Since the turn of the century, nine unfancied players have won The Open. So, who are the dark horses this year?

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson (United States)

Could he become the first back-to-back winner since Tiger Woods in 2005-06?

He is hot, after finishing in a tie for eighth place at the US Open last month and recording a top-10 finish at Firestone a couple of weeks ago.

His steady play off the tee, plus championship experience, make him a prime candidate to pull it off.


Andy Sullivan (England)

The local boy with the engaging smile loves to take risks. So, he is bound to be the galleries' darling.

His calm mind and steady play have provided a hike in returns in recent months - with a tie for sixth at the Scottish Open and a tie for fifth at the French Open in his last two starts.

Obviously, he is peaking at the right time. The links golf should also work in his favour.


Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland)

He is looking to make amends for the day he let victory "slip through his fingers" at the 2012 edition at Royal Lytham.

On top of the leader board with nine holes to go, he finished in a share of fifth place after dropping four shots on the back nine.

The scrappy player has the game to finally break through for his second career Major. He can do it if his putter cooperates.


Matt Kuchar (United States)

The 38-year-old is turning in the best season on the PGA Tour for any player who has not won a tournament.

He tied for third at the recent World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational for his eighth top-10 finish of the season.

His steady presence in the short grass and solid putting gives him the push to go for his first tournament win this season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Since the turn of the century, nine unfancied players have won The Open. So, who are the dark horses this year?'. Print Edition | Subscribe