Wednesday, 16 July 2014
The Claret Jug  (Getty Images)
The Claret Jug (Getty Images)

As we continue our build-up to this week's Open Championship, stats man Steve Doughty picks his players to watch out for at Royal Liverpool. 

Jamie Donaldson

- Has become a very consistent player on the biggest stages in the game.
- Yet to win in 2014, but has been very consistent, with four top five finishes on The European Tour
- Two of these have come in his last three outings, where he tied for fifth in both the BMW International Open and Alstom Open de France.
- Has only missed two cuts all season.
- Is a proven performer on links courses, after his maiden European Tour title came at Royal Portrush in the 2012 Irish Open.
- Last year saw his best finish at an Open Championship, where he finished in a tie for 32nd.

Stephen Gallacher

- Loves links golf.
- Won his first European Tour title on the celebrated links courses of the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, en route to the 2004 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title.
- Became the first man to successfully defend the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title earlier this year, and has proven to be a consistent performer this season, having moved inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
- Comes into this week in good form, after a closing 63 saw him finish in a tie for fourth at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Mikko Ilonen

- At the top of his game after a wire-to-wire triumph at the recent Irish Open.
- Has a proven pedigree for links golf after he won The Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2000.
- Tied for ninth in The Open the following year.
- Has recorded three top five finishes already this season, all of which has the Finn inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
- Tied for 16th in The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006.

Graeme McDowell

- Will tee it up at Royal Liverpool in good spirits after the successful defence of his Alstom Open de France title a fortnight ago.
- Has a proven track record of performing well on tough courses, where scoring is difficult.
- His upbringing at Royal Portrush has given him a vast knowledge of how to play links golf.
- Tied for fifth at The Open Championship in 2012.
- Led after round one in the 2006 Open at Royal Liverpool, after a 66 on Thursday.

Justin Rose

- On current form is arguably the best player in the world.
- Going for his third consecutive victory after wins at the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour, and at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open last week.
- Has not recorded a top ten finish in The Open Championship since he posted a tie for fourth as an amateur in 1998.
- Will try to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson 12 months ago by doing an Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Open Championship double.
- Has a new found confidence in Major Championships after his US Open triumph at Merion last year.
- Is arguably in the best form of his career.

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