The leading contenders to win the 150th British Open at St Andrews.
Scottie Scheffler (USA)
World ranking: 1
Major titles: 1 (2022 Masters)
It has been a remarkable year for Scheffler, who won his first title on the PGA Tour in February, won two more in March to become world No 1, and then in April won The Masters, finishing three shots clear of Rory McIlroy to take the Green Jacket and his first Major. Raised in Texas, Scheffler then finished in a tie for second at last month’s US Open at Brookline. He finished in a tie for eighth on his Open debut at Royal St George’s last year.
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
World ranking: 2
Major titles: 4 (2011 US Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 Open)
When a 25-year-old McIlroy won the 2014 Open at Hoylake and then added the PGA Championship a few weeks later, the Northern Irishman looked unstoppable. Yet, he has not added to his tally of four Majors in the eight years since. He has come close, though, not least at the last Open in Scotland in 2018, when he finished tied second at Carnoustie. McIlroy also came second at The Masters in April, falling short of winning the one Major he needs to complete a career Grand Slam. Since then he has won the Canadian Open and tied fifth at the US Open, confirming his fine form coming to St Andrews. “I’ve got one more chance this year to try to get that Major,” he said recently. McIlroy missed the last Open in St Andrews in 2015 after suffering an ankle injury playing football.
Jon Rahm (Spain)
World ranking: 3
Major titles: 1 (2021 US Open)
Rahm can become the second Spaniard to win The Open and follow in the footsteps of the late great Seve Ballesteros, a three-time champion whose fist-pump celebration after winning in St Andrews in 1984 is one of golf’s iconic images. The 27-year-old won his first Major at last year’s US Open and came tied third in The Open at Royal St George’s but his form this year has been less inspiring, with tied 12th at the US Open his best Major performance.
Collin Morikawa (USA)
World ranking: 4
Major titles: 2 (2020 PGA Championship, 2021 Open)
The Californian lifted the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s last year to become the first player in almost two decades to win The Open on his debut. Now he is hoping to become the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 2008 to win golf’s oldest tournament in successive years. Morikawa has already shown up well this year, finishing fifth in Augusta and tied fifth at the US Open having led at halfway. However, he will be acquainting himself with the home of golf for the first time. “I don’t know how I’m going to play the Old Course,” he told the BBC.
Jordan Spieth (USA)
World ranking: 12
Major titles: 3 (2015 Masters, 2015 US Open, 2017 Open)
Spieth was brilliant in winning The Open at Birkdale in 2017 but that was the last of his three Major triumphs to date. However, he was the runner-up to Morikawa last year. Seven years ago he came to St Andrews having just won both The Masters and the US Open, and just missed out on a place in the playoff eventually won by Zach Johnson. That past record makes him one to watch, even if he has not finished in the top 30 at a Major this year and has won just once on tour, at the RBC Heritage in April.
Will Zalatoris (USA)
World ranking: 13
Major titles: 0
Last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has quickly earned a reputation as golf’s newest ‘Nearly Man’ with three second-place finishes already from only nine career Major starts. He came second at last year’s Masters, while already this year he has finished tied sixth at The Masters and come second at the PGA Championship, losing a playoff to Justin Thomas. He then also came second at the US Open, finishing a stroke behind Matt Fitzpatrick. Zalatoris, who attended the same university as Arnold Palmer, will be hoping for better luck at The Open than last year, when he withdrew injured after the first round.
© Agence France-Presse