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Natural layout of Carnoustie Golf Links

Open Championship at Carnoustie Preview

June 26, 2018

Carnoustie Golf Links is a tough, in-your-face course that will give the greatest golfers in the world a thorough test of skills.

Typically, on demanding layouts like Carnoustie the cream of the crop rises to the top. Several of the world’s highly ranked players  are playing well lately so the 147th Open Championship (July 15-22, 2018) is shaping up to be exciting and drama-filled on many levels.

How difficult is Carnoustie?

It’s regarded by many as one of the strongest links course designs in the world. It’s not visually appealing and some of the bunkers are insanely deep and cavernous. If a tournament leader lands in the wrong one, his lead could easily evaporate in a matter of minutes. Nicknamed “Car-Nasty”, the course really lives up to its name when the wind starts howling. The last four holes are brutal, which rewards spectators with wild and crazy finishes if the scoring is close.

The favorites to win are:

Dustin Johnson (12 to 1)

He’s the No. 1 player in the world and has all the shots needed to win. He can outdrive many of the fairway bunkers and his ball striking, of late, has been exceptional. It’ll all depend on the putter for D.J. to capture the Claret Jug.

Rory McIlroy (14 to 1)

Rory is a phenomenal talent, but he’s been erratic and unpredictable in majors in recent years. If he’s on, though, very few players, aside from perhaps Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, can match his length and accuracy off the tee.

Justin Rose (16 to 1)

Ranked No. 3 in the world, Rosie loves to play in majors. He’s one of the best scramblers on Tour (which is a great asset at Carnoustie) and a clutch putter, a necessary skill to win a major.

Rickie Fowler (16 to 1)

Fowler keeps knocking on the door at majors and he might just push his way in this time. Most golf observers agree Fowler has every shot in the bag, but he has failed to deliver over 72 holes at majors. This could finally be the week he puts it all together.

Tommy Fleetwood (18 to 1)

Englishman Fleetwood is at the top of his game. A brilliant ball striker, he grew up playing lots of links golf and his game translates well to Carnoustie. Fleetwood also thrives on difficult courses.

Odds for other high-profile players include: Jordan Spieth (16 to 1), Justin Thomas (16 to 1), Brooks Koepka (20 to 1), Tiger Woods (25 to 10), Patrick Reed (30 to 1) and Phil Mickelson (40 to 1).