The 5 Golfers Likely to Challenge Jon Rahm at The Open Championship 2021
Having been in good form for the past few months, it comes as no surprise that Rolex Testimonee Jon Rahm is currently the world’s number 1 ranked golfer. His recent win at US Open 2021 makes the Spaniard the red-hot favourite to look out for during the next major tournament on the professional golfing calendar, The Open.
The US Open victory might be Rahm's first major championship in his career and he has not finished in the top 10 in The Open. But his performances this year on the greens has been nothing but scintillating and the numbers do not lie: since the 2020 Masters last November, he has tied or edged out 471 of 488 opponents in his last four major championships. That makes an impressive 96.5 per cent of wins, making him the pole favourite to clinch the Claret Jug.
Taking place between 15 and 18 July, the 149th rendition of the tournament sees a return to the renowned Royal St George's Golf Club for the first time since Northern Irishman Darren Clarke's victory in 2011. Located in the town of Sandwich in Southeast England, the course is known for its undulating fairways, representing a challenging course for golfers. Conditions are made tougher with the wind whipping off the nearby English Channel.
With its deep-rooted relationship with the world of golf spanning over half a decade, Rolex will no doubt be lending its support to the tournament. The Swiss watch manufacturer will reprise its role as the official timekeeper at The Open since 1981.
Even with Rahm odds-on to take home top honours, he still faces stiff competition from his contemporaries. Here are five other Rolex Testimonees we say will pose a threat to the Spaniard's chances of winning at Royal St George's.
1/5 Jordan Spieth
First on our list is Jordan Spieth. The young American professional golfer with his win at the Valero Texas Open back in April has held good form all season. As the champion of The Open in 2017, his experience with this tournament will no doubt serve as an invaluable asset as he enters this year's edition at the Royal St George's. Consistency on the green will play a key role in determining if he can lay his hands on the Claret Jug again.
Related: Golfer Jordan Spieth Wants to Get Back to Winning Ways and Do More For Society
2/5 Brooks Koepka
The next on our list to watch is Brooks Koepka. Alongside his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open 2021, Koepka has been playing in good form this season, placing within the top 3 in recent tournaments. His performance at the last two major championships was extremely strong. With razor-sharp focus and possibly a stroke of luck when the going gets tough, there is a great chance that the American can snag his first major since 2019.
Related: A Look at PGA Championship 2021 Winner Phil Mickelson's Glorious Career
3/5 Justin Thomas
On our list as well is American professional golfer Justin Thomas. Currently world number three, Thomas has had a tough year at the major championships but the bold dresser (remember bold colours and stylish wingtips?) is always a name to look out for. Not only was he world number one three years ago, he also counts one major title under his belt. Snagging The Players Championship 2021 would have given his confidence a major boost, so it is no surprise if he challenges for top honours at The Open.
4/5 Paul Casey
Fourth on our list of top contenders is Paul Casey. The English professional golfer has been in relatively fine form all season, placing within the top 10 for most tournaments. The current world number 21 even finished within the top five at The Players Championship and The PGA Championship this year. If he maintains a consistently high standard throughout the tournament, Casey will make a strong contender at the 149th Open championship.
Related: Sailing Legend Ben Ainslie Leads Great Britain Team To Success In SailGP Season 2
5/5 Victor Perez
And finally and certainly not the least, we have Victor Perez, the newly minted Rolex Testimonee from France. The rising star has undoubtedly impressed with his consistent performances. In 2017, just two years after he went professional, Perez achieved his maiden victory at the Challenge de Espana. And in 2020, Perez earned 1st runner-up positions at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and BMW PGA Championship. Which in our eyes are notable achievements for a rookie to have under his belt. With golf’s unpredictability, his immense talent could come to the fore, and earn him the Claret Jug.
Related: Watches & Wonders 2021: Rolex’s 3 Big Themes For the Year