The Open Championships is my favourite major tournament of the year, purely because a links-style golf course really tests all areas of a golfer's game. To become The Open Champion you must be able to control your ball flight, have great imagination and have the capability of dealing with various winds and weather conditions.
This year The Open Championship takes place from 16 to 23 July at Royal Birkdale, near Liverpool. Having played Royal Birkdale myself, I can attest that the course is very demanding from tee to green, with holes surrounded by huge sand dunes. The dunes make perfect vantage points for spectators though, so it's an excellent course for viewing.
My pick for this year is Englishman Justin Rose. For those of you that can remember, Justin Rose achieved global fame in 1998 at Royal Birkdale with an incredible fourth place finish in The Open as a 17-year-old amateur. He turned professional soon after and went on to the European Tour, where he missed a staggering 17 cuts in a row, enough for any young golf professional to rethink his choice of career. However, after this disappointing start he weathered the storm and in 2007 he became the number one golfer on the European Tour.
In 2013, when he was Golf At Goodwood Ambassador, he won the US Open Championship, the first Englishman to do so since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He also represented Great Britain in the Rio Olympics in 2016 where he won Gold. Rose has overcome very tough times to reach such heights and is a fantastic role model for young people taking up the sport. A return to Royal Birkdale will certainly bring back fond memories and with his skills and experience I think he is a leading contender.