The Open Preview

(Stock Image) Royal Troon, the site of the 2016 British Open.

By: Noah Thomas —

We are only a few weeks removed from the U.S. Open at Oakmont and only a few weeks back from the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

Sandwiched between those two events, however, is professional golf’s only international major competition and one that nearly rivals The Masters in popularity. I’m referring to the (British) Open, of course, and it tees off on Thursday at Royal Troon.

The British sure know how to pick names for their places, don’t they?

Dustin Johnson is looking to follow his first-ever major win at Oakmont with another victory this weekend. He’s currently the odds-on favorite after winning the World Golf Classic at Bridgestone two weeks ago. He’s going to face competition from Irishman Rory McIlroy, who always seems to show up at this event after winning the darn thing in 2014.

Another guy to look out for will be Sergio Garcia. According to CBS Sports, seven of the last nine British Open winners have been 35 or older and Sergio fits into that demographic quite well. He’s been playing well in this event as of late, too, with nine career top-10 finishes.

And, as always, everyone will need to be on the lookout for a certain Jordan Spieth. The guy still has to be stinging from his letdown at The Masters back in April, and outside of that performance the former world No. 1 certainly has not been up to par with what we expect of him.

Tiger still isn’t back, but we expected that. He still can’t quite get to the point where he can play two rounds of golf in a day, and he says he won’t be coming back until he can. At this point I would not expect him to return until the 2017 season.

Oh, and prepare to get up early if you want to catch the first round on Thursday. The first tee time is at 1:35 a.m. ET.

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