Who will be the king of Carnoustie?

Catch up on everything you need to know as the 147th Open Championship tees off on Sky Sports Golf

The world’s greatest golfers are raring to go for the most prestigious major championship of the year

The 2018 Open Championship, from Thursday 19 July, 6.30am, Sky Sports Golf/HD (CH 515/505)

With the greatest respect to the Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship, there are three reasons why The Open is the major that the majority of golfers want to win more than any other.

 

First, it is the sport’s oldest championship; second, the victor gets to hold the iconic Claret Jug and call himself Champion Golfer of the Year; and third, every legendary figure in the history of the game has claimed the title – from Old Tom Morris in the 1860s to Tiger Woods (below) in the noughties. This is the tournament where heroes are truly made.

Tiger Woods winning the 2006 Open Championship


Talking of Woods, much of the excitement in the build-up to this year’s Open revolves around the fact that he’s back. That’s right folks, after missing the last two Opens due to injury, the 42-year-old is fit, healthy, hitting the ball prodigious distances, and aiming to claim his 15th major title at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland.

 

But is Woods taking home the Claret Jug at Caroustie a realistic prospect? If you look at his performances in the last two Opens that were held there, the answer is a resounding yes (he finished tied 7th in 1999 and tied 12th in 2007). If you look at his recent major form, however, the answer is a big, fat no (he last recorded a major top ten finish in 2013).

 

So if Woods doesn’t lift the trophy, who will? It’s impossible to say, because this is one of the most open Opens in years. For starters, Carnoustie’s Championship Course is so tough its nickname is “Car-nasty”. And then there’s the fact that so many of golf’s big names are in great form.

 

World number one Dustin Johnson playing golf


Along with world number one Dustin Johnson (above), fellow top 10 stars Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm and Jason Day have all won at least two events this season. World number 11, Patrick Reed, grabbed his first major title at April’s Masters Tournament, while world number four Brooks Koepka became the first player to successfully defend the US Open title since 1989 last month.

 

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio García, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler have all claimed recent victories, meaning the only member of the game’s elite who appears to be struggling is last year’s Open winner Jordan Spieth – but you’d be a fool to write off the defending champ.

 

To make things even more exciting, Carnoustie’s brutal final hole is guaranteed to produce high drama. In 1999, French golfer Jean van de Velde famously experienced a meltdown before losing a play-off to Paul Lawrie. And in 2007, Pádraig Harrington hit his ball into the water twice before winning a play-off against García.

 

It’s all teed up to be as enthralling an Open as we’ve ever seen, but who will hold their nerve long enough to grab the glory? Find out by watching the action live on Sky Sports Golf, the only place where you can follow all four days of the tournament.

 

The 2018 Open Championship, from Thursday 19 July, 6.30am, Sky Sports Golf/HD (CH 515/505)

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