Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson put on an incredible performance in last year's Open Championship as they went shot-for-shot until Stenson eventually came out victorious, winning his first major. Stenson continued a streak of six straight first-time major champions that is still alive after Brooks Koepka won this year's U.S. Open. However, the past four British Open Champions before Henrik Stenson had all won a major before they took home the Claret Jug. Will the trend of first-time major winners continue, or will we see an experienced veteran take home the title?


I see Louis Oosthuizen and Rickie Fowler as the top two contender's in this year's Open Championship.

Oosthuizen's game is very well suited for this tournament, as he handles wind very well, he hits the fairway at an elite rate, and when he isn't hitting the fairway, he's a great scrambler from both the rough and sand. Oosthuizen's short game is one of the best in the world as he ranks 7th on the PGA Tour in sand saves and 22nd in putting. Oosthuizen has already won a Claret Jug before, and he could be in contention for a second one this weekend.

Rickie Fowler is looking to add to the list of first-time major winners over the last two years. Fowler has a similar game to Oosthuizen in that he plays the wind well, hits fairways, and he ranks number one on the Tour in sand saves and sand scrambling.

His sand skills will come in handy on a course that has numerous treacherous sand traps at Royal Birkdale. Fowler has finished well in the majors this year with a 5th place finish at the U.S. Open and an 11th-place finish at the Masters, but he'll be eyeing a finish at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Henrik Stenson should have a strong showing in his defense of the title, and the usual names should be near the top of the leaderboard as well in Jason Day, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, and Jordan Spieth.

However, if you're looking to put some money down as you're watching this weekend, take a chance on Louis Oosthuizen at 40/1 or Fowler at 14/1.

TV Schedule

All times Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday, July 20:

1:30 AM - 4 PM on Golf Channel.

Friday, July 21:

1:30 AM - 4 PM on Golf Channel

Saturday, July 22:

4:30 AM - 7 AM on Golf Channel

7 AM- 3PM on NBC

4:30 PM - 6 PM on NBC

Sunday, July 23:

4 AM - 7 AM on Golf Channel

7 AM - 2 PM on NBC

With a star-studded field we can expect the same type of excitement we saw last year with the Stenson-Mickelson Sunday showdown. The only question that remains is who will be at the top of the leaderboard when that drama ensues?