Chances run deep at 2015 Open Championship
The Open returns to St. Andrews for the 29th time for the 144th feature of golf’s oldest championship.
Rory McIlroy’s injury and Jordan Spieth’s stellar run of form adds an interesting spectre to this year’s Open Championship. With wins in the first two majors and coming off a victory on Sunday at the John Deere Classic, Spieth will attract the most attention as he goes in search of the ‘slam’.
St Andrews is home to the 2015 Open Championship
But there are plenty of challenges Spieth will face at St Andrews.
Rickie Fowler is one of the world’s best links players. He was runner-up at Royal Liverpool last year and knows how to play the game especially when the wind gets up.
Links golf is a very different style of golf with unpredictable bounces off both fairways and greens commonplace and the challenges of a course like St. Andrews are an acquired taste, especially when the wind blows from different directions.
Fowler posted a final round 67 at the Old Course to finish T-14 at the 2010 Open Championship. The 26-year-old heads to this week’s Open Championship in the best possible form after capturing the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane for his second victory of the season.
He was a top-5 finisher in each of the four majors in 2014 and whilst the majors in 2015 have not netted the same results, with a tied for 12th at the Masters before a first-round 81 led to a missed cut at the US Open, Fowler thrives on events of this nature.
Keep an eye out for South Africa’s Branden Grace. He was in contention at the US Open until a pushed tee shot out of bounds on the 16th put an end to his chances of claiming his first major, yet Grace has the low ball flight to battle the links.
He won the 2012 Dunhill Cup at St Andrews and has won twice this season in Europe. His best finish at The Open is tied 36th last year.
Henrik Stenson is due for a major and his best chances have come at The Open when in 2013 at Muirfield the Swede finished in a tie for 3rd.
With three career top-5′s at this championship, Stenson is bound to feature. He was runner-up at the BMW International Open in his preparation for The Open and with that, Stenson brings some momentum to St Andrews.
Adam Scott has been at St. Andrews since Wednesday preparing. Steve Williams is back on the bag and a nice Sunday run at the US Open reminded these two why they work so well together.
Scott plans his year around the majors and while his play has not been spectacular of late, three consecutive top-5 finishes at these championships including the near miss in 2012 proves Scott is a threat.
When The Open was last played at St. Andrews in 2010, Scott finished in 27th place and given that he’s won the Masters and been a constant factor at the championship since then, he’s got as good a chance as any this week.
Fourteen other Aussies tee up for the year’s third major in what promises to be a cracking tournament.
Jason Day, John Senden, Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Geoff Ogilvy, Matt Jones, Marcus Fraser, Greg Chalmers, Scott Hend, Scott Arnold, Brett Rumford, Adam Bland, Rod Pampling and Scott Strange make up the Australian contingent.