Royal Liverpool will play host to the world’s best golfers this week, with the 151st Open Championship taking place at Hoylake for the 12th time.
The Claret Jug is the target for the 156-man field teeing it up on Thursday and we have taken a look at the top five players to follow.
|What||The Open Championship|
|Where||Royal Liverpool, Hoylake|
|When||Thursday 20th - Sunday 23rd July|
|How to watch||bet365's Live Golf Tracker & Sky Sports|
|Odds||Rory McIlroy 7/1, Scottie Scheffler 15/2, Jon Rahm 11/1, Cameron Smith 14/1, Brooks Koepka 18/1|
When trying to select a winner for a Major, current form and course form are two of the main stats to be considered and McIlroy will head both of those lists this week.
The Northern Irishman won the Claret Jug the last time the event was held at Royal Liverpool, claiming a two-shot victory back in 2014.
McIlroy also goes into this year’s tournament off the back of a victory, after a sensational finish to claim the Scottish Open title last week.
Including that win at Hoylake, his last seven Open Championship finishes read 1-T5-T4-T2-CUT-T46-T3 and another challenge looks high likely this time around.
His strategy worked perfectly nine years ago and with McIlroy heading the PGA Tour in Driving Distance, he may be able to take full advantage of shorter irons into some of the greens.
Having won the 2019 Open, Lowry has showed the consistency of a world top-30 player and looks to have a very good chance this week.
Since mid-February, Lowry has claimed eight top-20 finishes on the PGA Tour and finished in a tie for 12th in last week’s Scottish Open.
Since lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush, Lowry has finished T12 and T21 at the Open and he will relish the challenge of wind and rain this week.
The Irishman ranks 13th in the PGA Tour Approach to Green stats and his solid iron play could be a big factor at Royal Liverpool.
The American has an impressive record in The Open without yet getting his hands on the Claret Jug, could this be the year for Fowler?
Despite his dip in form over the last couple of years, the man from California has always enjoyed his trips to the UK and playing in The Open.
Fowler has made 11 appearances since 2010, missed just one cut in 2013, and recorded three top-10 finishes and four top-30s.
The 34-year-old heads to Hoylake having got back to winning ways early this month, with victory in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and off the back of steady performance at the Scottish Open - when he carded three sub-70 rounds.
The last time The Open was played at Royal Liverpool, Fowler finished two shots behind McIlroy in a tie for second.
The world number one has won twice on the PGA Tour this year and is looking for his second career Major championship.
This is just the third Open appearance for Scheffler, who has shown some good signs on the links, with T8 finish in 2021 and T21 last year.
The 27-year-old has an incredible record in the Majors, having recorded top-10 finishes in nine of his last 12 appearances.
Scheffler goes into this week’s tournament after a T3 finish at the Scottish Open, where a final round 70 saw him five shots behind the winner.
The 2022 Masters winner currently leads the PGA Tour in Off The Tee and Approach to Green stats, as well as Greens In Regulation.
There wouldn’t be a more popular winner than Tommy Fleetwood this week, with the home crowd being fully behind the man from Merseyside.
Having been brought up on the North West coastline links, Fleetwood will have high hopes this week that he can end his wait for a Major title.
The Open has always looked like the best chance for the 32-year-old, who finished tied-sixth at the Scottish Open last week.
A third-round 63 at the Renaissance Club showed the type of form Fleetwood is in, as he looks to win the Claret Jug at the ninth time of asking.
In eight previous appearances, Fleetwood has recorded two top-five finishes, one top-15 and one top-30 finish.
He has also shone on the PGA Tour since the turn of the year, with no fewer than five top-10 finishes to his name in his last 11 appearances in the US.