Dark horses bidding for British Open title

2016-07-11 14:07
Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Troon - A look at a few of the dark horses hoping to surprise the favourites and win the 2016 British Open, which gets underway at Royal Troon on Thursday:


Age - 40

World ranking - 6

Best British Open - Second in 2013

Stenson has been known as one of the best players to have never won a major title for many years now, and at 40 he may be starting to run out of time.

The Claret Jug is the major trophy he has come closest to winning, when he was runner-up to Phil Mickelson at Muirfield three years ago, while he has also finished third on two other occasions.

He picked up his 10th European Tour victory in Germany last month, and is starting to show signs of the form that saw him top both the PGA Tour and European money lists in 2013.


Age - 36

World ranking - 12

Best British Open - Second in 2007

The Spaniard is also considered as one of the greatest to have never got his hands on one of the big four titles. He has had a staggering 21 top-10 finishes in major championships, and has twice finished second in the British Open.

He perhaps should have won it in 2007, but missed a par putt for victory and then lost a play-off to Padraig Harrington.

Garcia is in excellent form though, and claimed a first PGA Tour title since 2012 with his win in the Bryon Nelson championship in May, before going close in the US Open at Oakmont.


Age - 33

World ranking - 14

Best British Open - Winner in 2010

One of the most consistent players from tee to green in the world, Oosthuizen is always a danger in the majors.

The South African romped to a stunning victory at St Andrews in 2010, and came agonisingly close to repeating the trick 12 months ago, only to lose to Zach Johnson in a play-off.

The South African has had a solid season so far, with his one win coming in the Perth International. He also showed his class in a run to the WGC Matchplay final, which he lost to world number one Jason Day.


Age - 35

World ranking - 23

Best British Open - Tied for third in 2012

The experienced American made a fast start to the 2016 PGA Tour season with a win at Torrey Pines, followed by three other top-10s before the Masters in April. He led after two rounds of the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012, which was eventually won by Ernie Els.

When Snedeker finds his range with the putter, his unique stroke can produce birdies in clusters, making him an undoubtedly dangerous player on fast greens. His victory earlier this year was with a final-round 69 in treacherous conditions, which suggests that he still has the game to master Links golf.


Age - 31

World ranking - 27

Best British Open - Missed cut in 2015

There has not been a Scottish major champion since Paul Lawrie won a thrilling British Open in 1999. Royal Troon may be the perfect place for a 17-year barren run to come to an end, and Knox may be just the man to do it.

Unusually for a Briton, the 31-year-old has forged his career in the US. A win in the WGC HSBC Champions event last season confirmed his talent, and he has since backed that up with a string of solid performances, including a tie for second in the Irish Open behind Rory McIlroy in May.

Read more on:    open championship  |  golf

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