Spieth craves Claret Jug and third leg of grand slam

Anna Nordqvist's penalty for grounding her club in a bunker on the second playoff hole - and the way the USGA handled it - came up of course because of Johnson's own run-in with the rules during his U.S. Open win last month.

Shane Lowry was in a position to win the U.S. Open last month, but a poor final round kept him from earning that title.

The 145th staging of the British Open is this week as the third major championship of the golf year returns to 138-year-old Royal Troon in Scotland for the ninth time overall.

Martin made a trip to Troon the weekend before the US Open and had this to say upon completion of his first-ever experience of the course, "It's always hard to pass comment on a course when you're just playing for fun and not in a tournament but I was surprised by how short the first nine are and how long the back nine is".

"I got into golf to win championships and win major championships". But, yeah, like I said, the mindset's just different. A US representative is 13/8 to win this year's Open, but read on to find out five specific American picks to claim the oldest and arguably most prestigious prize in golf...

As a sign of his supreme self-belief, Johnson claimed if he brought his best game to the South Ayrshire course, there could only be one victor. The weather is often a factor at the British Open, and Scott has proved to be one of the best players in the world when the winds start howling and the rain comes down. "I'll let you know when I get there". Obviously I'm playing very well right now. I am sure some of you have heard of the famous 8th hole.

Jason Day was about to hit his approach to No. 18 in a practice round at Royal Troon on Tuesday when he pulled out of the shot at the top of his backswing and grabbed his ribs.

"The Claret Jug is something I've held in my hands", said Spieth, who was on the plane back home from St. Andrews previous year with Zach Johnson, who won the Open.

The 27-year-old's best finish at The Open was tied-second two years ago, when he and another star yet to win a Major, Sergio Garcia, were just two shots adrift of eventual champion Rory McIlroy.

Lowry admitted the near miss did affect him for a few days, but he is determined to take the positives from challenging in a major as he prepares for this week's championship at Royal Troon.

American Jordan Spieth rounds out the favourites at +1200 after finishing one shot out of a playoff past year. "So I will be going back there, I just don't think it's appropriate this year".

Jamie Spence, Team GB's golf leader, said: "Jack Nicklaus is my hero and he said he'd walk to Rio to play in the Olympics, and I feel the same way".

"I've got to tell you, there's family members I don't even know I had".

And the Masters is played year in and year out at Augusta National, which many golfers and fans consider heaven on earth. For example, McIlroy says he could be using human growth hormone "and get away with it".

The unexpected certainly happened at the Masters and U.S. Open.

The Texan was originally quoted as saying he was concerned about the Zika virus, but yesterday he said he had more general health concerns rather than merely the mosquito-borne virus.

British Open courses are all hard and fast. "Looking at it all is something I really enjoy doing here because we don't have that kind of history in the States".

Q. Did you like links golf from the get-go? "I'm happy where my game is, I can't worry about other guys".

"You're hitting driver on every hole and you've got long irons into the green".

Jason Day is more motivated by failure than success, which helps explain how he reached No. 1 in the world.

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