The 141st Open Championship gets under way today with the golfing elite taking on the highly demanding course at Royal Lytham & St Annes. As ever in recent times, England’s Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are leading the charge for the home fans whilst the imperious Tiger Woods is looking for his 15th major win and first since 2008.
The Lytham course is a fascinating one as it is surrounded by houses and a train track, though unsurprisingly it is the English weather that threatens to hamper the championships with the players admitting that it is set to be one of the toughest Open’s in recent times. The weather, coupled with the thick rough and 206 bunkers that surround the course, means that the players will really have to be at their best to even stay in contention.
Defending champion Darren Clarke is not fancied as a favourite this year after a tricky season so far, though the dethroning of Tiger Woods in the past few years has caused a widespread belief that anyone can become a major champion. With weather playing the biggest factor, players will be praying that their tee times come with a few rays of sunshine whilst their opponents are left trudging around in the wet.
Whoever turns out to be lifting the claret jug on Sunday will need luck on their side but, whatever the case, it will no doubt prove to be a fascinating four days of golf. The past fifteen majors have brought about 15 different winners, so from an English perspective, let’s hope that Lee Westwood or Luke Donald can claim their maidens major’s to make it 16 in 16.