My guru Jeremy Chapman fancied Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Chris Wood and Kyung Tae. Provided the weather stays clement DJ has the game most suited on a course where Americans have traditionally done well. Mickelson won two years ago and Lefty can never be written off. Branden Grace learned his trade on the links course at Fancourt. He likes Links golf and is ranked 11th in the world but I have monitored the gritty South African and in the last round he can bogey and double bogey. Chris Wood has recent good form and is underrated. Kyung Tae is an outsider. There is always a contender drawn from the seniors. Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood have never won a major. Sergio is a wonderful ball striker who has been let down by his putter. Lee is a big slugger whose game can collapse in the final round. Both worth backing each way.
No Aussie has won the Open at Troon and Jason Day or Adam Scott can correct this. Jordan Speith has been a bit wayward tee to green and if he can find consistency he will surely be challenging. Justin Rose is a steady Eddy and Rory Mcilroy has the game but not the recent form to win. Ricky Fowler is another out of form and there are a few Americans – Matt Kuchar, and younger challengers Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Smiley Kaufmann – but I have an sneaking fancy for Scott Piercy who is often a top five finisher.
If the wind gets up Royal Troon will set a stern examination with the trademark Postage Stamp hole. A difficult pin position can make a par tricky. If the wind drops it becomes target golf. Starting times become important as weather conditions can change.
Finally a thought on male golfers, the latest being Rory who have been wimpish over competing in the Olympics with the Zika virus but I have never seen golf as an Olympic sport as a gold golf medal will mean less than a major and therefore not the ultimate criterion and judge of achievement in the sport.