The Open returns to Carnoustie for the first time in over a decade this week as the world's best golfers descend on the course for the third major of the year.
Carnoustie's history suggests a play-off could be on the cards, while recent Opens indicate experience of prior major success will be key for those hoping to contend for the Claret Jug.
There appears a strong chance an American will be in the reckoning, while the best hope of ending the long wait for an English winner at the tournament appears to lie with a man looking to slay some Open demons of his own.
Here, with the help of Opta, we look at the best facts surrounding the 147th edition of golf's oldest major.
- Carnoustie is hosting The Open for the eighth time, last doing so back in 2007 when Padraig Harrington beat Sergio Garcia in a play-off.
- The last three Opens played at Carnoustie have all gone to a play-off (1975, 1999, 2007).
- Five of the last six Open Championships have been won by players who were already major winners. The only 'first-timer' in that span was Henrik Stenson in 2016.
ROSE'S WRETCHED RUN
- Nick Faldo was the last English player to win the Open Championship, that victory coming 26 years ago in 1992 at Muirfield.
- Since finishing as low amateur at Birkdale in 1998 (tied-fourth overall), Justin Rose has only made the top 10 once in 15 Open appearances (tied-sixth in 2015).
- The last Scottish winner of any major was Paul Lawrie in 1999, that win coming at Carnoustie after a play-off following Jean van de Velde's famous collapse where he triple bogeyed the 18th to throw away a three-shot lead.
- Rory McIlroy's last three Open participations have seen him finish in the top five: first in 2014, tied-fifth in 2016 and tied-fourth last year (he missed 2015 through injury). His lowest round in a major came at the 2010 Open at St Andrews (63).
Scottish Open in the books!
After 3 weeks off, a good read on my game. Great to get acquatinted with the links conditions again! Looking forward to week #2 in Scotland. #TheOpen
16. Januar 2019
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