to the scene of one in all his most forgettable moments in a significant championship. Within the 2011 Open at Royal St. George’s, he trimmed Darren Clarke’s result in 2 pictures with 5 holes to play. Then he knocked his second shot on No. 14 out of bounds. Clarke gained by 3 strokes.
Spieth definitely had his struggles over the previous couple of years, however not on the The Open. He gained at Royal Birkdale in 2017 and his 2.5 strokes gained common is tied with Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson for finest at The Open since 2015.
Reed was tenth at Royal Portrush, his lone top-10 in six Open begins. He shook issues up earlier than the U.S. Open, shifting longtime teacher Kevin Kirk again to a full-time function, with David Leadbetter serving as a advisor.
The South African completed runner-up in six majors since profitable the 2010 Open at St. Andrews, together with a solo second at Torrey Pines and tie for second behind Phil Mickelson on the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Solely seven gamers have completed runner-up in a significant extra instances than Oosthuizen — Jack Nicklaus (19), Mickelson (11), Arnold Palmer (10), Tom Watson (eight), Sam Snead (eight), Greg Norman (eight) and J.H. Taylor (seven).
McIlroy hasn’t gained a significant championship in seven years; he gained two consecutive in 2014 at The Open at Royal Liverpool, the place he beat Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia by 2 pictures, and the PGA Championship at Valhalla. He was in rivalry on Sunday at Torrey Pines, an indication that his work with swing coach Pete Cowen is paying off.
He has been baffled by The Open in three profession begins, lacking two cuts and tying for 51st at Carnoustie in 2018. His grip-it-and-rip-it technique has by no means been examined on a hyperlinks course. Brian Zeigler, an teacher at Dallas Nationwide, will probably be on DeChambeau’s bag after he parted methods with longtime caddie Tim Tucker earlier than the Rocket Mortgage Traditional in Detroit.
JT’s finest end at The Open was a tie for eleventh at Royal Portrush two years in the past. His type hasn’t been nice all summer season; he did not have a top-10 end in seven Tour begins since profitable the Gamers Championship in March.
The 24-year-old with 4 PGA Tour wins will probably be making his first Open begin. Final week’s look on the Scottish Open was his first occasion on European soil.
Fleetwood has made it clear that he desires to win The Open greater than every other match on the planet. He was solo second at Royal Portrush two years in the past, ending six pictures behind Shane Lowry.
Hovland flew to Europe after the U.S. Open, gained the BMW Worldwide Open in Munich (the primary victory by a Norwegian on the European Tour) after which performed a spherical in entrance of a pair hundred onlookers in his native Norway after somebody posted a screenshot of his tee time on social media. It is his first begin at The Open.
Cantlay tied for fifteenth within the U.S. Open and tied for twenty third within the PGA Championship. His finest end at The Open was a tie for twelfth at Carnoustie in 2018.
Hatton missed the reduce in 5 of eight Open begins, however tied for sixth at Royal Portrush and tied for fifth at Royal Troon in 2016. He’s amongst a handful of gamers making an attempt to turn into England’s first Open winner since Nick Faldo in 1992, and the primary Englishman to win on English soil since Tony Jacklin at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1969.
The 25-year-old Texan will probably be making his Open debut. He tied for nineteenth in his first begin on the Masters and tied for fourth in his debut on the PGA Championship.
The 43-year-old Englishman hasn’t been a lot of an element at The Open since ending in a tie for third at St. Andrews in 2010. He tied for eleventh at Royal Birkdale 4 years in the past.
He missed the reduce within the U.S. Open, however completed within the prime 10 in 9 of his earlier 14 begins in majors. Finau was solo third at Royal Portrush — eight pictures again of Lowry — his second straight top-10 at The Open.
The Irishman has had the Claret Jug for practically two years — 724 days to be precise — since his dominant victory at Royal Portrush. He’ll attempt to turn into the primary back-to-back Open winner since Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 2008.
Ancer missed the reduce in his first two Open begins, however he has steadily improved in majors. He is correct off the tee and does an excellent job of avoiding bogeys, which can come in useful on Royal St. George’s tough setup.
One other Englishman with aspirations of profitable a Claret Jug at house, Rose completed within the prime 25 in 9 of his earlier 18 Open begins. He missed the reduce at Royal St. George’s in 2003 and tied for forty fourth there in 2011.
Berger made the reduce in one in all his earlier three Open begins — he tied for twenty seventh at Royal Birkdale in 2017 — however his elite iron play and scrambling means would possibly give him an opportunity this week.
Leishman, who makes his house in Virginia Seashore, will characterize Australia within the Olympics. He was runner-up to Zach Johnson on the 2015 Open Championship.
Simpson had made the reduce in 16 consecutive begins in majors earlier than failing to take action on the U.S. Open final month. He tied for sixteenth on the 2011 Open at Royal St. George’s.
The Australian has made the reduce in 15 of 20 Open begins, together with a solo second at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012 and a tie for third at Muirfield in 2013.
The Englishman had fairly the weekend, making it to a playoff for the Scottish Open — he did not win — after which flying to London to observe England play Italy within the UEFA Euro 2020 ultimate at Wembley Stadium. The 26-year-old has only one top-10 end in 23 begins in majors as a professional.
The South African tied for sixth within the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale, when he grew to become the primary participant to shoot 62 in a spherical at any main. On the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, he led the sphere in strokes gained tee to inexperienced and tied for seventh.
Tier II: If every thing goes proper
Listed here are the sleeper candidates to carry the Claret Jug on Sunday. The record consists of former winners, rising stars and different gamers whose video games have been works in progress thus far this season. Will all of it come collectively this week?
The Englishman was world No. 1 for 22 mixed weeks a few decade in the past, and he has a reasonably robust monitor file in majors with 19 top-10s. However until Westwood wins the Claret Jug this week, he’ll set a doubtful file with 88 begins in majors with out a victory, probably the most in golf historical past.
The Australian completed tied for twentieth at Royal Portrush two years in the past, his finest end in three Open begins.
The previous Georgia star has made the reduce in each one in all his begins in a significant since 2015, together with a solo fourth and solo third up to now two U.S. Opens.
Kokrak has two PGA Tour wins this season, however his efficiency in majors hasn’t been nice with only one end inside the highest 49 in his previous six begins.
Few gamers have been higher than Harman this season; he has made the reduce in 20 of 23 begins, with 5 top-10s and 11 top-25s.
The 2013 Open at Muirfield winner additionally completed solo second at Royal Troon three years later.
The Scotsman was the 2019 European Tour Rookie of the 12 months and tied for sixth on the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush. He grew up taking part in hyperlinks programs, however wants to enhance his iron play.
Henley had at the very least a share of the lead within the first three rounds on the U.S. Open, earlier than a closing 5-over 76 dropped him right into a tie for thirteenth.
The 2018 Open winner appeared to fall off the map after his final-round collapse on the 2019 Masters, however the Italian has performed higher this season, together with a tie for thirteenth on the U.S. Open.
The Chilean will make his second Open begin after lacking the reduce at Royal Portrush.
The previous LSU star will make his Open debut a few week earlier than his Twenty fifth birthday.
The Canadian is a ball-striking machine, rating within the prime 10 on Tour in pictures gained off the tee and pictures gained strategy to the inexperienced.
Horschel, the Twenty fifth-ranked participant on the planet, has struggled on hyperlinks programs, lacking the reduce in 5 of his earlier six Open begins.
He rebounded from a forgettable stretch of play with back-to-back top-10s, a tie for fifth on the Vacationers Championship and tie for eighth on the Rocket Mortgage Traditional.
The Englishman was runner-up to Harrington at Royal Birkdale in 2008; he missed the reduce at Royal St. George’s in 2011 and was forty sixth in 2003.
The 41-year-old Spaniard has 10 top-10s in 18 Open begins, together with a solo second at Carnoustie in 2007 and tie for second at Royal Liverpool in 2014.
The 2019 U.S. Open champion has only one top-25 in his earlier eight Open begins.
The ball-striking sensation cooled off significantly since a tie for eighth on the PGA Championship in Might, tying for 59th on the Charles Schwab Problem, lacking the reduce on the U.S. Open and ending 77th on the Rocket Mortgage Traditional.
5 years after his Open win at Royal Troon, Stenson’s type hasn’t been nice recently, lacking the reduce in 10 of 17 begins on tour. However the Swede has a fantastic monitor file in The Open, which additionally features a solo second at Muirfield in 2013 and a pair of ties for third.
The Italian was runner-up 3 times on the European Tour this season and tied for fourth on the U.S. Open in his main championship debut.
His type (and again) wasn’t nice earlier than posting back-to-back top-15s on the Vacationers Championship and Rocket Mortgage Traditional. He has one top-10 in 9 Open begins.
Higgo, from South Africa, gained twice in Europe and once more in his second PGA Tour begin on the Palmetto Championship.
The South African missed the reduce in his solely earlier Open begin at Royal Portrush.
Perez was born in France, attended the College of New Mexico and now lives in Dundee, Scotland. He gained the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Hyperlinks Championship.
Tier III: Hey, miracles occur
They’re the lengthy pictures. This tier consists of an growing old former champion, gamers nonetheless looking for their type and a few first-timers.
Byeong Hun An
He lastly gained in his 478th begin on the European Tour after which grew to become the oldest participant, at age 48, to guide the U.S. Open on the midway level.
There are indicators that he’s lastly turning issues round — a tie for eighth on the PGA Championship and tie for eleventh on the Memorial.
The 2-time Open champion hasn’t made the reduce in his previous three begins — however he tied for fourth on the PGA Championship.
He tied for seventeenth at each the Gamers Championship and PGA Championship. He made the reduce in every of his earlier 4 Open begins.
He made the reduce in 4 of his earlier 5 Open begins, together with three ties for thirtieth.
Erik van Rooyen
Harold Varner III
Varner will make his second Open begin after he was added to the sphere on Sunday. He took the place of Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who was pressured to withdraw due to a current COVID-19 analysis.
Tier IV: Joyful to make the reduce
They are not anticipated to be among the many contenders until one thing magical occurs on the Kent shoreline.
The 38-year-old South African final performed in The Open at Turnberry in 2009.
The 2-time Open champion completed in a tie for thirty second at Royal Portrush on the age of 49.
The fifth time was the appeal for the 26-year-old Englishman, who birdied the final three holes to win a 36-hole ultimate qualifier, his fifth try at making The Open subject.
Born in South Korea and raised in Hawaii, Kim certified for the Open by profitable the 2019 Japan Open.
Richard T Lee
Min Woo Lee
Nagano, 33, was ranked 1,010th on the planet when he completed solo second in Might’s Mizuno Open to qualify for the Open Championship.
At 6-foot-9, Thomson was the tallest participant in European Tour historical past when he grew to become a member in 2017.
Daniel Van Tonder
Tier V: Amateurs
Listed here are the novice gamers who will try and do what stars corresponding to McIlroy, Rose, Tiger Woods and so many others did at The Open earlier than turning professional — profitable a silver medal because the low novice.
Deliver, from Denmark, gained the European Newbie Championship in France in June. The previous College of Texas star’s rating of 20-under 264 was one shy of the match file set by Carl Pettersson in 2000.
Hammer, who will return for his senior season at Texas, is ranked the No. 8 novice on the planet. He missed the reduce in two U.S. Open begins.
The 23-year-old Englishman gained the British Newbie, after trailing by 8 after 17 holes of the 36-hole match. In consequence, he certified for the Open Championship and subsequent yr’s Masters and U.S. Open.