Five to watch - Round One
Five players to keep your eye on during Thursday's action.
When the 22-year-old Italian became the first teenager to win three European Tour titles it seemed superstardom beckoned, a notion rubber-stamped when he completed victory in the 2013 BMW PGA Championship – and yet since then he has struggled for form.
But the win at Wentworth was motivated by memories of the success Manassero's great hero Seve Ballesteros had enjoyed along those tree-lined fairways.
If the youngster is to bounce back to form where better than at The Old Course? Because for a Seve fan there is no venue more inspirational.
Question: how and why is a Finnish player a links golf specialist? Answer: because in Ilonen's youth a benefactor paid for him to spend time in Ireland, honing his game on some of the finest links courses in the world.
The 35-year-old from Lahti made good use of that schooling, becoming the Amateur Champion in 2000 and finishing tied ninth in The Open in 2001.
That remains his only top ten finish in The Open, but it may only be a matter of time for the five-time European Tour winner.
At the age of 12 the Frenchman watched Tiger Woods win the 2002 Masters and just 13 years later he arrives in St Andrews as a genuine Major contender.
Although he played The Old Course in the 2010 Open as an amateur, he failed to make the cut, but has thrived there since, most notably when finishing tied fifth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2012. He was 14-under-par for his two Old Course rounds that year and ten-under par the previous year.
He loves the course, he rediscovered his form at the recent Open de France and has a sparkling short game. He cannot be overlooked.
Japan's biggest contribution to Open history on The Old Course has come from Tommy Nakajima, the man who in 1978 was tied for the lead towards the end of the third round only to putt his ball into the Road Hole Bunker and take four shots to get out.
If anyone is going to re-write that history with a win, many believe it will be 23-year-old Matsuyama.
Tied sixth two years ago at Muirfield he was fifth in this year's Masters and tied 18th in last month's US Open, a fifth top 20 finish in just eight Major Championship appearances for one of the world's finest ball-strikers.
In 2011 the South African was a gifted but unproven Challenge Tour player. Twelve months later he was a four-time European Tour winner. Moreover, with victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, he had become a winner on The Old Course at St Andrews.
Prior to that win the 27-year-old had watched video of his compatriot Louis Oosthusizen's victory in the 2010 Open for tips and motivation. Earlier this week he played a practice round with Oosthuizen, picking his brains again. And to compete the hat-trick his caddie this week is Zack Rasego, who was Oosthuizen's bag man five years ago.
Are the omens on Grace's side?