Weight of expectation could be a handicap for Fleetwood
Byeong Hun An
The 25-year-old Korean has failed to notch any further victories since his runaway 2015 PGA success at Wentworth. Has a poor Major record and is an unproven links player.
The Australian has teed up in 31 Majors without being a serious factor. This is his first Open since 2012. Missed the cut at Birkdale in 2008. Too wild from tee to green.
The cocksure Floridian is a rising star Stateside despite an ugly swing. Successfully defended the St Jude Classic title last month but lacks links experience. Missed the cut in his only previous Open. Tied for fifth in the John Deere Classic on Sunday.
The accurate Swede is making his Major debut. He is enjoying an excellent rookie campaign on the European Tour, but will be pleased just to make the cut.
The Australian journeyman has won low-grade titles in Canada and Japan, but has never made the cut in a Major. Easy to dismiss.
The 44-year-old Southampton man played the best golf of his career last season, but remains a European Tour maiden. His only previous Open appearance was in 1998.
The Senior Open champion turns 52 in August. He tied for 17th in his only previous Birkdale Open (1991), but has no hope 26 years later.
The rapidly improving American is making his Open debut. Won three times on the Web.com Tour last term, then made his US Tour breakthrough at the Heritage in April. Finished third in the John Deere on Sunday.
The American successfully defended his Argentina Open title to earn an Open debut. No hoper.
The genial Spaniard landed a third European Tour title when winning the Scottish Open on Sunday. Made a decent Ryder Cup debut last year but has never posted a top-ten finish in a Major.
The lanky Somerset lad had a decent amateur career, but is yet to make waves as a pro. Emerged from a three-man playoff in a final qualifier.
The former world number three turns 40 on Friday, but is still awaiting a first Major title. He tied for seventh in the 2008 Open at Birkdale. Has been playing solidly for two years without winning.
The Texan plodder is in miserable form and missed the cut in his only previous Open.
The top two finishers in the Korean Open were awarded Open spots for the first time this year. The victor is making his Open debut. A missed cut probably beckons.
The Californian is a solid Major performer, making the cut ten times in 13 starts, and he was seventh in the Masters this year. Tied for 53rd in his only previous Open. He made his US Tour breakthrough in April and plays well in the wind.
The Italian youngster won the European Amateur Championship last year, earning an Open debut. Has much to learn.
The 2009 Open champion has enjoyed a resurgence on the US Tour this season, but the 44-year-old remains winless since his Turnberry heroics. Others are much preferred.
The 2011 Open champ has been struggling to make an impact as a player since captaining Europe in last year's Ryder Cup. Has missed 14 cuts in a row and been labouring with a knee injury.
The Canadian youngster is making his Open debut. Talented but inexperienced.
The Wild Thing won the Open in 1995 but has missed 12 Open cuts since, including at Birkdale in 1998 and 2008. A spent force at 51.
The Aussie started the year as world number one, but has quickly dropped down the rankings after a difficult few months. Seems to have lost his self-belief and has a humdrum Open record. Missed the cut by nine shots in the US Open.
The 2015 English amateur champion came through a qualifier to earn an Open debut. The inexperienced youngster could be a lamb to the slaughter.
The quirky 23-year-old Californian won the John Deere Classic with two closing birdies on Sunday to make his US Tour breakthrough and secure an Open debut.
The 34-year-old plodder is making his second Open appearance, having missed the cut in 2015. In poor form and would be delighted to make the cut.
The Australian shared fourth place in the Scottish Open on Sunday, scraping a last-gasp place Open berth. Has won two low-grade European Tour events. Major debut.
The 42-year-old Scot remains a European Tour maiden. Fourth spot in the Irish Open earned a second Open gig. Tied for 60th in 2009 on only previous appearance.
The 2013 USPGA champion won his fifth US Tour title last month, but serious putting issues continue to blight him. Likely to make the cut without contending.
The veteran is a part-timer now and just at Birkdale for fun. Has finished 11th and 39th in the last two Opens at Birkdale, but almost certain to miss the cut in his current condition.
The 21-year-old Hampshire lad won the Amateur Championship at Royal St George's last month to secure an Open debut. Has plenty of potential, but needs time to develop.
The South African legend turns 48 in October with his career on the wane. The dual Open champion (2002, 2012) was seventh in the 2008 Open at Birkdale, but has dropped outside the top 400 in the world rankings.
The 42-year-old South African has won five low-grade European Tour titles. Has missed the cut in all five Open starts.
The American powerhouse plays well in a breeze and finished 18th on his Open debut last year. Has been in solid form on the US Tour and could make an impact.
The Ascot man is enjoying a solid campaign, but remains winless since March, 2014. Has made nine Open starts without posting a top-ten finish.
The Sheffield youngster won twice last year, including the DP World Tour Championship, but has been struggling for consistency this term. Birkdale suits him, but he needs to quickly rediscover his A-game.
The Southport lad has been a dramatic ante-post market mover, punters latching on to his excellent form and local ties. Has won the Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open this season, as well as finishing fourth in the US Open. The huge weight of expectation on his shoulders could quickly become a handicap.
The 41-year-old Worksop man has made the cut in all his three previous Opens. This is his first crack at the Claret Jug since 2007. Outside the top 500 in the world rankings.
The 28-year-old American raider brings an impressive set of 2017 statistics to Birkdale. Every department of his game has been in order. Full of form and confidence, but has never won a Major and is making his Birkdale debut.
The powerful 30-year-old New Zealander has won twice on the Australasian Tour and twice on the Challenge Tour. Has greatly impressed on the European Tour in his last three events and could threaten the top 20.
The South African made his European Tour breakthrough in the Lyoness Open last month, but he lacks links experience and little can be expected on his Open debut.
The Masters champion produced solid golf for 21st spot in the US Open. Expect a more serious title challenge this week at his favourite event. Humdrum Birkdale form of 29-51 should be overlooked because the course plays to his strengths and his overall Open record is fantastic.
The South African is enduring a disappointing season by his high standards, but is a links-lover with a low ball-flight who should not be dismissed. Tied for 15th in the Scottish Open on Sunday and could easily enter the equation.
The 33-year-old Australian journeyman has won three times on his home circuit. Earned an Open debut through topping the 2016 Oz Order of Merit.
The sweet-swinging Argentinian finished 12th on his Open debut last year and possesses the long-game class to handle Major layouts. He He is a weak putter, though, and out of form.
The 2011 FedEx Cup winner has finally started getting his name on Major leaderboards after years of mediocrity in the four biggest events. Shared ninth place in the Open last year and was fifth in the US Open last month. In solid form and worth considering. Has a similar game to 1998 Birkdale champion Mark O'Meara.
The Canadian is making his Open debut, having won his maiden US Tour title at the Valspar Championship in March. Has been in poor form since.
Called up as first reserve on Wednesday when Brandt Snedeker withdrew. The Korea-born American tied for 68th in the Open last year, with a best Major finish of tied 48th in this year's Masters. He has two PGA Tour wins to his name, the most recent in the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship.
The Aussie journeyman missed the cut in his only previous Open in 2012. Likely to be quickly outclassed in this company.
The 2004 Open champion is merely making up the numbers at 51. Has missed nine Open cuts since his victory.
The best player China has ever produced is making his Open debut. Too young and inexperienced to be a serious Claret Jug candidate.
The plucky left-hander led the US Open going into the final round last month, finishing runner-up. Won the Wells Fargo Championship in May and was tenth in the John Deere on Sunday. Open form figures of 26-MC. Likely to make the cut without contending.
The dual Open champion won the 2008 edition at Birkdale by four shots. The Irishman was among the birdies in the Scottish Open last week to revive hopes of an Open hat-trick at the age of 45. He loves a links battle but there are many more chinks in his armour these days.
The Wycombe ace enjoyed a sensational start to the year, contending in US Tour events, but his sparkle has disappeared and he has missed four cuts in a row. Last year's Dunhill Links champion is proven on this type of course, but appears to have lost his way.
The Australian powerhouse has never made an impact in the Open (MC-MC-72) and a tight Birkdale seems an unlikely place for him to start.
Michael Hendry The New Zealander has been making a decent living on the Japan Tour, but has never been a factor at the highest level. Open debut.
The putting wizard won the Houston Open in April and fifth place in the Greenbrier Classic last time out was a timely return to form. Birkdale does not seem an ideal track for him, though, and his Open form is unconvincing (73-MC-20-MC).
The 28-year-old Mancunian was a shock qualifier. Open debut.
The early pacesetter in the Masters finished 22nd, then followed up with eighth in the US Open. A four-time US Tour champ at the age of 40, but probably lacks the all-round polish to enter the Major league.
The American slugger snapped a run of three Open missed cuts in a row with a third-place finish last year. Birkdale does not look a good fit for this erratic driver.
The 2014 FedEx Cup champion got back to winning ways in the AT&T Byron Nelson in May, but opened with a nine in the US Open and missed the cut by 12 shots. Has off-putting Open form of MC-MC-30-MC.
The accurate Stockport man has won four low-grade European Tour titles. His only previous Open was at Birkdale in 2008, where he shared 67th place.
The US Tour formhorse lost a playoff for the Quicken Loans National. Has consistently impressed this term, but his Open record is poor.
The 31-year-old Japanese has won 16 times on his home circuit, but has never recorded a top-20 finish in a Major.
The Thai turns 48 in November and age may be catching up with him. Has never bettered 13th place in ten Open starts and shaky recent form is not encouraging. Birkdale debut.
The 2015 Open champion has not won a tournament since his St Andrews triumph. Tied for 51st place at Birkdale in 2008. Signs of life in the John Deere Classic last week.
The world number one was in awesome nick in February and March, winning three times, but missed the cut in the Memorial and US Open. He has finished in the top ten in three of the last six Opens but has never played at Birkdale.
The popular Barnet bomber thrilled the Open galleries last year when finishing eighth. This term has not gone to plan, starting with an unsuccessful spell in the States, and only his biggest fans will be having a meaty bet on Beef.
The Open debutant has been threatening a US Tour maiden title in recent weeks, finishing second in Houston, sixth in the Texas Open and fifth in the Quicken Loans National.
The Indian has won twice on the Asian Tour and twice on the Challenge Tour, but has always been found wanting in higher grades. Open form of MC-73.
The German has failed to win since the 2014 US Open, short-game issues holding him back. He has missed only one cut in nine Open starts, with a best finish of seventh in 2010. He finished 80th at Birkdale in 2008.
The Thai turned 18 in May and is full of potential. Missed the cut at Troon last year on his Major debut.
The 30-year-old Korean is a prolific winner on the Japan Tour, but 14 Majors have yielded a best finish of 30th place. Should be outclassed again.
The Korean Open runner-up was handed an Open spot for his Major debut. Outside the world's top 500 and looks a lamb to the slaughter.
Si Woo Kim
The 22-year-old was a hugely impressive winner of the Players Championship in May, winning from the front in style. He followed up with 13th in his first US Open and faces an Open debut this week. Has been plagued with back problems, but is lethal when fully fit.
The 27-year-old Korea-born American has won his first two Japan Tour titles this summer, earning an Open debut in the process. Has played in only one Major and missed the cut.
The precise Carolinan has two US Tour victories under his belt at the age of 33, the second coming at Colonial in May. Open form of MC-76. Birkdale debut.
The gritty Dane posted the best Open finish of his career last year, sharing ninth, but a poor 2017 campaign indicates he will struggle to feature on the leaderboard this time.
The Scot has been struggling since narrowly missing out on a Ryder Cup debut last year. Has never contended for a Major title and seems unlikely to start this week.
The US Open champion obliterated the field at Erin Hills with controlled aggression on a long, open layout. Birkdale is a completely different test and he has not played since his Major breakthrough.
The South African missed the cut in his only previous Open appearance and seems a million miles from Major-winning class.
The American plodder is winless on the main tours since 2014. He missed the cut in the 1998 and 2008 Opens at Birkdale.
The 30-year-old has won twice on the European Tour and has established himself as a US Tour contender. Tied for fifth in the 2015 USPGA. Playing his first Major of 2017. Has never bettered 30th in an Open.
The power-packed Scot has won three times on the US Tour, but has never bettered 20th place in 19 Major appearances. Terrible Open record.
The moody Spaniard has won four times on the European Tour, but has never looked good enough for Major glory. Has missed nine cuts in 13 Major starts, with a best finish of 30th place. Tied for 70th in the 2008 Open at Birkdale.
The 1999 Open champion appears a fading force at the age of 48. Has not finished in the top 20 in an Open since his victory and missed the cut at Birkdale in 1998 and 2008.
The veteran goes to post again at the age of 58. Open champion in 1996 and fourth in 2000. Birkdale form of MC-32.
The Aussie was a playoff loser in the 2015 Open and has a top-20 finish to his name in each of the four Majors. He won at Bay Hill in March and is more confident than ever. In solid form and well worth considering, but making his Birkdale debut.
The swashbuckling Frenchman has won four low-grade European Tour titles at 26. Missed the cut in his only previous Open start and probably lacks the course-management skills required for Birkdale.
The American was 22 over par for 36 holes of the Scottish Open last week, his third consecutive missed cut. Total form loss at a terrible time.
The Frenchman is making his Open debut at 32. European Tour maiden with little to offer.
The American powerhouse is a US Tour maiden who has twice lost in a playoff. Missed the cut on his Open debut 12 months ago. Probably too wild from tee to green for Birkdale.
The Irishman has been devastated to miss the Open cut the last two years. His Major form since finishing runner-up in the 2016 US Open is MC-MC-MC-46. Can handle links golf, but appears to be lacking self-belief.
The diminutive Dutchman has won five low-grade European Tour titles but has never recorded a top-20 finish in a Major. Seems set to play out his career as a good but not great player.
The 59-year-old Scot has become a perennial Open cut-misser.
The Welshman is thrilled to finally be making an Open debut at the age of 38. Career highlight has been a Challenge Tour victory. Has missed six European Tour cuts in a row.
The 51-year-old Thai has won ten times on the Asian Tour. Has missed the cut in all five Open starts.
The best player Japan has produced and fearless on Major stages. This is only his fifth season as a professional and already he has posted six top-ten Major finishes and ten top-20s. Tied for second in the US Open last month. Should lead the Asian challenge.
The 27-year-old Tasmanian came through a playoff at the Gailes Links qualifier to secure an Open debut. Plies his trade on the PGA Tour of Latin America.
A second McCarthy with no hope. The Yorkshireman, who competes on the EuroPro Tour, came through the Hillside qualifier.
The promising Manchester-based youngster won the Hillside qualifier in style to secure an Open debut.
The 38-year-old Carolinan made his US Tour breakthrough in last year's Memorial. Missed the cut on his Open debut 12 months ago.
The former world number one has been labouring with rib and back problems this season, playing just ten times, as well as trying to adjust to new clubs. The 2014 Open champion has missed three of his last four cuts. Birkdale debut.
The classy American amateur is making his Open debut. Superstar college player with a record to rival Tiger Woods. Lacks links experience.
The 2013 Open champion has not won a tournament since his Claret Jug glory at Muirfield. Lefty stunned the world of golf when he skipped last month's US Open, the one Major title he has never claimed, to attend his daughter's high-school graduation. The 47-year-old, who has Birkdale form of 73-79-19, parted with long-time caddie Jim Mackay a month ago.
The 37-year-old Japanese is a five-time winner in his homeland, but has missed the cut in both his Open starts.
The accurate Italian is a four-time European Tour champion who has twice been on a winning Ryder Cup side. Solid but unspectacular Open record. Birkdale debut. Worth considering for a top-20 wager.
The Ryder Cup star missed the US Open with a shoulder injury, then missed the cut by five shots on his return as defending John Deere Classic champion. Has been in poor form all summer. Has never bettered 12th place in the Open. Birkdale debut.
The 24-year-old Colombian threatened a US Tour breakthrough in the Greenbrier Classic the week before last, finishing third, earning an Open debut in the process.