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The Open Championship: Preview

Royal St. George’s Golf Club will host the Open Championship for the first time in a decade, ending a two-year wait for golf’s oldest major.

The Open Championship tends to offer up surprising results because of the links-style golf courses that are used. 

A decade ago, the winner of the Claret Jug was a teary Darren Clarke. Clarke was ranked 111th in the world at the time, and the champion prior to that in 2003, Ben Curtis, was ranked 396th. 

Must hit the fairway! 

As with all Open Championships, there is one rule every player must abide by, hit the fairway, even though that may not be good enough. 

Getting a bad bounce is a very likely possibility, but that’s a risk worth taking. Any player that is off the mark, will end up needing an extra shot or two to get out of the long grass. 

Hitting the fairway is made even more difficult because of the number of blind tee-shots the players are going to have to take. 

In addition to that, if the wind picks up, or it begins to rain, the course will get even more difficult for the players. 

So much so that the wide fairways will not be wide enough if the elements decide to play a part. Due to the risks, plenty of players may not even pull the driver out of the bag, unless that player is Bryson Dechambeau.  

Rahm the man to beat. 

Jon Rahm will be aiming to be the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to try and follow up a US Open win, with victory at the Open Championship. 

Rahm has been in incredible this year at the golf majors, finishing tied fifth at the Masters, tied eighth at the PGA Championship and winning his first major at the US Open just under a month ago. 

Prior to that victory, he was miles ahead at the Memorial Tournament in which he had to withdraw due to Covid. 

Since the victory at the US Open, Rahm has played one tournament, last week at the Scottish Open, in which he finished two shots behind the winner. 

The Spaniard is currently ranked number two in the world, behind Dustin Johnson, but a good performance at Royal St. George’s Golf Club will change that. 

Although the event will have its ups and downs, with a lot of luck, Rahm could claim back-to-back majors. 

Who else could challenge?  

Short answer, everybody!

The Open is one of the most openly contested majors with so many things that can go wrong on any given round. It is the most unpredictable which is what makes it such an exciting event. 

In recent weeks Australian Lucas Herbert has shown good form by winning the Irish Open, and then finished 4th at the Scottish Open. The prior is a good links course and a reliable precursor for players competing at the Open. 

Former champion Louis Oosthuizen could also go well again. The South African is consistently competing for major titles with runners-up finishes at both the PGA Championship and the US Open, making him an ideal candidate for success. 

Four of the last six major champions have been first time winners, which could bring the likes of Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and even Lee Westwood in with a great chance. 

Alternatively, you could be more likely to win if you just play with Branden Grace in rounds one and two.

An amazing tournament awaits the 156-strong field, and at no other tournament could the statement “anyone can win” be more suitable than at the Open Championship, especially when played at Royal St. George’s.

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