Who’s who at golf’s British Open

HOW THE AUSSIES AND INTERNATIONAL TOP CONTENDERS STACK UP AT THE 2015 BRITISH OPEN

ADAM SCOTT (Aus)

Age: 34

World ranking: 11

Worldwide wins: 24

Best in a major: Win (2013 Masters)

British Opens played: 15

Best British Open: 2nd (2012)

Odds: $21

Why he can win – Scott finished second, tied third and tied fifth in the Open the last three years, the last despite being on the horror side of the draw weather-wise. Went straight into preparation after his best-ever US Open finish (T4) and has master caddie Steve Williams, who helped Tiger Woods to Open wins on the course in 2000 and 2005.

Why he might not – He has been unable to string together four good rounds in 2015. Has blown great title chances in the event previously. In 2012 it was an epic meltdown, with four late bogeys to squander a four-shot lead and in 2014 his troubles came around the turn before being lost in Phil Mickelson’s heroics.

JASON DAY (Aus)

Age: 27

World ranking: 9

Worldwide wins: 4

Best in a major: 2nd (2011 US Open), T2nd (2011 Masters), T2nd (2013 US Open)

British Opens played: 4

Best British Open: T30 (2011)

Odds: $31

Why he can win – Day continues to knock on the door in the big events despite not having claimed a major and despite recent health battles. After a T9 finish in the US Open he now has five top-four finishes in majors and eight top-10s from just 19 starts. Is a great bunker player.

Why he might not – His vertigo worries continue to be a bugbear. May have been able to snatch the US Open if fully fit. Links golf has not been Day’s forte and he has yet to make any waves in this event.

JOHN SENDEN (Aus)

Age: 44

World ranking: 51

Worldwide wins: 6

Best in a major: T4th (2007 PGA Championship)

British Opens played: 8

Best British Open: T34th (2012)

Odds: $251

Why he can win – He’s accurate and consistent and has become more at ease with the major championship spotlight in recent years.

Why he might not – While he has managed top-10 finishes at the other three majors, Senden has not been able to push the buttons at the British Open with his best result a T34 in 2012.

MATT JONES (Aus)

Age: 35

World ranking: 70

Worldwide wins: 1

Best in a major: T40th (2013 PGA Championship)

British Opens played: 1

Best British Open: T54 (2014)

Odds: $251

Why he can win – Jones is having an impressive year with the putter and has two third place finishes this US PGA Tour season after a breakthrough win last year.

Why he might not – Yet to feature in his majors campaigns with three missed cuts and a WD from seven major starts. Needs to believe in himself and keep his frustrations at bay.

MARC LEISHMAN (Aus)

Age: 31

World ranking: 61

Worldwide wins: 1

Best in a major: T4th (2013 Masters)

British Opens played: 4

Best British Open: T5 (2014)

Odds: $151

Why he can win: Showed last year he has what it takes in links golf as he pushed into a tie for fifth to ensure a return visit. Leishman is playing with a great perspective after almost losing his wife to illness. Not afraid of windy conditions.

Why he might not: Leishman continues to be a little wild off the tee, ranked 180th in driving accuracy this year and is 136th in sand saves.

BRETT RUMFORD (Aus)

Age: 38

World ranking: 347

Worldwide wins: 6

Best in a major: T16 (2006 British Open)

British Opens played: 4

Best British Open: T16th (2006)

Odds: $501

Why he can win: Spends his time on the European Tour so he’s comfortable with the conditions. Has won five times on the European Tour so he’s certainly no slouch.

Why he might not: Without good results this year and also had a health scare earlier in the year when he needed part of his intestines removed. It has meant only two starts since, a missed cut and a WD.

GEOFF OGILVY (Aus)

Age: 38

World ranking: 106

Worldwide wins: 10

Best in a major: WIN (2006 US Open)

British Opens played: 11

Best British Open: T5th (2005)

Odds: $201

Why he can win – Is actually hitting the ball reasonably well despite mediocre results because of poor putting. A proven major winner, Ogilvy can also think back to the 2005 Open at St Andrews when he tied fifth.

Why he might not – His putting continues to desert him. While he was able to muster a T18 finish at the US Open it came on greens everyone struggled on. Has two top-10s at British Opens but also seven missed cuts.

MARCUS FRASER (Aus)

Age: 36

World ranking: 161

Worldwide wins: 2

Best in a major: T35 (2006 British Open)

British Opens played: 4

Best British Open: T35 (2006)

Odds: $401

Why he can win – Makes his living on the European Tour and is no stranger to St Andrews. Can putt the dots off the ball so if he can overcome his lack of distance and bring his best short game he can be in the mix.

Why he might not – Has yet to get the runs on the board in majors and has a distinct disadvantage in distance to most players.

STEVEN BOWDITCH (Aus)

Age: 32

World ranking: 62

Worldwide wins: 2

Best in a major: T26 (2014 Masters)

British Opens played: 1

Best British Open: CUT (2003)

Odds: $251

Why he can win – Can go on a birdie blitz with the best of them. Proved he’s no one-hit wonder by winning his second US PGA Tour title in May.

Why he might not – This represents just his fourth start in a major and his only British Open since he was a fresh faced 21-year-old. Has to get past the awe factor of St Andrews.

ROD PAMPLING (Aus)

Age: 45

World ranking: 186

Worldwide wins: 2

Best in a major: T5 (2005 Masters)

British Opens played: 7

Best British Open: T27 (2004, 2007)

Odds: $751

Why he can win – Darren Clarke proved a few years back that a cagey veteran can still get it done at the Open. Pampling has a win on the secondary tour in the USA this year so brings some confidence and form.

Why he might not – While he has played 25 majors, Pampling has seen action in just two in the last five and a half years. His last British Open came in 2009 and the last time he made the cut in this event was 2007.

GREG CHALMERS (Aus)

Age: 41

World ranking: 219

Worldwide wins: 5

Best in a major: T4 (20 PGA Championship)

British Opens played: 2

Best British Open: T45 (2012)

Odds: $501

Why he can win – Chalmers is one of the best putters in the world so if he can snake some long ones in then who knows. Can play wind golf if conditions get tough.

Why he might not – Lacks distance of the big guns and hasn’t seen a major since 2012. A T4 in 2000 at the PGA is the only finish of note in nine major starts.

SCOTT HEND (Aus)

Age: 42

World ranking: 134

Worldwide wins: 6

Best in a major: T32 (2006 US Open)

British Opens played: 1

Best British Open: CUT (2005)

Odds: $401

Why he can win – A scrappy fighter who will give his all no matter the occasion. Has proven he can win tournaments around the world. Two top-fives on European tour this year.

Why he might not – Has just one British Open appearance, also at St Andrews in 2005, where he missed the cut.

ADAM BLAND (Aus)

Age: 32

World ranking: 224

Worldwide wins: 1

Best in a major: CUT (2006 British Open)

British Opens played: 1

Best British Open: CUT (2011)

Odds: $501

Why he can win – Brings some form out of Japan having won the Japan PGA Championship earlier this year.

Why he might not – Huge step up in class. Has played just the one major, the British Open of 2006 where he missed the cut.

SCOTT STRANGE (Aus)

Age: 38

World ranking: 325

Worldwide wins: 4

Best in a major: CUT (2008 British Open, 2008 PGA Championship)

British Opens played: 1

Best British Open: CUT (2008)

Odds: $751

Why he can win – Has a couple of top-fives this year in Japan, one of which claimed his place in the Open. Has nothing to lose.

Why he might not – While he has proven his class in the past, winning twice on the European Tour, it has been a while between drinks and he hasn’t played a major since 2008.

SCOTT ARNOLD (Aus)

Age: 29

World ranking: 631

Worldwide wins: 0

Best in a major: On debut

British Opens played: On debut

Best British Open: On debut

Odds: $751

Why he can win – Well you have to be in it to win it. While an absolute longshot Arnold does play on the secondary tour in Europe and was once briefly ranked the best amateur golfer in the world.

Why he might not – Never played a major. Isn’t a regular on a top tour. Has been inside top 30 in all five Challenge Tour starts this year but no better that T16th.

RORY MCILROY (NIR)

Age: 26

World ranking: 1

Worldwide wins: 18

Best result in a major: 4 Wins (2011 US Open, 2012, 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 British Open)

British Opens played: 7

Best British Open: WON (2014)

Odds: $8.50

Why he can win: The defending champion and world No.1 is rightful favorite despite Jordan Spieth’s heroics this year. Has the power and finesse to tame St Andrews. Shot 63 to open the 2010 Open at St Andrews before a blow out 80 in tough conditions and was still third.

Why he might not: He might not even start after injuring an ankle ligament playing soccer with friends.

JORDAN SPIETH (USA)

Age: 21

World ranking: 2

Worldwide wins: 4

Best result in a major: WON (2015 Masters, 2015 US Open)

British Opens played: 2

Best British Open: T36th (2014)

Odds: $6.50

Why he can win – Isn’t it obvious? Speith has taken out the year’s opening two majors and is now on the hunt to become the first player to complete the modern grand slam. Has confidence in bucketloads and the game to match.

Why he might not – The pressure is immense. The last man to win the US Open and British Open the same season was Tiger Woods in 2000. The list of other players to do this double in the same year is small and exclusive and only Ben Hogan had also already won the Masters.

JUSTIN ROSE (Eng)

Age: 34

World ranking: 8

Worldwide wins: 14

Best in a major: Win (2013 US Open)

British Opens played: 13

Best British Open: T4 (1998)

Odds: $19

Why he can win – His T27 at the recent US Open is his worst result in the last six majors. A prolific ball striker who was second at the Masters, he has a huge desire to salute in his home major.

Why he might not – He has famously struggled in this event since his breakout teenage debut in 1998 as an amateur. Has missed three of the last five cuts in the Open.

BUBBA WATSON (USA)

Age: 36

World ranking: 3

Worldwide wins: 8

Best result in a major: 2 Wins (Masters 2012, 2014)

British Opens played: 6

Best British Open: T23 (2012)

Odds: $31

Why he can win – Bubba is one of the most creative out because he can shape the ball unlike anyone else and pound it a mile. He continues to win tournaments, most recently last month.

Why he might not – There might just be a little too much trouble lurking for Watson as he tries to navigate the Old Course. Reining in his power has always been a problem. Has yet to break into the top 20 at the British Open.

DUSTIN JOHNSON (USA)

Age: 31

World Ranking: 4

Worldwide wins: 9

Best in a Major: T2nd (2011 British Open, 2015 US Open)

British Opens played: 6

Best British Open: T2 (2011)

Odds: $13

Why he can win: Came agonisingly close at the US Open where he had a 12-foot eagle putt to win his first major but three-putted to miss a playoff. A power hitter with enormous natural ability.

Why he might not: The demons are well and truly around Johnson at the majors. Has lost a few big chances now in different ways. Shooting a final round 80, being penalised for grounding a club in a bunker, hitting a ball out of bounds late and then his infamous recent three-putt.

RICKIE FOWLER (USA)

Age: 26

World Ranking: 5

Worldwide wins: 3

Best in a Major: T2nd (2014 US Open, 2014 British Open)

British Opens played: 5

Best British Open: T2 (2014)

Odds: $26

Why he can win: Was inside the top five of all 2014 majors and T12 at the Masters this year before winning the Players Championship. Battled McIlroy last year before finishing runner-up.

Why he might not: The Players Championship represented a big moment for Fowler and his closing ability but will he be able to replicate when its a major on the line.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN (SAF)

Age: 32

World ranking: 17

Worldwide wins: 12

Best result in a major: WON (2010 British Open)

British Opens played: 8

Best British Open: WON (2010)

Odds: $23

Why he can win – Blitzed the field on the way to victory in the last Open at St Andrews in 2010 and finished runner-up at the US Open so brings plenty of form.

Why he might not – While he has the 2010 British Open win, his other seven starts have been basically forgettable. His play depends on his troublesome back holding up.

HENRIK STENSON (Swe)

Age: 39

World ranking: 7

Worldwide wins: 16

Best in a major: 2nd (2013 British Open)

British Opens played: 10

Best British Open: 2nd (2013)

Odds: $21

Why he can win: Has not been outside the top 40 in the last 10 majors with a runner-up, two thirds and a tie for 4th in the same span. Has been second and third twice in previous British Opens, with a T3 coming in 2010 at St Andrews.

Why he might not: Is carrying the burden of expectation to become the first Swedish major winner and hasn’t been able to close out in the big ones when he’s had a handful of good chances.

TIGER WOODS (USA)

Age: 39

World ranking: 241

Worldwide wins: 91

Best result in a major: 14 Wins (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 Masters; 2000, 2002, 2008 US Open; 2000, 2005, 2006 British Opens; 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007 PGA Championship)

British Opens played: 18

Best British Open: Win (2000, 2005, 2006)

Odds: $29

Why he can win: His history at St Andrews is the only thing getting him a look in as a contender as recent form has been appalling. But wins in 2000 and 2005 at the home of golf show he knows the place. If he was to make a huge turnaround, it might make sense for it to be here.

Why he might not: Playing like the proverbial busted despite his best score under par in 18 months recently at the Greenbrier. Battling to make cuts, and missing most of them. No longer the mental hurdle for others he once was. Hasn’t won a major in over seven years.

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