Focused Tiger Woods Disappoints Crowd of Children

Breaking down the players most likely to win British Open

American strength in depth is all the more striking with the Ryder Cup coming up in France at the end of September, and with Tiger Woods in Scotland looking like a genuine contender to finally triumph at a major again, a decade after he won his 14th at the US Open.

The notorious course is one of the very toughest to host The Open, all the more so when the wind blows in off the North Sea.

"My record in the Open Championship's been pretty good the last few years", added McIlroy, who first showed what a talent he was as an amateur in the 2008 Open.

"I hit a lot of shots today I didn't think were good, and I walked up and kind of got good breaks, especially starting the round", he said. "He (Woods) opened up". There will be plenty of time for chit-chat after raising the Claret Jug.

The Carnoustie course is the wildcard, several degrees of difficulty up from Ballyliffin and Gullane and bone dry amid a summer drought. I'll learn some stuff from him but we'll both be trying to focus on playing. Fowler's short game will serve him well if he gets in trouble this week and his putter will take him to his first major victory.

"That combination with an Open Championship, the way it needs to be played, I think, is a really good spot for me to kickback into shape". "There's no surprises where the bunkers are and what the greens are like; it's purely going to be about the conditions".

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Fox has a long wait until his 3.32pm tee time (2.32am Friday NZT), 11 minutes after Woods lets fly alongside Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

But despite carding a 72 - 1 over and 6 shots off current leader Kevin Kisner - he is adamant he can still defend his title if he improves his execution.

"But you've got to focus on just playing the golf hole, because it is the same at the end of the day". The Northern Irishman missed the cut at the 2018 U.S. Open but came in 18th the following week at the Travelers Championship and it could have been better had his putter not been ice cold. I'm not putting any pressure on myself.

Dustin Johnson is the bookies' favourite to lift the Claret Jug with Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy not far behind him in the betting.

"I had the itch to get back to it after a couple of weeks of not really working and it was nice to kind of start from scratch", Spieth said at a press conference on Monday.

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