5 leading contenders at the British Open

Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)
Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)

Troon - We take a look at the leading names going into the 2016 British Open that starts at Royal Troon in Scotland on Thursday:

1. JASON DAY (AUS)

Age - 28

World ranking (as of July 3) - 1

Major titles - 1 (2015 US PGA Championship)

Day strengthened his position at the top of the world ranking this year with some superb play, winning back to back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC Matchplay before a wire-to-wire triumph in The Players Championship.

Finished tied eighth at the US Open last month. Held a share of the lead going into the final round of last year's Open at St Andrews before eventually finishing tied fourth.

2. DUSTIN JOHNSON (USA)

Age - 32

World ranking (as of July 3)- 2

Major titles - 1 (2016 US Open)

Giant big hitter Johnson, who steps out with the daughter of Canadian ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky, comes to St Andrews fresh from finally winning his first major. Johnson shed his nearly-man label to win the US Open at Oakmont last month.

His previous agonising failures included a three-putt at the 72nd hole of last year's US Open at Chambers Bay that handed the title to Jordan Spieth.

3. JORDAN SPIETH (USA)

Age - 22

World ranking (as of July 3) - 3

Major titles - 2 (2015 Masters, US Open)

After taking the first two majors of 2015 at the Masters and the US Open - where he became the youngest winner of the event in 92 years - Spieth just missed out at the British Open.

He came fourth in St Andrews and his form in 2016 has been rather patchy. The Texan collapsed in dramatic fashion on the final day of the Masters while leading by five strokes and finished tied for 37th at last month's US Open.

4. RORY MCILROY (NIR)

Age - 27

World ranking (as of July 3) - 3

Major titles - 4 (2011 US Open, 2014 British Open, 2012 and 2014 US PGA Championship)

Returns to the Open at Troon after being unable to defend his title a year ago in St Andrews when he suffered an ankle injury playing football.

The Northern Irishman, who has headlined the list of big names to pull out of the Olympics in Rio, won his first tournament of this year at the Irish Open in May. However, he struggled at last month's US Open, missing the cut at a major for the first time since the 2013 British Open.

5. ZACH JOHNSON (USA)

Age - 40

World ranking (as of July 3) - 18

Major titles - 2 (2007 Masters, 2015 British Open)

Johnson, from Iowa, comes to Troon as the holder of the Claret Jug after his dramatic victory 12 months ago in St Andrews. Then he emerged victorious from a gripping four-hole play-off against Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.

It was his second major title win after he triumphed at the 2007 Masters. He has not won in 2016 although he did come eighth at the US Open last month.

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England 204 & 15/0 (10 ov)
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