Americans have won the last six editions of the major when it has been held at Troon despite links courses traditionally suiting British players. The often wild weather and “Postage Stamp” green make it tough going.
The British Open golf starts on Thursday and the betting is again wide open when it comes to trying to predict a winner of the only major outside the United States.
In-form Dustin Johnson of the United States is 9-1 joint-favorite with aggregated bookmakers along with Australian world number one Jason Day.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, winner in 2014, is a 10-1 shot with American Jordan Spieth at 11s. But in truth a victor could come from anywhere in the 156-strong field.
The often gutsy and wet weather which meet golfers on the shoreline links courses which make up the British Open mean the annual contest can be something of a lottery, especially as this year´s four-day event takes place at Royal Troon in Scotland.
The course is famous for having one of the smallest greens in the world on the par three eighth hole, the so called Postage Stamp.
The tough nature of the course might suggest that a previous winner, used to the travails of a links, has the best chance of launching an assault of the Claret Jug trophy. Often when you tee off has a big bearing on your showing with weather conditions fluctuating constantly.
But a look back in history shows the last six winners of Opens at Troon have been American, despite the US having very few windswept links and preferring beautifully manicured park courses.
Tiger Woods is out injured but a plethora of other Amricans are poised.
The last time the Open was at Troon in 2004, American Todd Hamilton triumphed despite being little known in golfing circles, let alone outside.
American Zach Johnson won last year at St Andrews despite not being among the favorites but this year another unrelated Johnson, Dustin, is heavily tipped for success given his stunning recent form on the PGA Tour.
He won the US Open in June but knows how hard it is to win back-to-back majors. His best result at the British Open was tied second in 2011.
One man who has recent experience of winning two majors in a row is Spieth, who had a stellar 2015 season winning the US Masters and the US Open. He then tied fourth at the British Open and was second at the US PGA Championship.
But he has not been as impressive this year and this week became the latest in a long line of golfers including Day and McIlroy to snub next month’s Rio Olympics, supposedly on Zika virus fears.
Non golfers would wonder why players would rather hack about in the thick rough of a British Open course in the midst of driving wind and rain than appear in golf´s Olympic Games comeback in the exotic environment of Rio.
But golf is a very traditional sport despite a new young generation of players and the 154th British Open is as important as it has ever has been, especially if you are American.