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Your complete guide to every player in the 2024 British Open field at Royal Troon

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Your complete guide to every player in the 2024 British Open field at Royal Troon

The full field for The Open, including their world ranking, Major record, performance at past Opens, and odds for Royal Troon in 2024.

The 152nd Open Championship is nearly upon us and we are set for a classic. Brian Harman will defend the Claret Jug he won in such imperious, if slightly unlikely, fashion 12 months ago at Royal Liverpool. He will face, among others, a high-class trio of 2024 major champions that includes the World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, elite tournament specialist Xander Schauffele and the in-form Bryson DeChambeau. There are some big names who won’t be in the field this year.

Can Rory McIlroy finally break his major drought, fresh off the agony of his near-miss in the US Open? Will Tommy Fleetwood bounce back from Open disappointment at Royal Portrush in 2019 and Hoylake last year? Can Jon Rahm overcome a period of off-the-course turbulence and on-the-course poor form? Might Ludvig Åberg be inspired at the site of his nation’s only male major championship win eight years ago (when Henrik Stenson sensationally out-duelled Phil Mickelson)? There are storylines aplenty.

The Open is a unique challenge. Who has form on the linksland and who doesn’t like it? Who thrives on the greatest stages and who shrinks on them? Let’s find out as we profile the entire field, player by player.

Ludvig Aberg makes his Open debut at Royal Troon

Ludvig Åberg

World ranking: 4

Major record: 2 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 16/1

It’s not quite a year (13 months rather than 12) but the Swede is pretty much about to complete one of the greatest first year’s as a professional by any golfer. The 24-year-old has won in Europe, starred in the Ryder Cup, won in the States, finished second in his Masters debut and was the halfway leader at the US Open ahead of finishing T12. All of it achieved with a breezy, speedy nonchalance that is a joy to watch. His professional links experience is limited to a missed cut in the Scottish Open last year but, as an elite driver of the ball, Royal Troon should suit him from the tee.

Byeong Hun An

World ranking: 30

Major record: 30 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-26-MC-59-MC-51-32-26-23

Odds: 100/1

The Korean did record his Open high 12 months ago, and then equal his major championship best with T16 at the Masters in April, but that’s about as good as it gets in the majors for him. The winner of the 2015 BMW PGA Championship and a nine-time top three finisher on the PGA Tour, he’s clearly good enough to land a top 10 at this level but it’s proved beyond him so far.

Abraham Ancer

World ranking: 346

Major record: 18 starts, 2 top 10

Open record: MC-MC-59-11-49

Odds: 125/1

A first major championship start of the season for the Mexican who landed a first LIV title in Hong Kong earlier this year, to add to his sole PGA Tour victory in the 2021 WGC St Jude Invitational. He carded a final round 65 to land T11 in the 2022 Open at St Andrews. His two major top 10s came in the PGA Championship.

Mason Andersen

World ranking: 153

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 1000/1

The young American qualified for his debut with victory in the Argentina Open, his first on the Korn Ferry Tour, and afterwards stressed that he’d enjoyed Scottish seaside turf at the 2018 Amateur Championship. He didn’t add that he’d not reached the match play stages, however.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout

World ranking: 39

Major record: 15 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-53-68-49

Odds: 150/1

The South African has not only never recorded a top 10 finish in a major, he’s yet to finish better than T30. It’s a record that doesn’t reflect his potential. He’s had a fine year both sides of the Atlantic but, in 18 starts on the British and Irish linksland, he’s managed just two top 20s with a best of T16 in the 2022 Scottish Open.

Akshay Bhatia hopes to win his first Major at Royal Troon

Akshay Bhatia

World ranking: 29

Major record: 4 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 150/1

It was during Open week last year that the 22-year-old Californian took his career to the next level, but it happened in his home state, with victory in the opposite field Barracuda Championship, rather than on the Wirral. He added a second PGA Tour win in the Texas Open a week before the Masters and was impressive when T16 in June’s US Open. As an amateur he won two of his three matches in the 2019 Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool.

Alexander Björk

World ranking: 101

Major record: 8 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-MC-MC-41

Odds: 250/1

Last year’s T41 at Royal Liverpool was an improvement on the Swede’s first four visits to the championship, but it also wasn’t difficult after four missed cuts. He’s also had long term British and Irish seaside woes with a best of only T16 from 21 starts.

Denwit Boriboonsub

World ranking: 384

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 1000/1

The Thai 20-year-old claimed a remarkable hat trick of wins in December on the Asian Development, Thailand and Asian Tours. Then his third place finish in the Malaysian Open two months later earned him a first major championship start.

Dan Bradbury

World ranking: 253

Major record: 1 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 300/1

The Joburg Open has been kind to the Yorkshireman. In late 2022, when ranked 1397 in the world, he gained a late invitation before going wire-to-wire for a maiden DP World Tour victory. Twelve months on, he finished third to earn a qualifying spot for a second Open appearance, one year on from a missed cut in Hoylake.

Keegan Bradley

World ranking: 19

Major record: 44 starts, 4 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 34-15-19-MC-18-79-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 125/1

Although the 38-year-old won the PGA Championship on his first-ever appearance in a major and was third on defence, he has logged just two top 10s since then. Nor is his Open record very good but he should be encouraged by this year’s venue. Eight years ago he was third at halfway in Troon before slipping back to T18, one of many in the field to be blown away by Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson.

Daniel Brown

World ranking: 268

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

A first-time winner on the DP World Tour last year, the Yorkshireman has done little on the British and Irish links but he was second on a links-like course in Mauritius in December and fourth at St Francis Links in South Africa earlier this year.

Dean Burmester

World ranking: 113

Major record: 9 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 40-11

Odds: 75/1

The South African experienced real difficulties with links golf in his early years on the DP World Tour. In fact, he landed just one top 25 in his first 13 starts. But since then he’s recorded four consecutive top 12 finishes including T11 at the 150th Open on the Old Course. He’s on fire form-wise with back-to-back wins on the DP World Tour late last year, victory in LIV Miami and an impressive T12 in May’s PGA Championship.

Sam Burns

World ranking: 26

Major record: 17 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: 76-42-MC

Odds: 70/1

It was becoming comical how bad the Louisiana man had been in the majors with T20 in the 2022 PGA Championship his best finish in 17 attempts ahead of this year’s US Open at Pinehurst. You sense, therefore, that he breathed a huge sigh of relief when up-and-down rounds of 73-67-73-67 secured a share of ninth. Just to add to the curiosity it’s not as if he’s never excelled at elite level elsewhere because he won the 2023 WGC Dell Match Play and lost a play-off in the 2021 WGC St Jude.

Jorge Campillo

World ranking: 118

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 300/1

Major championship golf has proved to be a mystery to the Spaniard and he is yet to even play a weekend at one. He also struggles on Scottish linksland with just two top 20s in 25 stroke play starts on them (he’s also got only four in 34 in all of GB&I).

Laurie Canter

World ranking: 120

Major record: 5 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC-37-79-17

Odds: 150/1

The some-time LIV performer from Bristol finally made a winning breakthrough on the main tours with victory in June’s European Open and he’ll be looking to build on an excellent top 20 in last year’s championship.

Patrick Cantlay is hunting his first Major win at Royal Troon

Patrick Cantlay

World ranking: 8

Major record: 30 starts, 5 top 10s

Open record: 12-41-MC-8-33

Odds: 30/1

Spending all week in the top three when third at the US Open might prove vital for the American’s on-going quest for a first major championship title. Because although he’s quite obviously a world class performer (one good enough to win the 2021 FedEx Cup), he has struggled to gain experience contending never mind winning at the highest level. His two best Open efforts are a case in point: eighth in 2022 but eight shots off the pre-final round lead and T12 in 2018 when T28 with 18 holes to play. Asked at St Andrews if he’s ever thought to change his major prep he blankly (and typically) replied: “No change, just golf as usual.”

John Catlin

World ranking: 167

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 200/1

The 33-year-old American used three minor tour and four main tour wins in Asia to vault himself to the DP World Tour where he landed three titles in 2020 and 2021. His form dipped afterwards but two wins in Asia earlier this year earned him a substitute to LIV Golf. He’s yet to make the cut in a major.

Alex Cejka

World ranking: 4502

Major record: 24 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: 11-MC-MC-13-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The German won last year’s Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl in miserable conditions, overcoming a double bogey at the first hole of his final round and a play-off against Padraig Harrington to do so.

Stewart Cink

World ranking: 279

Major record: 88 starts, 10 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-MC-3-41-30-59-34-14-MC-MC-6-MC-1-48-30-MC-26-47-20-MC-24-20-MC-MC-23

Odds: 250/1

The 2009 Champion Party Pooper of the Year (he defeated 59-year-old Tom Watson in a play-off) now splits his time between the main tour and the Champions Tour. He continues to defy age, however, finishing top 30 in June’s Canadian Open and he’s been regularly plotting his way into that range in this championship since his triumph 15 years ago.

Wyndham Clark

World ranking: 5

Major record: 11 starts, 1 top 10, 1 win

Open record: 76-33

Odds: 50/1

Twelve months ago in Hoylake, the press were eager to know what the 30-year-old US Open champion knew of links golf. It turned out he’d played the 2014 Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and then spent a week travelling the Irish coast. He struggled in the Amateur but said: “I fell in love with links golf, with the variety of shots and the imagination required, and just how much fun it was.” He’s yet to land a top 10, but he’s made the cut in the four pro linksland events he’s competed in.

Darren Clarke celebrates winning the 2011 Open at Royal St George's

Darren Clarke

World ranking: 4502

Major record: 78 starts, 7 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 64-MC-39-38-31-11-2-MC-30-7-3-37-59-11-15-MC-MC-52-44-1-MC-21-26-MC-30-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The 2011 champion has become competitive again since joining the Champions Tour which is perhaps just as well because, after toasting his Royal St George’s triumph, he never again finished top 10 on either of the two main tours.

Dominic Clemens (a)

World ranking: na

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

It’s been quite the summer for the English 21-year-old. He carded 68-65-65-62 to win the Scottish Amateur by an astounding 17-shots at Muirfield in early June, was a distraught runner-up in the Amateur Championship at Ballyliffin at the end of the month and then shared first place in Final Qualifying at Burnham & Berrow with Justin Rose.

Eric Cole

World ranking: 53

Major record: 6 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 160/1

Might he be a sneaky outsider despite being on his championship debut? His only main tour links action came at last year’s Scottish Open when he was fifth heading into the final round (admittedly ahead of a Sunday 79). That promising effort was a hint at his seaside pedigree because his father Bobby won the 1966 Amateur Championship at Carnoustie as an 18-year-old and nine years later finished one shot outside a play-off at the same venue in the Open.

Corey Conners

World ranking: 37

Major record: 23 starts, 4 top 10s

Open record: MC-15-28-52

Odds: 70/1

The Canadian said after finishing T15 at Sandwich in 2021, having been fourth with 18 holes to play: “I certainly didn’t grow up playing golf courses like this. It’s very different. I’m starting to learn what it takes and hopefully keep filling the memory bank.” An exceptional tee-to-green exponent, he’s proved a fine major performer registering three top 10s at Augusta National, a trio of top 30s in the PGA Championship and his ninth in the US Open at Pinehurst last month corrected the oddity that he’d never before made a cut in that event.

Sean Crocker

World ranking: 232

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 47

Odds: 300/1

The 27-year-old American counts 1994 Open champion Nick Price among his mentors and might be turning to him for advice as he makes a long-awaited return to the Open after his 2018 debut. He won the 2022 Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews but, other than also finishing ninth there, it’s his only sign of links form.

John Daly was permitted to use a golf cart at the 2024 PGA Championship

John Daly

World ranking: 4502

Major record: 79 starts, 3 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: 75-14-81-1-67-MC-MC-MC-MC-72-MC-15-MC-MC-MC-27-48-MC-81-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The 1995 champion has played the last two Opens after a five year absence but he hasn’t made a cut in a major since 2012 and withdrew from May’s PGA Championship after a first round 82.

Jason Day

World ranking: 27

Major record: 51 starts, 17 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 60-30-32-58-4-22-27-17-MC-MC-2

Odds: 70/1

The Aussie arrived in Troon eight years ago as the World No. 1 and said: “To be called the Champion Golfer of the Year would be fantastic. The greats have held the Claret Jug. To hold it once would be very satisfying.” He’d been one shot outside the play-off 12 months earlier but it took him until last year to come close to contending again and, although he shared second behind Brian Harman, he was fully six shots back. It was, however, his seventh top three finish in the majors – a reminder that his A-game is of the highest quality.

Santiago De La Fuente (a)

World ranking: 1715

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

Victory in the Latin America Amateur Championship earned the Mexican 22-year-old two sensational invitations. He carded 76-78 when accepting the first at Augusta National and will hope for better in Scotland.

Joe Dean

World ranking: 264

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: 70

Odds: 300/1

A Europro Tour performer last summer, the Englishman won a DP World Tour card at November’s Q School, was a delivery driver over the winter and has transformed his life with three top five finishes since then, the last of which was play-off defeat in the KLM Open that came with a superb consolation prize: a return to the Open (he made the cut at Birkdale in 2017).

Bryson DeChambeau lifts the US Open trophy after his second major win

Bryson DeChambeau

World ranking: 9

Major record: 31 starts, 7 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: MC-51-MC-33-8-60

Odds: 12/1

After closing his 2021 account with a 65, his first sub-70 Open score in his 12th round, the new people’s champion said: “I don’t think I’ll ever figure links out but I think I’ll learn a lot from this going into next year.” A year later he proved it when eighth in St Andrews. He struggled at Royal Liverpool last year but has been superb since then, both on LIV and in the majors, and said after finishing second at the PGA Championship: “I feel a lot more comfortable under the gun in major championships and believe I can get the job done, even though I didn’t today.” He backed that up in spectacular style when winning a second US Open at Pinehurst.

Matthew Dodd-Berry (a)

World ranking: na

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The English youngster made the last eight of the Amateur Championship last month and then tied first in Final Qualifying at West Lancs to join fellow Royal Liverpool member Matthew Jordan at Troon.

David Duval

World ranking: 4502

Major record: 62 starts, 11 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 20-14-33-11-62-11-1-22-MC-MC-56-39-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-48-WD-MC-WD-MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The 2001 champion has an eye-watering first round average of 82.80 in his last five Open appearances but in the last six weeks he has played the best golf of his Champions Tour career.

Austin Eckroat

World ranking: 51

Major record: 5 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 250/1

There have been six American winners of the Open at Royal Troon and four of them also won the Honda Classic. That event is now called the Cognizant Classic and Eckroat landed his first PGA Tour win there in March. He made the cut in last year’s Scottish Open and won both his singles in the Walker Cup at the very linksy Seminole (including a Sunday 7&6 trouncing of Mark Power).

Ernie Els

World ranking: 1704

Major record: 107 starts, 35 top 10s, 4 wins

Open record: MC-5-6-24-11-2-10-29-24-2-3-1-18-2-34-3-4-7-8-MC-MC-1-26-MC-65-MC-61-MC-32-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The South African legend’s first win came right in the middle of a stellar run of 12 top 10 finishes in 18 championship starts, but the second win in 2012 was something of an outlier in his last 13 appearances, being his only top 25. Ever popular, he was a two-time Champions Tour winner in June.

Nacho Elvira

World ranking: 139

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 250/1

The Spaniard’s victory in this season’s Soudal Open was his second on the DP World Tour but a 10th top three finish in a career that has never quite taken off. He’ll be looking to improve on last year’s Open debut but with just one top 20 in 25 stroke play starts on the British and Irish links his expectations are unlikely to be high.

Harris English

World ranking: 56

Major record: 30 starts, 3 top 10s

Open record: 54-15-MC-68-46-46-MC-MC

Odds: 150/1

The 34-year-old is an exceptional US Open performer (he’s never missed a cut and has three top 10s) but he has no top 10 in the other majors and has generally laboured on the links. The four-time PGA Tour winner is, on the other hand, a close friend of Brian Harman’s and said earlier this year: “I know I can compete with Brian so I can win a major.”

Ewen Ferguson

World ranking: 104

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 200/1

The 28-year-old Scot was an emotional winner of the BMW International Open this month. It was his third DP World Tour triumph and came just a few weeks after he’d been forced to pull out of the European Open with vertigo. Hailing from Glasgow, he’ll have lots of family and friends lining the fairways and, as winner of the 2013 Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool, he has a little Open rota pedigree.

Darren Fichardt

World ranking: 397

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 500/1

The 49-year-old South African is a five-time winner on the DP World Tour, has 18 victories on the Sunshine Tour and is a very fine performer in wind, but his every Open appearance has included one round of at least 78 shots hence no weekend action.

Tony Finau

World ranking: 18

Major record: 33 starts, 11 top 10s

Open record: 18-27-9-3-15-28-MC

Odds: 30/1

Last year’s missed cut at Royal Liverpool broke a run of six top 30 finishes in the championship and there was plenty of promise in those efforts. He was top six through 54 holes on debut at Royal Troon in 2016, top six again through 36 holes at Royal Birkdale two years later and his third place, albeit distant, came at Royal Portrush in 2019. The six-time PGA Tour winner was T18 in the PGA Championship in May and then an impressive third in the US Open, when he spent all week in the top 10.

Matt Fitzpatrick

World ranking: 20

Major record: 37 starts, 4 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 44-MC-44-MC-20-26-21-41

Odds: 35/1

The 2022 US Open champion has performed well on the linksland, finishing eighth at Royal County Down and second at the Renaissance Club but might a first victory, in last autumn’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, prompt an improvement in his Open record? It’s consistent (six cuts made in eight starts) but a best of T20 and a failure to ever get in contention will be frustrating. That said, when the fan of stats and numbers was asked about the challenge of links golf at the Scottish Open, he said warily: “Unsure. I like it when it’s fair. I don’t like it when it’s unfair.”

Tommy Fleetwood would be a popular Open winner

Tommy Fleetwood

World ranking: 12

Major record: 36 starts, 8 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-MC-27-12-2-33-4-10

Odds: 25/1

There’s absolutely no doubt that this son of Southport, who sneaked on to Royal Birkdale to play when a nipper, is a fine links craftsman. In 31 starts by the British and Irish seaside he’s recorded 17 top 15 finishes, four of them coming in his last five Open starts. “Winning a major is a dream,” he said last year. “But winning the Open is a huge, huge dream. I’ve pictured it a lot, visualized it a lot. Just haven’t done it yet in person, so that’s hopefully the next thing.” Finishing second at Portrush in 2019 and slipping backwards at the weekend last year hurt but it might yet fuel a response that would be immensely popular.

Rickie Fowler

World ranking: 50

Major record: 52 starts, 13 top 10s

Open record: 14-5-31-MC-2-30-46-22-28-6-53-23

Odds: 80/1

The Californian is a fine links performer. He claimed victory in the 2015 Scottish Open at Gullane and, in the Open, was second at Royal Liverpool in 2015 and fifth at Royal St Georges in 2011. But his sixth at Royal Portrush in 2019 is his only top 20 in his last seven starts in the Open and Scottish Open. He’s also been stuck in a form rut all 2024.

Ryan Fox

World ranking: 62

Major record: 21 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 49-MC-39-16-67-MC-52

Odds: 90/1

The Kiwi first signalled his links prowess with top six finishes at Portstewart, Dundonald Links, Ballyliffin and Gullane in the 2017 and 2018 Irish and Scottish Opens. He rubber-stamped that ability with victory in the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and was second on defence. His Open best was T16 at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Lucas Glover

World ranking: 40

Major record: 49 starts, 2 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-27-78-MC-48-12-MC-MC-20-MC

Odds: 250/1

The 2009 US Open champion (whose only other major top 10 finish came that same summer) was the 2011 Open’s halfway co-leader but quickly regressed to his championship mean at the weekend. 

Ben Griffin

World ranking: 71

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 400/1

Yet to win on either the first or second tier, the 28-year-old came close with a late surge in June’s Canadian Open but Robert MacIntyre denied him. He’s yet to make a cut in a major.

Emiliano Grillo

World ranking: 57

Major record: 26 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: 12-MC-MC-MC-12-MC-6

Odds: 200/1

Asked if the Open was his favourite major the Argentine said last year: “Let’s say it’s top two. Not going to name any names, but this is definitely one of my favourites. I always look forward to playing the Open and links golf courses.” With good reason, too, although he is a little boom or bust with those three top 12s and four missed cuts. He was the joint first round leader last year at Royal Liverpool.

Adam Hadwin

World ranking: 38

Major record: 25 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: MC-35-57-MC

Odds: 100/1

The Canadian, born in the remarkably-named town of Moose Jaw, has given little indication that he’s found any kind of links secret and, in general, has found all four majors a bit tricky.

Todd Hamilton

World ranking: 4502

Major record: 39 starts, 1 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-45-MC-1-MC-68-MC-32-MC-MC-MC-MC-73-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 2500/1

A first Open appearance in six years for the winner at Royal Troon in 2004. It’s a ceremonial exercise but he earned it.

Brian Harman won the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2023

Brian Harman

World ranking: 11

Major record: 33 starts, 3 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 26-MC-MC-MC-MC-19-6-1

Odds: 55/1

The lefty broke his run of Open missed cuts with a Thursday 65 at Royal St Georges in 2021 to sit second on the first round leaderboard before finishing the week T19. A year later in St Andrews he went in the opposite direction to grab sixth after a slow start. At Royal Liverpool it all came together. “I’ve always had the belief that I could do something like this,” he said. “When it takes so much time it’s hard not to let your mind falter. I’m 36 years old. The game is getting younger. When is it going to be my turn again? It was hard to deal with.” Deal with it he did, though, and no-one got close to him in Hoylake.

Padraig Harrington

World ranking: 386

Major record: 84 starts, 16 top 10, 3 wins

Open record: 18-5-MC-29-20-37-5-22-MC-MC-1-1-65-MC-MC-39-54-MC-20-36-MC-MC-MC-72-MC-64

Odds: 150/1

The back-to-back winner of the Claret Jug in 2007 and 2008 posted a reminder of his fondness for a bad weather test when defeated in extra holes at last year’s Senior Open in Porthcawl. He’s struggled in the Open since those two wins, however.

Tyrrell Hatton

World ranking: 22

Major record: 36 starts, 6 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-MC-MC-5-MC-51-6-MC-11-20

Odds: 35/1

In his early career the Englishman just couldn’t translate excellent linksland form (multiple top five finishes in the Scottish and Irish Opens) into any kind of Open success. That changed with a top five at Royal Troon and he contended at Royal Portrush when sixth. “If I could choose one of the four majors to win, it would be the Open,” he said last year, adding: “Easier said than done.” He does know how to win on the links however. He’s a two-time Alfred Dunhill Links Champion and has also twice been the runner-up in that event.

Michael Hendry

World ranking: 406

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

The veteran Kiwi has the potential to be one of the tales of this year’s Open. He plays on a medical exemption after he qualified for last year’s championship prior to receiving a diagnosis of, and treatment for, leukaemia. Since returning to action late last year he’s won a minor tour event in New Zealand and also on the Japan Tour.

Russell Henley

World ranking: 17

Major record: 39 starts, 2 top 10

Open record: 72-MC-20-MC-37-MC-MC-62-MC

Odds: 100/1

The 35-year-old is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour who should have won more having failed to kick on from a series of 54-hole leads. His major record is solid but last month’s seventh in the US Open was just a second top 10 in 15 years of playing them. The Open has proved the toughest nut of all for him to crack. Nor has he ever entered the Scottish Open in an attempt to find any answers to the seaside riddle.

Angel Hidalgo

World ranking: 389

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

Currently in his third consecutive year on the DP World Tour the 26-year-old Spaniard claimed an Open spot in sensational style at West Lancs by holing the approach to his 36th and final hole for an eagle-2.

Daniel Hillier

World ranking: 195

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 250/1

The Kiwi winner of last year’s British Masters is very good at qualifying. He was co-medallist in the 2018 US Amateur stroke play section, qualified for a US Open debut in 2019 at Walton Heath up against the pros, and won the 2021 Open Final Qualifier at Hollinwell. He’s yet to qualify for a major championship weekend, however.

Ryo Hisatsune

World ranking: 92

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 250/1

One of a highly promising crop of young Japanese players, the 21-year-old won last year’s Open de France, a week before planning to give up on his DP World Tour adventure, and with it catapulted himself on to the PGA Tour. He was T18 in the PGA Championship in May.

Tom Hoge

World ranking: 47

Major record: 16 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 200/1

Among the finest clippers of irons on the PGA Tour but the North Carolina performer has struggled to come to terms with the majors and has only two finishes better than T39 with tied ninth in the 2022 PGA Championship his best. He averages 74.25 per round in his brief Open career.

Nicolai Højgaard

World ranking: 45

Major record: 8 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-53-23

Odds: 80/1

The young Dane’s early forays onto the linksland proved a little bewildering but he might have turned a corner with sixth last summer’s Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club which he backed up with T23 in the Open at Royal Liverpool. It wasn’t the only corner he turned last year, of course. He made his Ryder Cup debut in Europe’s stunning victory in Rome, ended the year with triumph in the DP World Tour Championship and opened 2024 with second place in the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour.

Rasmus Højgaard

World ranking: 93

Major record: 5 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 125/1

Like his twin brother, four-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus has a top 10 finish at the Renaissance Club in the Scottish Open (his in 2022) but he struggled on his Open debut last year in Hoylake, carding 78-71.

Max Homa

World ranking: 15

Major record: 20 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: 40-MC-10

Odds: 45/1

Last year’s Open must have been quite a relief for the popular Californian who had proved he had the game for major championship-standard golf courses (winning at Torrey Pines, Quail Hollow and Riviera in regular PGA Tour events) but had been consistently tripped up by the actual major championships themselves. His T10 at Royal Liverpool was a first top 10 in his 17th start in the tournaments that define a career and he rode the wave at Augusta National this April, contending all week ahead of finishing third. With a pair of top 10s at Renaissance in the Scottish Open he has three linksland top 20s in his last four appearance.

Billy Horschel

World ranking: 61

Major record: 42 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-30-MC-MC-MC-53-21-MC

Odds: 140/1

The West Ham United fan has enjoyed great success at Wentworth – the highlight being victory in the 2021 BMW PGA Championship – but his visits to the British and Irish seaside have been less fulfilling although Royal Troon witnessed the highlight of his Open experiences. A Thursday 67 in 2016 left him fourth on the first round leaderboard but he crashed to a missed cut with a Friday 85 and he’s yet to record a top 20.

Sam Horsfield

World ranking: 1370

Major record: 8 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 67-MC

Odds: 200/1

The Englishman has struggled for form and fitness more or less ever since finishing fifth in the very first LIV event in June 2022. He finally added to his top five account on the rebel circuit with second place in Nashville last month and shared first in Final Qualifying at West Lancs.

Rikuya Hoshino

World ranking: 103

Major record: 10 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC-60

Odds: 200/1

The 28-year-old from Japan won this year’s Qatar Masters at Doha and, while he’s shown nothing on the links yet, winners on that course do have a collectively fine record in the Open.

Viktor Hovland will be playing The Open at Royal Troon

Viktor Hovland

World ranking: 6

Major record: 19 starts, 4 top 10s

Open record: 12-4-13

Odds: 18/1

“I live in Oklahoma,” the Norwegian said a couple of years ago, when asked if windy conditions concerned him. “It blows like every single day. Moving the ball down is not an issue.” Links golf requires more than just a capacity to deal with sea breezes, of course, but he so far appears an excellent fit for the test. Not only has he never finished an Open outside the top 15, he was the 54-hole co-leader at St Andrews in 2022 and was fourth at the same stage last year at Royal Liverpool. Brilliant in 2023, he’s been reinvigorated this summer after a brief downturn in form prompted by an unexpected switch of coach. He’s back with his old one now.

Mackenzie Hughes

World ranking: 64

Major record: 19 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: 6-MC

Odds: 250/1

The Canadian went sub-70 in all four rounds when tied sixth at Royal St George’s in 2021 but was that a one-off? He missed the cut at St Andrews and also failed to make the weekend in his two Scottish Open appearances.

England's Sam Hutsby stamped his ticket to Troon in Final Qualifying

Sam Hutsby

World ranking: 481

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

It’s been a long journey for the 35-year-old from being defeated by Matteo Manassero in the 2009 final of the Amateur Championship to a first major championship start. His second win on the Challenge Tour came last year, a mere nine years after his first. He won Final Qualifying at Dundonald Links by three shots.

Sungjae Im

World ranking: 28

Major record: 20 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: MC-81-20

Odds: 66/1

The Korean has a fine record in the Masters with three results of T16 or better, but in 15 nomadic majors he’s yet to finish better than T17 and has missed the cut in more than half his starts. His links record has more or less nothing to be said for it. He’s missed two cuts at the Renaissance Club in the Scottish Open while at the Open he’s missed the cut at Royal Portrush and finished a distant T81 at St Andrews. The only bright spot was a third round 67 last year which helped him to T20.

Aguri Iwasaki

World ranking: 529

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 1000/1

The 25-year-old transformed a disastrous 2023, in which he had lost all form when splitting his time between the Japan and DP World Tours, with victory in the Japan Open which earned him this major championship debut.

Stephan Jaeger

World ranking: 41

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 250/1

A long-time stalwart on the Korn Ferry Tour (with six wins between 2016 and 2021), the German has finally transferred his best golf to the PGA Tour this year and in some style with his win at the Houston Open coming after a head-to-head battle with Scottie Scheffler down the back nine on Sunday. He’ll have the Ryder Cup on his radar and a first major top 20 would go some way to hitting that target.

Dustin Johnson

World ranking: 411

Major record: 60 starts, 23 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: MC-14-2-9-32-12-49-9-54-MC-51-8-6-MC

Odds: 55/1

The 39-year-old has never played in the Scottish Open but he does regularly warm up for the Claret Jug quest with a quiet trip to Ireland. “I usually go to Dublin and hang out at Portmarnock and The Island,” he explained a few years ago. “Both great courses and I think it’s definitely good preparation.” Back in 2015 at St Andrews he was the tournament second favourite and led after 18 and 36 holes. Alas, another Johnson (Zach) triumphed that year. His major returns this year have been poor (MC-43-MC).

Zach Johnson

World ranking: 252

Major record: 76 starts, 10 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: MC-MC-MC-20-51-47-76-16-9-6-47-1-12-14-17-MC-MC-55

Odds: 350/1

The 2023 US Ryder Cup captain registered only one top 50 in his first seven Open starts but then logged seven in his next eight including victory on the Old Course in 2015. He’s now gone another three without a top 50.

Matthew Jordan

World ranking: 198

Major record: 2 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-10

Odds: 150/1

One of the stars of last year’s Open when the Royal Liverpool member thrilled the home galleries with a top 10 that guaranteed his passage to Troon. “The perfect finish to an unbelievable week,” he said after a birdie at the last. He’s a fine seaside performer who, as an amateur, won the St Andrews Links Trophy, the Lytham Trophy and grabbed the first round lead of the British Masters at Hillside.

Yuto Katsuragawa

World ranking: 175

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 47

Odds: 500/1

The 25-year-old from Japan struggled on the Korn Ferry Tour last year but second place in the Singapore Open earned a second crack at the Open and victory in the ISPS Handa Championship on home soil, co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour, gifted him the chance to play in Europe.

Masahiro Kawamura

World ranking: 339

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 39

Odds: 500/1

Just a second Open start for the 31-year-old from Japan and it’s taken him six years to return. He’s been a constant on the DP World Tour since the start of 2019 but is yet to claim a win.

Si Woo Kim

World ranking: 46

Major record: 30 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-67-MC-15-MC

Odds: 100/1

The Korean 29-year-old is a fine technician, good enough to win four times on the PGA Tour including the 2017 Players Championship. He has, however, found the majors something of a puzzle, competing in 30 of them without once finishing in the top 10. He was T15 at St Andrews two years ago but that remains his only top 60 finish after five Open starts.

Tom Kim

World ranking: 16

Major record: 11 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: 47-2

Odds: 40/1

The Korean has proved himself every bit as cheery and ebullient as Thomas the Tank Engine, the fictional character he named himself after. The highlights include racing through the 2023 US Open field to eighth having started the second round outside the top 100 and sharing second in last year’s Open despite having a foot injury that required him to take piggy backs from his team when off the course. In addition to that fine effort he’s finished third and sixth in the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club. Although not the biggest hitter, his creativity is a natural fit for the fast-running nature of seaside golf.

Minkyu Kim

World ranking: 237

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 750/1

When he turned pro aged 16 in 2017 the Korean was something a sensation on the minor tours in the UK and when he added victory on the Challenge Tour a year later the future looked bright but the progress tailed off. A second win in the Korean Open last month earned this opportunity to improve on his abbreviated championship debut in 2022.

Ryosuke Kinoshita

World ranking: 288

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 59

Odds: 1000/1

Victory in May’s Gateway to the Open Mizuno Open did exactly what it says on the tin for the 32-year-old who is something of a journeyman on his home tour.

Chris Kirk

World ranking: 33

Major record: 27 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: 19-MC-MC-42-MC

Odds: 200/1

The 39-year-old’s victory in January’s Sentry Tournament of Champions was his sixth on the PGA Tour but he’s generally struggled at major championship level and, after carding weekend rounds of 68-69 to finish T19 on his Open debut, his next five linksland starts have failed to reap one top 40.

Kurt Kitayama

World ranking: 60

Major record: 15 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-MC-72-60

Odds: 200/1

The American’s two DP World Tour victories in 2018 and 2019 were on blustery links-like courses, albeit both next to the Indian Ocean. But, with the exception of a fine second at the Renaissance Club in 2022, his genuine links record is poor: no top 40 in eight other starts.

Kazuma Kobori

World ranking: 475

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

Born in Japan, the 22-year-old’s family moved south when he was six and he has always represented New Zealand as a golfer. The audacious winner of the 2019 NZ PGA Championship as a 17-year-old amateur, he claimed three wins in Australia earlier this year.

Brooks Koepka has five major wins but is yet to prevail at The Open Championship

Brooks Koepka

World ranking: 43

Major record: 41 starts, 18 top 10s, 5 wins

Open record: MC-67-10-6-39-4-6-MC-64

Odds: 28/1

The five-time major champion spent plenty of time in Britain and Ireland during his early career on the Challenge and DP World Tour but you might be surprised by what he likes most on his returns every July. “Brown sauce is pretty good,” he revealed last summer in Liverpool. “Just had some in fact.” Sharper than red sauce, it’s the obvious condiment for a man who is happy to add spice to his relations with his peers or the press, especially ahead of a major. It’s proved a successful strategy. That said, although he’s finished in the top 10 on four occasions at the Open, he’s never ended a third round within five shots of the lead.

Gun-Taek Koh

World ranking: 239

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 750/1

A four-time winner on the Korean Tour, Koh landed a major championship debut with second place in the Gateway to the Open Mizuno Open on the Japan Tour in May.

Romain Langasque

World ranking: 144

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 65-63-MC-33

Odds: 200/1

The Frenchman won the 2015 Amateur Championships at Carnoustie, hinting that he might be a good fit for the seaside but, with the exception of third place at the Renaissance Club in the 2019 Scottish Open, he’s not made a top 20 in 18 British and Irish links starts as a pro.

Thriston Lawrence

World ranking: 94

Major record: 5 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 42-74

Odds: 200/1

The South African has won four times on the DP World Tour since late 2021 and they’ve all come at altitude (on home soil, in Germany and Switzerland). He did win the 2014 Lytham Trophy at sea level but he’s yet to add a top 20 as a pro in 10 linksland starts.

Min Woo Lee

World ranking: 36

Major record: 12 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-21-41

Odds: 50/1

As he departed St Andrews two years ago, having finished T21, the Aussie said: “I wish all events were majors. It’s the only tournaments I’m playing good in at the moment. I need to grind because, when I’m in that zone, it’s pretty impressive.” He has only one top 10 in the majors but he has finished top 30 in seven of his dozen starts. He was also a fine winner of the 2021 Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club, keeping the likes of Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele (all top 10 finishers) at bay.

Justin Leonard

World ranking: 4502

Major record:  starts,  top 10s,  win

Open record: MC-58-MC-1-57-2-41-MC-14-MC-16-52-MC-16-8-MC-MC-MC-13-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 2500/1

The champion at Royal Troon in 1997, and defeated in extra holes two years later at Carnoustie, the 52-year-old now plays the Champions Tour but not very competitively.

Charlie Lindh

World ranking: 801

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

A huge week Swede who squeezed into the field via extra holes in Final Qualifying at Burnham & Berrow. His only previous experience of main tour action saw him card 76-66 in last year’s Made in Himmerland tournament.

Shane Lowry

World ranking: 31

Major record: 45 starts, 8 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 37-32-9-MC-MC-MC-MC-1-12-21-MC

Odds: 33/1

Victory in the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur highlighted the 27-year-old’s links savvy coming, as it did, at a wet and windy County Louth in front of ecstatic galleries. Ten years later it was a case of deja vu when he triumphed in the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush. He remains a very fine major championship performer, one who has finished top 25 in 12 of his last 16 starts in them, including sixth in this year’s PGA Championship when he recorded a 62 in round three. Asked about his Troon strategy eight years go he said: “You need to take a few of the fairway bunkers on, but if you stay out of them on 10, 11, and 12 that’s the key.”

Joost Luiten

World ranking: 148

Major record: 21 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 63-45-MC-MC-MC-44-32-MC-71        

Odds: 150/1

The Dutchman does have a couple of top 10s by the Scottish seaside and he was also a winner of the KLM Open on the links at Kennemer. But Dutch journalists reveal that he’s sceptical of his own links pedigree and his Open record backs up that downbeat view.

Robert MacIntyre

World ranking: 44

Major record: 14 starts, 3 top 10s

Open record: 6-8-34-71

Odds: 40/1

The winner of last month’s Canadian Open with his dad on the bag, he dropped an early hint of his links expertise when runner-up at Hillside in the 2019 British Masters and he very nearly won the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club last summer. He was only thwarted when his sensational approach to the final green was matched by the winner Rory McIlroy’s effort. He was sixth on his Open debut at Royal Portrush in 2019 and eighth at Royal St George’s in 2021. He even counted T34 in St Andrews as something of a success given that he’s never quite taken to that test.

Matteo Manassero

World ranking: 169

Major record: 18 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 13-MC-MC-19-MC-MC-MC

Odds:

The youngest-ever winner of the Amateur Championship in 2009 aged 16, a few weeks later he won the Silver Medal for low amateur at Turnberry, and within five years he was a four-time winner on the DP World Tour. Then it all went horribly wrong with his form deserting him entirely. Two wins on the Challenge Tour last year and another on this season’s DP World Tour have confirmed a return to his best and granted him the opportunity to improve on that debut 15 years ago which remains his best major finish.

Luis Masaveu (a)

World ranking: 3070

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The Spaniard has made three starts in pro events and spent the first 54 holes of the 2022 Open de Espana in the top 20. He was second in last year’s Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s.

Hideki Matsuyama

World ranking: 13

Major record: 46 starts, 9 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 6-39-18-MC-14-MC-MC-68-13

Odds: 35/1

The Japanese star has a solid record at the Open but it’s not quite at the same level as his log book in the other three majors. At those he’s finished top 10 nine times in 37 starts, at the Open just once in nine. He’s also missed just two major cuts in America as opposed to three in Britain and Ireland. His championship best came on debut at Muirfield in 2013 and he’s added three top 20s since at St Andrews in 2015, Royal Birkdale in 2017 and at Royal Liverpool last year.

Denny McCarthy

World ranking: 34

Major record: 12 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 150/1

An exceptional putter, the 31-year-old from Maryland is yet to win on the PGA Tour but has endured play-off defeat in both last year’s Memorial Tournament and this year’s Texas Open. He carded 76-78 on his links debut in last year’s Open.

Jack McDonald

World ranking: 956

Major record:  starts,  top 10

Open record:

Odds: 750/1

The 31-year-old has been plugging away on the lower tiers of pro golf since 2016 and now he’ll make his major championship debut on his doorstep. He hails from nearby Kilmarnock, qualified at Dundonald Links and walks his dog on the beach alongside Royal Troon.

Rory McIlroy missed two short putts in the space of three holes to blow US Open chance

Rory McIlroy

World ranking: 2

Major record: 62 starts, 31 top 10s, 4 wins

Open record: 42-47-3-25-60-MC-1-5-4-2-MC-46-3-6

Odds: 8/1

So many of the Northern Irishman’s iconic moments have come in the Open: a 68 on debut as a teenage amateur to sit third on the first round leaderboard, third despite a second round 80 in 2015, victory at Royal Liverpool in 2014, a five-a-side injury that stopped him defending in 2015, that catastrophic three-off-the-tee at the very first hole of the Royal Portrush Open in 2019 (and the Friday 65 that nearly saw him make the cut), the agonising defeat when his putter went cold in the 150th Open on the Old Course. Can he add a first major victory in a decade to that list? He’ll need to overcome memories of his nightmare finish in the US Open – and that pair of missed tiddlers – to do so.

Tom McKibbin

World ranking: 97

Major record: 1 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 160/1

The 21-year-old grew up playing at Holywood GC in Belfast which is also, of course, home to Rory McIlroy. He claimed a first DP World Tour win in last summer’s Porsche European Open and earned an Open spot when forcing extra holes in last month’s Italian Open.

Maverick McNealy

World ranking: 88

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC

Odds: 200/1

The son of tech billionaire Scott McNealy very nearly followed his father into business, but golf has proved profitable albeit the first win has proved elusive. He carded 78-74 in his only previous Open starts and won just a half point from three matches in the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s.

Adrian Meronk

World ranking: 74

Major record: 9 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 42-23

Odds: 66/1

The big Pole might be playing his final major championship for a while given his inability to contend in one allied to his move to LIV at the start of the year (which has caused his world ranking to wither). He led the stroke play qualifier for the 2013 Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports and made the final four in 2016 at Royal Porthcawl but has done little on the links as a professional.

Phil Mickelson

World ranking: 187

Major record: 124 starts, 40 top 10s, 6 wins

Open record: 73-MC-40-41-24-79-MC-11-30-66-59-3-60-22-MC-19-48-2-MC-1-23-20-2-MC-24-MC-MC-MC-MC

Odds: 200/1

How will the veteran feel returning to the scene of one of his greatest performances, one in which his total left 154 of the 156-man field trailing by 11 shots, but which Henrik Stenson bettered by three. “It’s probably the best I’ve played and not won,” he said after remarking to Stenson himself: “You made 10 f***ing birdies!” Hopefully, he’ll thrive on the theatre of memories but, despite the fact that he’s won a PGA Championship at 50 and finished third in the Masters at 52, lifting a Claret Jug at 54 is surely beyond him.

Guido Migliozzi

World ranking: 122

Major record: 6 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-MC-64

Odds: 200/1

The Italian is one of the great riddles of the DP World Tour, one who mixes typically poor play with a dashing ability to win when the opportunity arises. He has four of them, the most recent in June’s KLM Open. In 14 linksland starts in GB&I, however, he has a best of T17 in the Dunhill Links.

Francesco Molinari

World ranking: 316

Major record: 55 starts, 6 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-13-MC-MC-39-9-15-40-36-MC-1-11-MC-15-MC

Odds: 250/1

It’s cruel that the Italian’s descent from the world’s elite is associated with Tiger Woods. It was at Augusta in 2019 that Molinari lost the lead to his playing partner and the eventual winner Woods, in a round that is widely deemed to have broken him. It’s savage because when Molinari won his Open at Carnoustie a year earlier Woods had again been his playing partner and Molinari defied both a charge from the great man and the chaos of enormous galleries who cared more for Woods than the man playing with him.

Jaime Montojo-Fernandez (a)

World ranking: 4527

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 600/1

The Spaniard celebrated progressing from Final Qualifying at Royal Cinque Ports alongside his fellow La Moraleja GC member Luis Masaveu. He’s studying at Texas A&M University and won their Aggie Invitational event earlier this year.

Taylor Moore

World ranking: 58

Major record: 7 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 250/1

The 30-year-old Texan remains raw at major championship level but he did finish T12 in May’s PGA Championship and he landed a first PGA Tour win last year in the Valspar Championship.

Collin Morikawa

World ranking: 7

Major record: 19 starts, 9 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: 1-MC-MC

Odds: 18/1

Ahead of last year’s Open at Royal Liverpool the two-time major champion revealed that he’d just played a practice round at Royal Birkdale. “I actually loved it,” he said. “I haven’t played much links golf, but it was probably the first links golf that I’ve truly loved.” That’s quite the admission from a man who won his first start in an Open at Royal St George’s three years ago. That said, he’s struggled since on the Old Course and also at Royal Liverpool. He’s played in the final Sunday pairing at both the Masters and the PGA Championship this year, and was T14 in the US Open, so he’s close but the man who seemed to find winning easy back in 2020 and 2021 has now learned it’s a tricky task.

Tommy Morrison (a)

World ranking: na

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The 6-foot-9-inch University of Texas student reached the match play stages of both last year’s and this year’s Amateur Championship but earned his major championship debut with victory in June’s European Amateur Championship.

Keita Nakajima

World ranking: 79

Major record: 5 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 125/1

A former World No. 1 in the amateur ranks, the 24-year-old has won four times on the Japan Tour (once when still an amateur) and added victory in the DP World Tour’s Indian Open in March. His primary goal this week will be to make a first cut in a major.

Joaquin Niemann

World ranking: 98

Major record: 22 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-59-53-MC

Odds: 40/1

The Chilean ended 2023 with victory in the Australian Open (a result which earned him his start in Troon) and started 2024 with two wins on LIV (the first of which included a 59). He’s essentially been in world top 10 form for eight months and yet the majors continue to confound him. Even when in the form he is this year, he’s only managed T22 in the Masters and T39 at the PGA Championship. Can he break the drought in the Open? His low ball flight suggests he should be a good fit, the results are less encouraging: no top 50 in four starts.

Liam Nolan (a)

World ranking: 4527

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The Irishman was victorious last year’s Brabazon Trophy at Sunningdale, won two of his three matches in the 2023 Walker Cup on the Old Course and was second in May’s Irish Amateur at County Sligo.

Vincent Norrman

World ranking: 121

Major record: 2 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The Swede won his first PGA Tour title in the week before the Open last July and added Irish Open triumph on the DP World Tour two months later. His only start on British and Irish linksland saw him card 77-76-76 in last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Andy Ogletree

World ranking: 262

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 750/1

A three-time winner on the Asian Tour, the American has generally struggled to transfer that form to the higher level of LIV Golf. He was, however, eighth in the St Andrews Bay Championship at Fairmont last August, his only GB&I seaside experience as a pro.

Thorbjørn Olesen

World ranking: 81

Major record: 26 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: MC-9-MC-64-MC-62-12-57-MC

Odds: 160/1

The 34-year-old Dane has been winner and runner-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and he also has some form in the Open. He was ninth at Royal Lytham in 2012 and T12 at Carnoustie in 2018, but he hasn’t finished top 20 in a major since that latter result.

Jacob Skov Olesen

World ranking: n/a

Major record:  start,  top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 200/1

A surprise winner of last month’s Amateur Championship at Ballyliffin, not least to himself. “I never liked links golf when I played it in the past,” he said. “I think that’s changed!” Once shared a US college win with Ludvig Aberg.

Louis Oosthuizen

World ranking: 140

Major record: 57 starts, 11 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-MC-MC-1-54-19-WD-2-MC-MC-28-20-3-MC-23

Odds: 75/1

The winner of the 2015 Open on the Old Course and second there five years later, the South African was also third at Royal St George’s in 2021, a year when he finished top three in three of the majors. He won on a new links-like course he designed in Mauritius late last year, he was second at links-like Al Mouj in in February and was second on the fast-running sandbelt track The Grange on LIV in April. Is a last major hurrah beckoning for golf’s most famous tractor fan?

CT Pan

World ranking: 93

Major record: 13 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-MC-MC

Odds: 300/1

Second place in this month’s John Deere Classic earned the Taiwanese player a late spot in a fourth Open and he’ll be hoping he can make it to the weekend for the first time. He won the 2019 RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour and was the bronze medal winner in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yannik Paul

World ranking: 146

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 200/1

A very unlikely champion but the German might be a better links player than his missed cut on debut last year suggests. He’s finished fourth at Portmarnock on the Challenge Tour and was T14 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year.

Matthieu Pavon

World ranking: 21

Major record: 7 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 125/1

It seems amazing that the Frenchman has not played an Open since making his major championship debut in it in seven years ago, but that’s nowhere near as surprising as his transformation in less than a year from a solid DP World Tour performer who couldn’t win into a winner at that level, a winner on the PGA Tour and a major championship contender. He was a fine T12 at the Masters in April and even more impressive when fifth in the US Open, playing the final round with the winner Bryson DeChambeau.

Victor Perez

World ranking: 77

Major record: 13 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-34-41

Odds: 140/1

The Frenchman is yet to fire in a major never mind an Open but he does have linksland and links-like form. He won the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and has also won at Yas Links in Abu Dhabi and the fast-running Bernardus in the Netherlands.

J.T. Poston

World ranking: 48

Major record: 15 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: MC-41

Odds: 150/1

Yet to finish better than T30 in a major and it might be instructive that he was in excellent form ahead of both his Open starts but couldn’t make much headway on the links.

David Puig

World ranking: 111

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 200/1

The Spanish 22-year-old won the Malaysian Open in February and with it was invited to make his Open debut. Interestingly, he played the Asian Tour’s St Andrews Bay Championship at Fairmont St Andrews last August and led through 36 holes before finishing T14.

Jon Rahm aims to win The Open for the first time at Royal Troon

Jon Rahm

World ranking: 10

Major record: 31 starts, 12 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: 59-44-MC-11-3-34-2

Odds: 25/1

“It would be an incredibly special feeling to be the first Spaniard to win an Open since Seve, a true honour,” the 2022 US Open champion and 2023 Masters winner said at St Andrews two years ago. It’s not quite happened for him in the championship so far, however. He made a fast start in 2018 but missed the cut and another fast start in 2019 saw him slip outside the top 10. Since then he’s made slows starts, improving all week to third in Sandwich and second in Hoylake. A bigger problem might be that he still hasn’t won since slipping his arms inside a green jacket last April and has looked uncomfortable all this year. But missing the US Open through injury might have hurt enough to trigger a return to his best.

Justin Rose uses a Titleist TSR3 Driver

Justin Rose

World ranking: 66

Major record: 80 starts, 21 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 4-MC-30-22-MC-12-70-13-MC-44-MC-MC-23-6-22-54-2-20-46-MC

Odds: 70/1

When the Englishman finished fourth in the 1998 Open as a 17-year-old few could have predicted that it would take him until 2015 to land another top 10 in the championship. Four years after that he finished tied second at Carnoustie which remains his best finish. Before both results he won the 2013 US Open and, even aged 43, he remains a fine major performer, finishing sixth in May’s PGA Championship. He shared top spot in Final Qualifying at Burnham & Berrow.

Gordon Sargent (a)

World ranking: 1166

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 250/1

After playing a practice round with the long-time World No. 1 amateur Rory McIlroy reported that he was the best non-pro golfer he’d ever seen. He’s missed the cut in two of the three majors he’s played and has a best of T39 in last year’s US Open, but he did win all four of his matches in the 2023 Walker Cup on the Old Course.

Xander Schauffele

World ranking: 3

Major record: 29 starts, 14 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 20-2-41-26-15-17

Odds: 14/1

“I don’t know if it’s the European blood in me but I do enjoy it here,” he said of the Open a few years ago. “I like thinking my way round the property differently to home.” His European blood is German so it’s debatable how much impact it has on his capacity to play bump-and-run but the thought suggests a flexible nature that can only help in this creative form of the game. A major championship machine, he recorded 20 top 20s from 27 starts ahead of finally winning one in May’s PGA Championship and when asked if he had changed his goals after that triumph he answered: “Checked one box, a lot of unchecked boxes left.” His best Open finish was second at Carnoustie in 2018.

Scottie Scheffler

World ranking: 1

Major record: 19 starts, 11 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: 8-21-23

Odds: 9/2

“Everyone said you have to play the ball along the ground and I thought they were making it up but it came really naturally to me,” the World No. 1 said after his Open debut in 2021. At first glance his championship record doesn’t look great but he was in the top five with 18 holes to play on debut that Royal St George’s and again at St Andrews in 2022. He was also third in the Scottish Open last summer. So he’s not far off. Remember, too, that Royal Troon is a layout that favours flushers and few flush it like Scheffler. Also note that his T41 in the US Open came on a course those on the ground say he really didn’t take to.

Adam Schenk

World ranking: 54

Major record: 8 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 500/1

The 32-year-old PGA Tour journeyman struggled on his Open debut 12 months ago carding rounds of 79-75. He did record a major championship best T12 in this year’s Masters however.

Adam Scott

World ranking: 59

Major record: 93 starts, 19 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-47-MC-MC42-34-8-27-16-MC-27-25-2-3-5-10-43-22-17-MC-46-15-33

Odds: 80/1

The Aussie’s recovery from the agonies of the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham remains one of the greatest and most popular revivals in the game’s history. He’d led that championship by four shots with four holes to play before contriving to bogey them all and even miss out on a play-off. A few weeks later he contended in the PGA Championship and a few months after that won the 2013 Masters. He remained a major championship threat until the end of 2019 but hasn’t made a top 10 since then.

Calum Scott (a)

World ranking: 4527

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 400/1

The Scot won the R&A’s Open Amateur Series, and with it an Open debut, courtesy of finishing second in the St Andrews Links Trophy, fourth in the European Amateur Championship and reaching the last eight of the Amateur Championship.

Shubhankar Sharma

World ranking: 228

Major record: 6 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: 51-51-8

Odds: 200/1

The Indian’s eighth place finish last year at Royal Liverpool was not only a first top 50 finish in the majors, it was also his first start in one for four years – and he’s not played once since.

Marcel Siem

World ranking: 225

Major record: 13 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 27-MC-MC-MC-15-41

Odds: 250/1

The German’s first ever Open round was a 67 on the Old Course in 2010 that left him eighth on the leaderboard. He was also top 10 through the first 54 holes in 2021 at Royal St George’s. But otherwise his Open efforts have been a struggle and he’s fought injury this year.

Cameron Smith

World ranking: 70

Major record: 32 starts, 9 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-78-20-33-1-33

Odds: 28/1

After his defence of the Claret Jug last year in Hoylake the 2022 Champion Golfer of the Year said: “I’m looking forward to getting back next year and give it another crack. It’s golf that I’ve learned to love. Can’t wait.” His results back up his notion of progression and growing fondness. He missed the cut on debut at Royal Birkdale, closed with a 77 the following year at Carnoustie, closed with a 76 at Royal Portrush in 2019, with a 74 at Royal St George’s in 2021, finished tenth on his Scottish Open debut in 2022 and then came his triumph in the home of golf. At his best, he is deadly with the putter.

Jordan Smith

World ranking: 104

Major record: 9 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-47-41

Odds: 150/1

The Englishman finished ninth on his major debut at the 2017 PGA Championship and he closed with a 66 to grab T20 in the 2023 US Open but otherwise he has laboured at this level.

Elvis Smylie

World ranking: 934

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

His mum, Liz, was a world class tennis player, the Baker-Finches are family friends, he is named after Elvis (who touched down briefly at Prestwick Airport which is just beyond the back nine at Troon) and the first text message he received after turning pro was from another family friend, Wayne Grady, who lost in the play-off at Troon in 1989. He’ll be making a 10th main tour start and is yet to make a cut.

Sebastian Söderberg

World ranking: 89

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 150/1

An Open debut for the Swede whose agonising loss of an eight-shot 54-hole lead in June’s Scandinavian Mixed is likely to hurt for a long time. Everyone will hope he wins again soon. If it were to happen at Troon it would be a story for the ages.

Younghan Song

World ranking: 210

Major record: 3 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 62

Odds: 750/1

The 32-year-old Korean and Japan Tour journeyman once pushed Jordan Spieth into second, at the 2016 Singapore Open, but in his only Open appearance the positions were more than reversed: Spieth won, Song was a long way distant.

Matthew Southgate

World ranking: 261

Major record: 7 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: MC-12-6-67-23

Odds: 250/1

The Essex man has deep Open history. He was sat on the bridge overlooking the Barry Burn when Jean Van de Velde paddled in it at Carnoustie in 1999 and he drove up to Turnberry with his dad in 2009 to support their hero Tom Watson. He can also play links golf. He’s an amateur winner on the Old Course, finished second there in the Dunhill Links, won a minor tour event at Sandwich, was sixth in the Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017 and T12 at Troon eight years ago.

Jordan Spieth

World ranking: 32

Major record: 46 starts, 14 top 10s, 3 wins

Open record: 44-36-4-30-1-9-20-2-8-23

Odds: 40/1

The Texan finished a shot outside the play-off at St Andrews in 2015 and a year later, at Troon, dropped a big hint about his aspirations. “This is a very, very special tournament,” he said. “I was with Zach (Johnson) the night that he won it (in 2015). I crave to have that trophy in my possession at some point.” A year after that, at Royal Birkdale, he was mercurially brilliant in achieving his aim. Since then he has been the 54-hole co-leader at Carnoustie in 2018 and in the top three all week when second at Royal St George’s.

Henrik Stenson

World ranking: 445

Major record: 65 starts, 14 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: MC-34-48-MC-3-13-3-68-2-39-40-1-11-35-20-MC-MC-13

Odds: 200/1

It’s going to be some week in Troon for the Swede as he returns to the scene of his sensational triumph in 2016. That week he opened 67-65 to hit the weekend in second behind Phil Mickelson with whom he then engaged in the championship’s greatest-ever duel. Yes, even better than Nicklaus-Watson in 1977 (even Jack says so). Stenson closed the tournament with rounds of 68-63 to complete a record-breaking 20-under total of 264. Although he was T13 in last year’s championship, he’s unlikely to contend but a late tee time on Sunday would be lovely.

Sepp Straka

World ranking: 24

Major record: 13 starts, 2 top 10s

Open record: MC-2

Odds: 75/1

After finishing second last year at Royal Liverpool the Austrian said: “I’ve not had a whole lot of success with links golf in the past so I’m really happy to have a good week here.” It was the latest step-up in grade for a golfer who had landed a first major top 10 in the same year’s PGA Championship and he explained this improvement as straightforwardly as he plays: “My ball-striking has improved a lot over the last year.” He added a first top 20 at Augusta National earlier this year and has been in excellent form since the spring.

Jasper Stubbs (a)

World ranking: 1523

Major record: 1 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: Debut

Odds: 1000/1

The Aussie amateur won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne and with it earned two golden tickets. The first was to Augusta National where he carded 80-76, the second to Royal Troon where he’ll be desperate to make the cut.

Jesper Svensson

World ranking: 116

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds:

An Open debut for the Swedish winner of this year’s Porsche Singapore Classic. He also has two second place finishes in what has been an impressive rookie campaign.

Nick Taylor

World ranking: 35

Major record: 13 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC

Odds: 200/1

A former World No. 1 amateur, the Canadian finished low amateur in his second major, the 2009 US Open, but that’s pretty much as good as it has ever got. He’s only played eight of them since 2020 but he’s missed the cut in all of them. It’s a bizarrely low return for a three-time PGA Tour winner.

Sahith Theegala

World ranking: 14

Major record: 10 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: 34-MC

Odds: 66/1

He’s yet to prove it with results, but the gangly 26-year-old has, in theory at least, the ideal game for links golf. He can move the balls both ways, he’s creative around the greens, and the dune-galloping galleries appreciate his open personality. He claimed a first PGA Tour win last September, has threatened to add a second on multiple occasions this year and one of those was in May’s PGA Championship at Valhalla when he sat inside the top three through 54 holes before finishing T12.

Justin Thomas has struggled for form but will look to get back on top at Royal Troon

Justin Thomas

World ranking: 25

Major record: 35 starts, 8 top 10s, 2 wins

Open record: 53-MC-MC-11-40-53-MC

Odds: 40/1

The two-time PGA Championship winner actually made his professional debut in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship back in 2013. He even made an eagle-2 at the Old Course’s first hole in practice but he missed the cut has admitted since that, “for as much as I love links golf and the Open I have not played it very well in my career.” His main problem is a propensity to rack up big numbers. He opened with an 82 at Royal Liverpool and it’s not the first time he’s toiled in recent majors. He carded an 81 in last year’s US Open, a 77 in this year’s, and a 78 and a 79 in the last two Masters.

Davis Thompson

World ranking: 38

Major record: 4 starts, 1 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 100/1

The 25-year-old has had quite a summer already. He kicked it off with a first major championship top 10 finish in the US Open, followed it with a third second place on the PGA Tour and then claimed a first victory at that level in the John Deere Classic, with it booking passage to Troon. Last year’s winner of that title, Sepp Straka, finished second at Royal Liverpool a fortnight later.

Brendon Todd

World ranking: 76

Major record: 19 starts, 0 top 10

Open record: 39-12-MC-49

Odds: 400/1

One of the great grinders of the PGA Tour, the 38-year-old is good enough to have won three times, but he is yet to register one major championship top 10. His T12 at St Andrews in 2015 is as close as he’s come.

Sami Valimaki

World ranking: 99

Major record: 4 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: 68

Odds: 250/1

Sixth place in last October’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was a first top 10 finish on British or Irish linksland, yet the Finn’s potential in this form of the game had been hinted at by his two DP World Tour wins. Because although Al Mouj and Doha are Middle Eastern venues both favour links specialists.

Altin Van Der Merwe (a)

World ranking: 2540

Major record: Debut

Open record: Debut

Odds: 750/1

Victory in the first-ever Africa Amateur Championship booked the South African’s ticket to Troon. He also won the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School last year but has delayed joining the pro ranks.

Ryan Van Velzen

World ranking: 302

Major record: 1 start, 0 top 10

Open record: Debut

Odds: 500/1

The 22-year-old impressed when playing the DP World Tour’s co-sanctioned Sunshine Tour events early in the season, most of all when second in the South African Open, but he missed the cut in May’s PGA Championship on his major debut.

Matt Wallace

World ranking: 91

Major record: 18 starts, 1 top 10s

Open record: MC-51-40-MC

Odds: 175/1

The Englishman has never come close to contending in the Open but he’s twice threatened to win by the seaside on the DP World Tour when second at Hillside in the 2019 British Masters and second again in the 2020 Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. He was also sixth in last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Jeung-Hun Wang

World ranking: 453

Major record: 6 starts, 0 top 10s

Open record: MC-MC

Odds: 1000/1

A back-to-back winner on the DP World Tour in 2016, the Korean won again in 2017 but then had his career interrupted by mandatory national service from late 2020 to mid-2022. He’s never made a cut in a major.

Gary Woodland

World ranking: 154

Major record: 50 starts, 4 top 10s, 1 win

Open record: 30-34-39-58-12-70-67-MC-MC-MC-55 =

Odds: 150/1

Just teeing it up must be an ongoing relief for the 40-year-old 2019 US Open champion who last August revealed that he had been diagnosed with a brain lesion. He underwent surgery in September and returned to action in January. He’s played 38 rounds of Open golf and ended just one of them inside the top 10.

Tiger Woods

World ranking: 849

Major record: 94 starts, 41 top 10s, 15 wins

Open record: 68-22-24-3-17-1-25-28-4-9-1-1-12-MC-23-3-6-69-MC-6-MC-MC

Odds: 150/1

Legend has it that the three-time Claret Jug winner fell in love with links golf at Carnoustie and it was there, in 2018, that he last contended for victory, sprinting across the front nine to briefly hit the top of the leaderboard before slipping back to sixth. Now nursing more injuries than the average hospital, the call for finesse and skill on the links might offer him the best chance of ever competing in a major again but he needs much to go his way, not least hot, dry conditions that keep his bones and muscles warm – and fire up the course to help his love of creativity.

Cameron Young

World ranking: 23

Major record: 13 starts, 5 top 10s

Open record: 2-8

Odds: 55/1

“I think there are some positives to take but my level of excitement with tied for eighth is absolutely zero,” was the downbeat assessment of the New Yorker after last year’s Championship. That performance backed up an excellent effort at St Andrews when he hit the final hole knowing that only an eagle would give him any kind of chance to force extra holes. He hit his drive at the 18th pin high and drained the putt only for Cameron Smith to counter him with a birdie of his own. His brief major career is feast or famine: 13 starts, five top 10s, seven finishes outside the top 60.

Will Zalatoris

World ranking: 42

Major record: 13 starts, 7 top 10s

Open record: WD-28

Odds: 50/1

The 27-year-old has recorded seven top 10s in just 10 US major championships since turning pro but we have very little to go on regarding his links savvy. His first Open was cut short by injury, he got off to a slow start (a 73) in the 2022 event, and was injured again last year. Intriguingly, however, the Lone Star State resident did say of links golf: “It’s similar to Texas in winter: very dry, got to keep it on the ground and underneath the wind.” He’s yet to capture his best golf since returning from injury and surgery in January but he was ninth in the Masters.

About the author

Matt Cooper is an experienced golf journalist who has covered countless Major tournaments.

Matt Cooper
Contributing Writer

Matt Cooper has been a golf journalist for 15 years. He’s worked for, among others, Golf365, SkySports, ESPN, NBC, Sporting Life, Open.com and the Guardian. He specializes in feature writing, reporting and tournament analysis.

He’s traveled widely in that time, covering golf from Kazakhstan to South Korea via Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

More straightforwardly, he’s also covered numerous Majors, Ryder Cups and Solheim Cups.

Follow Matt on Twitter.

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