Dustin Johnson to tee off as betting favourite on British Open odds

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Shane Lowry of Ireland, right, see it a bit differently on the 16th at Carnoustie.

Tiger Woods doesn't feel as old at the oldest championship in golf.

"Look what Tom (Watson) did at Turnberry at (age) 59, I believe he was (in 2009, when he almost won the tournament)".

Carefree and unafraid, he played the first round without making a bogey and went on to win the silver medal as low amateur.

He made his links debut at Carnoustie in 1995 as an amateur at the Scottish Open, a week before his British Open debut at St. Andrews.

The best players in the world will be tested by both the course and the elements this week at Carnoustie, and as is typically the case at the British Open, the player that can best adjust their game will walk down the 18th fairway on Sunday with the championship in hand.

Standing in McIlroy's way is a course that was dubbed "Carnasty" in 1999 when The Open returned after a 24-year absence. But for all of his experience, he did not begin to excel until the last few years.

Fowler, Thomas and 2015 Open victor Zach Johnson were waiting at the top of the hill at the 18th green at Royal Birkdale a year ago to congratulate Spieth when he won.

Watson also discussed the unique challenge presented by the Carnoustie course this week and took on the 99-yard challenge - with a seven iron! This is his 10th appearance, and he expects to see all manner of strategies in play. "There is not one player that has a game plan on a Wednesday night and is going to stick to it for the whole 72 holes".

"Everything is going just a little bit better".

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"Because the golf course is playing so firm and fast. there's some guys that will see it completely different than the way I see it, and vice versa, " he said.

'It's going to favour a patient player for sure.

"With links golf you have to adapt", he said. "The bunkers here are truly a water hazard".

Tiger Woods - We know, we know, you've heard this before.

The young quartet of major holders Spieth, Koepka, Patrick Reed (Masters) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) are expected to be in contention as they look to extend the United States winning run to six majors. He's gotten married, become rich and has four major championship trophies on his fireplace mantle.

And he comes into The Open in decent, but not great, form.

Johnson has been idle since finishing third at last month's US Open as a +800 favourite, a performance that vaulted him back to the top of the World Golf Rankings, where he remains entering the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.

"I've grown up on these courses and I'm comfortable on them", McIlroy said.

"When I first came out on tour, I was an anomaly in the sense that no one turned pro at 20, " Woods said.

Adam Scott would be the fairytale victor this week, having come so close so many times including 2012 when his four, consecutive bogeys to close at Royal Lytham saw him throw away a title that was his, gifting the win to Ernie Els. "I'll give it a good go this week".

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