16 33 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE

Tiger Woods

Age: 38

British Open record: Nine top-10s in 18 starts, with wins in 2000 and 2005 at the Old Course in St.Andrews and in 2006 at Hoylake, where he used his driver once in the tournament. He has ties for third and sixth in his last two starts.

Recent form: Not much. Bothered by a back injury that led to surgery, Woods' best finish this season is a tie for 25th. In his return nearly three weeks ago after having surgery March31, Woods missed the cut at the Quicken Loans Invitational.

Why watch: He's Tiger Woods. He won the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg and torn knee ligaments. But that was the last of his 14 major titles. Last year's PGA Tour player of the year expected to come back this week, but his rehab pushed the return up. Still, has he had enough time — and reps — to have his game in shape to contend?

Justin Rose

Age: 33

British Open record: One top-10 in 12 starts — a tie for fourth in 1998 when he was the low amateur at age 17. He has missed the cut the past two years.

Recent form: No one is hotter than Rose, who has won back-to-back titles in the Quicken Loans Invitational and last week's Scottish Open.

Why watch: Last year's winner of the U.S. Open is dialed in and as confident as he has been during his career.

Martin Kaymer

Age: 29

British Open record: One top-10 in seven starts — a tie for seventh in 2010 when the tournament was played at the Old Course in St.Andrews.

Recent form: The former No.1 in the world won The Players Championship in May and the U.S. Open in June during a resurgence.

Why watch: He could make history. Kaymer could join Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones as the only players to win the U.S. Open and British Open in the same year.

Adam Scott

Age: 33

British Open record: Three top-10s in 14 starts, including a second and a tie for third in his past two starts. In 2012, he led by four with four holes to play but made bogeys on all four to finish one stroke behind Ernie Els.

Recent form: In his last 18 starts he has four wins, his most recent in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May. He hasn't played since tying for ninth in the U.S. Open.

Why watch: The world's No.1 has geared his schedule around the majors, which paid off with his first major title at the 2013 Masters. That came nine months after his heartbreaking loss in the 2012 British Open. He's among the best ball strikers in the game.

Sergio Garcia

Age: 34

British Open record: Seven top-10s in 17 starts, including a playoff loss to Padraig Harrington in 2007 when his putt to win on the 72nd hole spun out. In 2006 at Hoylake, he played in the final group with Woods but finished in a tie for fifth.

Recent form: He has six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season as his putter has caught up with his outstanding ball striking.

Why watch: Well, in 2006 at Hoylake, he showed up in the final round in a canary yellow outfit. In 2007, he came within an eyelash of winning the Open.

Jordan Spieth

Age: 20

British Open record: In his lone start, he tied for 44th last year at Muirfield a week after he won his lone PGA Tour title in the John Deere Classic.

Recent form: He hasn't won since last year's John Deere, but Spieth keeps putting himself in contention with 11 top-15 finishes this season, including a tie for second in the Masters and a tie for fourth in The Players.

Why watch: He's going to break through some time, right? Poor weekend play has been Spieth's downfall, but he rarely has shot himself out of a tournament in the first two rounds.

Phil Mickelson

Age: 44

British Open record: He had two top-10s in 19 starts before he broke through to capture the Claret Jug last year with a final-round 66 to win by three shots.

Recent form: He hasn't recorded a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season.

Why watch: Despite the 2014 results, Mickelson is confident this week as he tries for back-to-back British Open titles.

PHOTOS: Tuesday at the British Open

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
16 33 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1mHjrdn