It’s The Open Championship, being contested for the 150th time in its storied history. It’s at the Old Course at St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. What else do you need to know to get excited for this weekend in Scotland?
How about the return of Tiger Woods? Or a field that features former great champions, like Stewart Cink, David Duval, Ernie Els, Shane Lowry, and Phil Mickelson. In fact, a total of 18 former champions under the age of 60 are in the field, 40 of the top 50 on the World Golf Rankings are playing, and seven of the top-10 finishers from last year’s Open are here.
Favorites to win The Open Championship
- Rory McIlroy (+900)
- Xander Schauffele (+1400)
- Jon Rahm (+1600)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1600)
- Jordan Spieth (+1600)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1800)
- Justin Thomas (+1800)
- Shane Lowry (+2000)
- Cameron Smith (+2200)
- Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
- Collin Morikawa (+2500)
- Will Zalatoris (+2500)
Rory McIlroy is the favorite as a past The Open Championship champion and someone with five top-fives in his Open career. Not only is he experienced on links golf courses, he’s coming in playing excellent golf, finishing in the top-10 in five of his last seven starts.
Xander Schauffele is the newest winner of the Scottish Open, following up his win at the Travelers. A third-straight win would be legendary, and especially with it coming at the Old Course in the Open Championship. His best finish in this event was T2 in 2018.
There is also Scottie Scheffler, the reigning Masters champion who finished T2 in the U.S. Open. Matthew Fitzpatrick is the U.S. Open champion, and he just finished T6 at the Scottish Open. Jordan Spieth won this event in 2017, was the runner-up last year, and he just finished T10 at the Scottish Open.
And let’s not overlook the defending champion at The Open Championship, Collin Morikawa, who finished fifth at the Masters this year.
Tiger Woods at St. Andrews
There is a very realistic chance that this will be the final time a competitive Tiger Woods tees it up at St. Andrews. He’s paying +6500, so just how competitive he’ll be remains to be seen. But he withdrew from the U.S. Open to protect his health for this tournament and this course. He won here in 2000 and 2005.
In the words of Woods, “I want to be able to give it at least one more run at a high level.”
He played at St. Andrews twice this weekend while other golfers played the Scottish Open, and twice he walked all 18 holes. His playing partner on Sunday, Justin Thomas, observed, “[Woods’] swing still looks as good as ever.”
The only real question about Woods at The Open Championship: will his leg hold up?
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