COUNTY ANTRIM – Local resident Darren Clarke highlights his top three contenders ahead of the start of The Open at Royal Portrush.
1. Frankie Molinari
I know he’s got to deal with the pressure of being the defending champion but I just think Portrush is perfect for his straight hitting. It’s a course for strategists, not bombers, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the gutsy Italian keeping his arms wrapped tightly around that precious Claret Jug.
2. Justin Rose
Another who should relish the premium that Portrush places on smart thinking. He’s been so close, so often in so many majors I just think he’s well overdue to claim another to go with his 2013 US Open. Finishing runner-up in the Open last year will surely provide a confidence boost.