Our 6 Picks for the 2021 Open Championship
This week at Royal St George's in Kent, England, the delayed 149th Open Championship will bring the 2021 major golf schedule to close as a 156-strong field tussle for the historic Claret Jug and the accompanying title - Champion Golfer of the Year.
Up to 32,000 golf fans will be welcomed on each of the four days, and we can't wait to watch events unfold. To help whet your appetite for what promises to be an enthralling end to the 2021 major season, check out our collection of players to watch below.
When you're trying to select the winner of any major championship, it can be tempting to look beyond the obvious and try to find an emerging 'diamond in the rough' pick at longer odds. As far as we're concerned, that would be the only reason for not selecting Jon Rahm this week.
Everything about the Spaniard's current level of play and obvious ability on links-style courses suggests he could be right in the mix come Sunday afternoon. After serving us so well at the US Open, we see nothing to deter us from another pick as a possible champion at the 2021 Open Championship.
Back at last month's US Open, the main worry many had over Brooks Koepka's ability to challenge was how his knee would hold up after returning to competitive action. He proved to be always a threat at Torrey Pines and the intervening four weeks will (we expect) have strengthened the knee and, with it, his chances of lifting the Claret Jug for the first time.
The four-time major champion has no problem adapting to the links-style golf courses on the Open rota, as evidenced by a T-4 at Royal Portrush (2019) and a T-6 at Royal Birkdale (2017).
He's in form. He's laser-focused at the majors. He's a must pick for us.
There's so much to like about Jordan Spieth's chances this week. Even though the Texan hasn't been in the headlines of late, his game has been holding up pretty well since his Valero Texas Open victory back in April.
Three top-10s in six events and a T-3 at the Masters shows his game is in solid shape and that the debilitating swing faults of the past few years are but a distant memory. As we have seen in the past, his game is tailormade for the Open challenge, and his creativity around the greens could be a real weapon.
2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has been in scintillating form at the past two major championships. A runner-up finish at Torrey Pines came hot on the heels of a T-2 at Kiawah Island, and he's a player who feels at home on the many links golf courses dotted around the British Isles.
We managed to catch a glimpse of that buttery smooth golf swing up close at the BMW International Open last month 😍
The South African is paired with reigning Open Champion, Shane Lowry, and Jon Rahm in what promises to be a pretty tasty grouping for rounds 1 and 2 - and we're expecting a solid showing.
Another South African makes our list of picks this week and for quite similar reasons to his compatriot. Branden Grace has been playing well lately and has form on links golf courses being a previous winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
He played well at the US Open, and this followed a top-10 finish at the Memorial Tournament. The world number 62 now gets ready to tee it up at a championship more suited to his game. A T-7 back in 2017 at Royal Birkdale included the famous 62 - the first sub-63 round in major history.
Don't be surprised if Branden goes well this week.
Lucas makes our list due to his performances at both the Irish and Scottish Opens in the past fortnight. They simply demand attention. In the weeks leading up to any Open Championship, winning form and form playing links golf is a powerful combination.
With the Aussie now riding the crest of a wave as he gets ready to tee it up at Royal St George's, we're intrigued to see how he manages the challenge presented by one of the most difficult golf courses on the Open rota.
Let us know who you're rooting for this week in the comments. You can also join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.