Stagecoach

Contenders for the Claret Jug

27 Jun 2022

The tournament they all want to win. The Open Championship, the most prestigious tournament in golf takes place at the home of golf, St Andrews and there will be a big list of names wanting to get their hands on the Claret Jug.

Some of the biggest names in the sport have won The Open over the years and legends of the sport have won it at St Andrews. The next big question is who will now write their name in history by winning The Open at the home of golf.

The Contenders

Tiger Woods

The biggest name in the field. Tiger made a sensational return to golf in April at The Masters after being involved in a horrendous car crash that nearly ended his career. He made it back and made a bright start to his tournament but after making the cut did fade away understandably.

Woods did find the next major, the USPGA Championship more difficult and was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. He didn’t play the US Open so he could be in the best possible shape for The Open.

He has won The Open Championship twice before at the famous Old Course and even though he might not be at his peak physical condition, you can never write one of the greats of the game out of being in contention on Sunday.

Collin Morikawa

The defending champion is making just his 2nd appearance at The Open Championship after winning on his debut appearance last year at Royal St George.

Morikawa will be looking to become the first player to defend The Open Championship since Padraig Harrington defended it in 2008.

He finished in the top 5 at this year’s Masters and US Open but hasn’t won a tournament yet in 2022. What better way to break that duck than to retain The Open!

Scottie Scheffler

The world number 1 like Morikawa is making only his second appearance at The Open Championship after finishing a tied for 8th last year.

Scheffler did win his first major this year by winning The Masters in April by 3 shots to Rory McIlroy and has been in great form this year finishing tied for 2nd in the US Open and adding another 3 tournament wins to his record on the PGA Tour in 2022.

He will go into the tournament as one of the big favourites having played well at last year’s Open at Royal St George.

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen might not have the record of some of the names on this list, but he deserves to be mentioned for his record at St Andrews alone.

Oosthuizen won the Open Championship at the Old Course in 2010 and then the last time the championships were played in St Andrews in 2015 he finished tied for second.

The South African hasn’t been in the best of form in 2022 but a love affair with St Andrews could rekindle that form and make him a contender once again.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy will be looking to get back in the major winner’s circle for the first time since 2014. It has been a long major drought for the man who was tipped early on in his career to challenge Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods at the top of the major leaderboard.

McIlroy hasn’t found his best form at The Open over the past couple of tournaments but has been playing well in the major tournaments this season. He finished second at The Masters and secured a top 10 finish at the USPGA Championship after leading after the opening round.

The Northern Irishman did finish 3rd when The Open was played at St Andrews in 2010 but did not play due to injury in 2015. There will be a lot of fans who will be hoping he can capture his 2nd Open Championship.

Jordan Spieth

The three-time major winner has enjoyed good results at the Open Championship since winning the famous Claret Jug in 2017. He has enjoyed a top 20 finish in each Open Championship since his win including finishing second place last year.

Spieth did miss the cut at this year’s Masters and was never in contention at the USPGA Championship but may find his best form again on the links at St Andrews.

The last time The Open Championship was at the Old Course, Spieth finished tied for fourth, so he does have good memories of playing on the famous links.

John Rahm

The world number 2 will be looking to add The Open Championship to the US Open he won in 2021. Rahm finished tied for third at last year’s Open Championship so will be looking to build on that good performance.

The Spaniard hasn’t been in the same form as last year. He finished in the top 8 of every major championship but this season has only managed a tied 27th at The Masters and a tied 48th at the USPGA Championship. He showed a return to form at the US Open but fell away on the final day.

Rahm will be looking to emulate his hero and the only Spaniard to win The Open Championship, Seve Ballesteros who won the tournament on three different occasions including a win at St Andrews in 1984.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas hasn’t enjoyed any type of success at The Open Championship over the years. His best finish to date is a tie for 11th in 2019 but will be heading into The Open this year full of confidence.

That is because Thomas secured his 2nd major championship at the USPGA Championship in May defeating Will Zalatoris in a playoff after being 7 shots behind Zalatoris at the start of the 4th round.

Even though Thomas hasn’t played his best golf on these shores yet there is plenty of time for that to change and if the conditions suit at St Andrews, then he could well be in contention for the Claret Jug.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick has just recently won the 3rd major of the season, the US Open at Brookline. It was the scene of his US Amateur win in 2013 so was a good luck charm for the Englishman.

His record at the Open Championship isn’t great with a tie 20th being his best finish in 2019 but will be driving into St Andrews full of confidence after picking up his 1st major championship.

Fitzpatrick has been playing well in the majors this season. He finished a tied for 14th at The Masters then a tie for 5th at the USPGA Championship before picking up his maiden major at the US Open. It is rare that players manage back-to-back majors these days, but a lot of people will be tipping Fitzpatrick to achieve it.

Shane Lowry

The 2019 Open Champion will be hoping to keep his recent form at The Open going rather than the form that preceeded his only major win. Lowry missed the cut 4 years in a row before winning in 2019. The run of missed cuts did start at St Andrews in 2015. He did however make his Open debut at St Andrews in 2010.

The Irishman backed up his win in 2019 with a tied 12th finish last year which was a respectable defence of the jug.

His major record this season has been pretty good. He finished in a tie for 3rd at The Masters and finished in a tie for 23rd at the USPGA Championship. There is every chance that we see Lowry in contention at the top of the leaderboard when it matters on Sunday.

Honourable Mentions

Robert McIntyre – We had to find a way to get a Scottish player onto this list! McIntyre carries the home hopes of success.

Patrick Cantlay – Cantlay doesn’t have the most impressive major record, but the world number 3 will be looking to put that right in St Andrews.

Will Zalatoris – Zalatoris will be making his Open Championship debut but plays his best golf in the majors finishing 2nd in the past two. He will no doubt have a say at St Andrews.

Tommy Fleetwood – Fleetwood has struggled for form lately but always comes good in The Open Championship. He will be looking for the spark to his game going again on the Old Course.

Bryson DeChambeau – Injuries have gotten the best of DeChambeau this season but if he can stay healthy, he will always have a chance.

Those are our contenders for the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews. Let us know on our social media platforms who you think will be a contender to lift the Claret Jug! Also, if you are heading along to the championships then check out the additional services, we are putting on to get you there!