5 major talking points ahead of the 150th Open Championship

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The Old Course in St Andrews will host the 150th Open Championship from July 14-17.

Here, the PA News Agency takes a look at some of the talking points ahead of the final major championship of the year.

Can Tiger Woods claim a third Open victory at St Andrews?

Tiger Woods kissed the Claret Jug after winning the 134th Open Championship at St Andrews (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Woods was at the peak of his powers when he won his first Open title by eight strokes at St Andrews in 2000 and returned five years later to lift the Claret Jug for the second time after finishing five strokes ahead of Colin Montgomerie. Now 46 and still not fully fit following the car accident in February last year which nearly led to the amputation of his right leg, the 15-time Major winner has sat out of the US Open last month to ensure he could play at St Andrews and said he was much stronger after playing the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland.

Will we see a historically low score?

Branden Grace made history by becoming the first man to shoot 62 in a major at the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale, while Ross Fisher holds the course record at St Andrews after a 61 in the Dunhill Links three months later. late. If a lack of wind leaves the Old Course vulnerable to a similar score, Montgomerie fears a score below 60 is possible. “He doesn’t deserve to have a 59 on it,” Montgomerie told Golf Monthly.

Is this the last major for the LIV rebels?

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson celebrated with the Claret Jug after winning the 2013 Open Championship (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The R&A confirmed last month that players participating in the LIV Golf Tour, who have been suspended by the PGA Tour, will not be barred from playing at St Andrews. Former champion Phil Mickelson is exempt until the age of 60 and other big winners get shorter exemptions, but if LIV Golf fails in their bid to be allowed to award world ranking points in its events, their players may find it increasingly difficult to secure a place in the majors.

Can Rory McIlroy turn the top 10 into a late victory?

McIlroy was second in the Masters, eighth in the US PGA Championship and fifth in the US Open this season, but never really made the final nine in the final round of any of them as looking for a first major victory. since 2014. An ankle injury prevented him from defending his Open title in 2015 at St Andrews, where he shot a 63 in the first round five years earlier, but followed it up with an 80 in poor conditions and eventually finished third.

How will US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick fare?

Matt Fitzpatrick was not on the pitch when St Andrews last hosted the Open in 2015, having only turned professional 13 months earlier, but the 27-year-old will travel to Scotland as one of the favorites after his US Open triumph at Brookline. A tie for 20th at Portrush in 2019 is his best Open result in six appearances, while he has a best of 15th in the Dunhill Links Championship, which includes two rounds on the Old Course.

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