Wednesday Five to watch
We look at some of the leading contenders in this week’s field at Royal Troon and at some of the reasons why they might have greater hopes of success than some others.
DJ arrived at Royal Troon in the form of his life after consecutive victories at the US Open and the Bridgestone Invitational, and the wet weather which has lengthened the course may play right into his hands. But the American is not just a slogger. In fact, Royal Troon’s club motto ‘Tam Arte Quam Marte’ - which in schoolboy Latin translates as As Much by Skill as Strength - gives a fair description of how he plays.
The big Irishman was a last round casualty at the US Open but that blip does not mask the fact he has the game to win Majors Championships. Regular watchers of The Open might recall he carded a closing 65 to climb into a share of ninth place behind Rory McIlroy two years ago and there will be plenty of money on him going even closer this time round.
If the wind gets up Snedeker might well be the man to beat as he showed when he fired a simply unbelievable closing 69 in atrocious conditions to win this year’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He has missed more cuts (4) than he has made at The Open but he did finish tied third in 2012.
The South African is quietly making a name for himself as one of the world’s most effective players and top-five finishes in the last two US Opens attest to the fact he is not frightened to perform in the Major Championships. He also has Zach Rasego on his bag, the caddie who helped Louis Oosthuizen to victory in The Open at St Andrews in 2010.
Royal Troon has a habit of producing American winners and Reed is another who could fit the bill. He’s tough, he’s tenacious and he might also be running into bit of form after finishing tied tenth at last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.