Five players to watch at the British Open

It seems like only yesterday the best golfers in the game were vying for a green jacket at the Masters, the first major tournament of the season.

However, with mid-July here, the final main stage, the British Open, is set to take place Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, which starts on Thursday.

It would be great to know if Windham Clarkwho was a surprise winner at the US Open in June, can back it up at the British Open – and whether he’s world No. 1, Scotty Scheffler whose name always seems to be on the leaderboard, he will hit enough pitches to win his second major after earning the Masters last year.

Here are five more players to watch this week.

No one was more impressive in the majors this year than kupka. He tied for second at the Masters and won the PGA Championship.

At the age of 33, Koepka, who has won five major titles, is still in the prime of his career. With another major, he’ll join greats like Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson with a six. Koepka said his goal is to hit double digits in the majors, which is not out of the question.

He once said, “I sometimes think that the big companies are the easiest to win.” “Half of the people shoot themselves, and I know mentally I can beat most of them.”

Koepka, who signed with the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour in 2022, is healthy again. As knee and hip injuries have taken their toll in the past two years, his game has suffered as well as his confidence.

With the arrival of every major tournament, there is the same question McIlroy, 34Will he win his fifth title? He’s been stuck at four since winning the 2014 PGA Championship.

He almost qualified at the US Open this year but failed to make a birdie on No. 8, a weak 5, and a foul No. 14, again a 5, to finish second by a stroke.

McIlroy, who buzzed the last two holes to win the Genesis Scottish Open last week, still has plenty of time. Mickelson and Ben Hogan didn’t pick up their first majors until they were in their early 30s. On the other hand, McIlroy, the No. 2 seed, can’t continue to let these opportunities slip away. There are only so many.

He has one big thing going for him this week. On the same track in 2014, he captured his only British Open, twice beating Sergio Garcia and Ricky Fowler.

However, time has started to become a factor rose, who will be 43 at the end of the month, in pursuit of a second major. His debut was at the 2013 US Open. Since 2000, only Tiger Woods and Mickelson have won majors after their 43rd birthday.

Rose, from England, has shown this year that he still has plenty of games to go. In February, he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am due to scores of 65 and 66 in his last two rounds. He is tied for sixth in the Players Championship, tied for ninth in the PGA Championship and came in for eighth in the RBC Canadian Open.

It’s hard to believe, but a quarter of a century has passed since then, as a 17-year-old amateur, Rose holed the 72nd hole from 50 yards to tie for fourth at the 1998 British Open. More than anything I ever imagined or experienced.”

Hoping to defend his title is Smith from Australia, who made it to the 64th final last year to win by stroke over Cameron Young. McIlroy finished in third place, two shots back. Smith, who made eight birdies, didn’t seem to have missed a putt in the final round. Most memorable is his save at No. 17, Road Hole, knocking a 10-footer after a great third putt that he cruised around the dugout.

The No. 7 seed, Smith, said, “I knew if I could get it somewhere in there, I’d be able to do pretty well.”

Smith, 29, who won a recent LIV Tour event in London, finished 34th at the Masters, but finished ninth at the PGA and came fourth at the US Open, closing in with three under-67s. , must be in pursuit.

Only still 26, Morikawa, a two-time major champion, may have found something to turn his season around. Morikawa, ranked No. 19, finished with a score of 64 a few weeks earlier at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, losing in a playoff to Fowler. It was his first top 10 since the Masters tournament, which is all the more surprising for a player of his ability.

His first major came at the 2020 PGA Championship. Morikawa, who shot a final-round 64, made a memorable eagle at No. 16 after reaching the green with a tee shot. In 2021, he won the British Open by two points over Jordan Spieth.

But Morikawa hasn’t won since, which is what he’s come to.

“I mean frustration,” he said in June. “Frustration is a word I could use.”

“It’s been a while,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to win.” “It’s still there.”