Aside from Ryder Cup years there is no doubt that Open week is the biggest event in the golfing calendar from a European perspective. The game's oldest championship is also the only major held on European soil and for any golf fanatic on this side of the Atlantic it gets no bigger than The Open Championship. Royal St George's (Sandwich) is the host venue for the 140th installment of this most illustrious event and this beautiful links course on England's South-East coast looks in stunning condition for it's 13th hosting of?an Open Championship.
In the entire history of this most famous of tournaments, seldom has it been harder to predict a winner. With such a depth of talent at Royal St George's from all four corners of the globe the tournament really is wide open. From a Titleist perspective our Open roster is also packed with an array of talent, each of whom have the game to prevail at Sandwich. Titleist Ambassador Rory McIlroy is an obvious contender following his success at the U.S. Open, winning a major by eight strokes and breaking tournament records tends to make you heavily fancied, but there are also a number of other Ambassadors from around the world that just could make their major breakthrough this week.
From Europe, young Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, fresh off a win at the BMW International Open in Munich could be one to watch. The mecurial Spaniard's swashbuckling style can sometimes land him in trouble but, when confident and on form with the putter he can make birdies in bundles and has already proved his winning mentality on the European Tour.
Another man to watch is South African Titleist Ambassador George Coetzee. The man from Pretoria is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour and over the past five events has quietly gone about posting a string of solid finishes, including a third place spot at the Barclays Scottish Open. With his game in great shape it would be no surprise to see George contend this week as he looks to emulate fellow countryman Louis Oosthuizen in lifting the famous Claret Jug.
Heading west to the U.S.A and there are two prime candidates to contend from the Titleist roster. The first of these is seasoned campaigner Steve Stricker who arrives at Royal St George's having completed a hat-trick of wins at the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour. The man known affectionately as 'Strick' has become one of the most consistent performers in world golf over the past few seasons and a major victory at The Open Championship would be both well deserved and no surprise. Another American hope who enters the week waiving the flag for Titleist is Rickie Fowler. If Steve Stricker is the archetypal experienced campaigner, Fowler is the very definition of a bright young thing and anyone who saw his Ryder Cup performance at Celtic Manor in 2010 knows how well he can perform under pressure. The exuberance of youth coupled with a steady nerve could make for the perfect combination as Rickie tees it up at Royal St Georges this week.
Finally in our Titleist league of nations comes young South Korean Ambassador Seung Yul Noh. Noh is the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner and, despite his tender years and soft spoken manner, he is nothing short of an assassin out on the golf course. Noh has been working through some swing changes recently with renowned coach Butch Harmon and his athletic move really does look every bit the swing of a major champion. Whether this will be Seung Yul's week only time will tell but here at Titleist we're tipping him for great things, whether now or in the near future.
Enjoy the action from this week's Open Championship and let's see if any of our bold predictions come to fruition. In the meantime, here are a few members of the Titleist roster gearing up for The Open in this week's slideshow.
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