The 2018 British Open is right around the corner, as the world's top golfers will take on the challenging and iconic course at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.
Here's a look at the favourites to win this year's title, per OddsShark:
Dustin Johnson leads the way ahead of Rory McIlroy, the 2014 winner. Reigning champion Jordan Spieth is also among the favourites, with 2016 victor Henrik Stenson further down the list.
Carnoustie is known as a tricky course that favours versatile players with few holes in their game, and after a warm and dry summer, the fairways will be remarkably fast and firm.
Brandt Snedeker was one of many who noted this will be an Open unlike any other:
Per Peter Scrivener of BBC Sport, Spieth said "a lot of feel and imagination" will be required to win this week.
The course conditions should favour three-time winner Tiger Woods, who only used his driver once in his 2006 win at Hoylake, per Alex Myers of Golf Digest. He's been one of the top players on tour in terms of strokes gained/approach this year, indicating his form with the iron is about where he needs it to be to have success here.
The 42-year-old took some time out of his schedule to check out the Wimbledon tennis championships, but golf was never far from his mind:
McIlroy has also spent enough time away from the courses, but he's determined not to overdo his preparations for the tournament―a mistake he admitted to making ahead of the U.S. Open, per Brian Keogh of the Irish Independent:
"I felt like I almost over-prepared for Shinnecock. I was there too long, and I was starting to see all the spots you shouldn't hit it in and that's where I was hitting it in.
"So to know the course and know what to expect, it will be nice.
"The Open is never going to get like that because the greens won't get that fast and the greens aren't that slopey. Even if it gets rock hard, it's still very, very fair and playable."
Johnson's solid play throughout the year leaves him as the favourite for now, but it's worth noting he has won just the one major in his career. His performance in the U.S. Open―where he gave up a significant lead―has some questioning his mental toughness right now, and he's not been effective in the UK.
Tommy Fleetwood holds the course record—shooting a 63 during last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship—and after a runner-up finish in the U.S. Open, he could be an excellent value pick to keep an eye on.
The 27-year-old Englishman is high on confidence and looking to break a run of five American major winners in a row, per Scrivener:
"There's no doubt about it and there's no other way to put it, than they [the U.S.] have an exceptional bunch of players at the moment. It will be nice to break that run.
"Straight after the U.S. Open I wanted The Open to start straight away because you are on such a high. It was disappointing coming that close but you had that momentum and it was more proof that I can finish 72 holes right up there.
"One shot is a quarter of a shot a round so it's not that much. There's no good reason why I can't win a major."
Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and McIlroy will also be part of a large group of favourites to watch, and Brooks Koepka could be an excellent value play, looking at his form and the cool nerves he showed in his U.S. Open win.
Johnson's great work off the tee and raw power should help negate the wind that often is a factor at Carnoustie, and the slower greens should aid his putting. Seemingly always the favourite going into a major, the American will finally live up to the billing here.