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Americans seek joy of six at Carnoustie, Rose out to end wretched run - The Open in Opta facts

63   //    16 Jul 2018, 14:00 IST
Jordan Spieth with the Claret Jug

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.


- 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).


- The last five majors have all been won by players in their twenties (Brooks Koepka x2, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed). They have also all been won by American players, the longest such run this century. The last time five consecutive major tournaments were won by Americans was back in 1997-1998 (Mark O'Meara x2, Justin Leonard, David Love III and Lee Janzen).

- Spieth – victorious at Birkdale last year – can become the first player to win back to back Opens since Harrington in 2007 and 2008.

- After failing to secure a single top 10 in his first 15 major appearances, Reed has finished fourth, first and tied-second in his last three outings.

- Tiger Woods' last win in a major was over 10 years ago – the 2008 US Open. Meanwhile, his last top 10 at a major came five years ago, at the 2013 Open Championship.

- Woods has missed the cut in five of his last seven major appearances. That's as many cuts missed as in his previous 71 appearances (includes one withdrawal in the second round of the 1995 U.S. Open).

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