Carnoustie, Scotland, July 19-22
Ben Hogan winning in his only appearance in 1953, Tom Watson clinching his first major after an 18-hole play-off in 1975, Paul Lawrie taking advantage of that finish by Jean van de Velde in 1999, and Padraig Harrington seeing off Sergio Garcia (via a play-off) and Andres Romero (via the wall in the Barry Burn on 17) in 2007. Carnoustie has delivered some of the most iconic moments in Open history. And the tournament itself has supplied great drama over the last couple of years with the Stenson/Mickelson duel at Royal Troon and Jordan Spieth’s spectacular recovery at Royal Birkdale. This year’s venue is the perfect canvas for more edge-of-the-seat entertainment.
It has a reputation as the toughest layout on the Open rota – the five winning scores since 1953 read -6, +1, -9, +6, -7. On the flip side, the last four Opens have been won with double digits under par totals, so something has to give this year. Can the fearsome old links stand up to the modern game, or will the new generation of superstars overpower it? It will be an intriguing battle of man versus nature.