Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

Five players who could win their first Major at Portrush as the Open heads to Ireland | Golf | Sport

The oldest and most famous Major is here again as Francesco Molinari looks to defend the Claret Jug, but who could win their first Major championship?

The only other time Royal Portrush hosted The Open in 1951 it was won by Max Faulkner, his first ever major. Can history repeat itself 68 years later?

Our friends at Golfbidder look at the players who are well-positioned to break their major duck by lifting the famous Claret Jug…

1) Jon Rahm – the born links golfer – The 24-year-old Spaniard could be a serious contender at the year’s final major, having grown up in Barrika, on the northern coast of Spain, which is susceptible to the same windy conditions he will face at Royal Portrush.

Rahm also claimed The Irish Open back in 2017 at Royal Portstewart so he certainly has the experience of winning on a links course. Is it his time to break through and have his name engraved on the trophy alongside his idol Seve Ballesteros?

2) Matt Kuchar – the driving dynamo – ‘Mr Top 10’ has already picked up two wins this year on the PGA tour and is in dangerous form heading into The Open. Driving accuracy will be key around Royal Portrush, with the punishing thick rough off the fairways.

Kuchar is currently ranked 10th for driving accuracy on the PGA tour at 69.92% and will need this kind of precision to contend. His last two Opens have seen him finish as runner-up to Jordan Spieth in 2017 followed by a T9 at Carnoustie last year.

3) Xander Schauffele – the form player – The cool, calm and collected Californian has had a great major year so far with a second-placed finish at The Masters followed by a T16 at the US PGA before another close run at Pebble Beach, ending up in a tie for third. His even temperament and ability to let nothing phase him is perfectly suited to The Open, where great shots often get punished by terrible bounces.

Schauffele will feel ready to join the illustrious list of major winners with a complete all-round game containing no real weaknesses.

4) Paul Casey – the wise head – The Surrey-born 41-year-old former world number three has proven that you can compete at the highest level at any age by defending his Valspar Championship title in March.

Casey is known for his astonishing ball striking which will be crucial if the wind picks up, as any mishits will be severely accentuated. Casey has contended in past Opens with a T3 finish back in 2010 and has patience and experience required to lift the prestigious Claret Jug and keep the trophy on British soil.

5) Rickie Fowler – the perennial hopeful – No list of hopefuls would be complete without mentioning Fowler. The 30-year-old American has been the majors’ nearly-man over the past five years, with a total of eight top five finishes.

His creativity around the greens will be needed at Royal Portrush, where missing greens becomes inevitable. Fowler has all the shots to navigate these challenges, from a simple chip and run to a cut lob over a nasty pot bunker.

With his self-proclaimed love for links golf and an ability to control his ball flight in the Irish winds, fan favourite Fowler may just finally do it.

Golfbidder is the UK’s leading used golf club retailer, which offers both new and used golfing equipment, apparel and technology.

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Five players who could win their first Major at Portrush as the Open heads to Ireland | Golf | Sport