The final major of the season gets underway at Royal Portrush on Thursday as a star-studded field compete for the Open Championship, and 2016 champion Henrik Stenson looks ready to strike again.
Although Swedish star Stenson has yet to pick up a win in 2019, his form has been trending in the right direction over recent months and he arrives in Northern Ireland on the back of a tied-fourth finish at the Scottish Open.
The 43-year-old has three top-10s from his last three outings and he has proven ability when it comes to playing links golf, having triumphed in the 2016 edition at Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire.
World number 39 Stenson’s Open record in general makes for good reading, with three top-five finishes – in 2008, 2010 and 2013 – adding to his victory three years ago.
Finding the fairway off the tee can often prove crucial when it comes to winning an Open due to the punishing rough and this is an area the Swede has been impressive in this season, as he sits 21st in driving accuracy.
Stenson is also eighth in strokes gained: approach-the-green, while he is 14th in scrambling, which has also proven to be a big factor when it comes to lifting the Claret Jug.
World number nine Justin Thomas may have a dismal Open record, having missed the cut three times in a row, but he has worked hard on his links golf and arrives on the back of a good performance in Scotland.
The American shot a six-under-par 65 on his final round of the Scottish Open to finish in a share of ninth and he will be hoping to keep that momentum going at Royal Portrush.
Although yet to add to his eight PGA Tour titles this season, the 26-year-old has five top-10 finishes and his statistics on the US circuit make for fantastic reading.
Thomas is ninth in scoring average, second in greens in regulation and 10th in strokes gained: total, highlighting just how well he is playing and how close he is to breaking his 2019 duck.
The final selection comes in the shape of world number eight Rahm, who has been knocking on the door in recent season as he looks to break his major duck.
At the age of 24, the Spaniard has already won three times on the PGA Tour and four times on the European circuit, while he helped Europe win the 2018 Ryder Cup on his debut in the prestigious event.
The Barrika-born star has two top-10 major finishes this season, having ended T9 at the Masters and T3 at the US Open, and he heads to Northern Ireland on the back of his Irish Open victory.
Rahm’s European Tour stats are also very impressive this season. He is fourth in strokes average, ninth in strokes gained: off-the-tee, second in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 15th in putts per round.
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