The Open golf tournament is the oldest and most prestigious major in the sport and one that has been played many times in Scotland. This year will see the competition return to Carnoustie, which last staged the event in 2007, but is most famous for the 1999 edition.

On that occasion, Paul Lawrie won the Open and he remains the last Scot to date to do so. However, the abiding memories are all about a claret jug lost rather than won; of the Frenchman Jean van der Velde blowing his one big chance of a major in his career with an extraordinary series of blunders on the very final hole, a comedy of errors highlighted by the sight of him standing barefoot in the Barry Burn.

This year has a French connection of a different kind, with Le Golf national hosting the Ryder Cup there will be a sub-plot as the Americans seek to continue their dominance of the biggest events. Last year saw three out of four majors in the hands of Americans, and so far, this year the pattern has continued; Patrick Reed won the masters, Brooks Koepke retained his US Open title and the unofficial fifth major, the Players' Championship, was secured by Webb Simpson.

Indeed, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and reigning US PGA champion Justin Thomas also hungry for more glory, the odds on another American triumph will be short, even if Tiger Woods is unlikely to be in the shake-up.

Indeed, of the veterans from across the Atlantic, Phil Mickelson may be the biggest challenger, not least as he will want to atone for virtually playing hockey in the US Open by chasing after his ball and knocking it back to avoid it rolling off the green. He publicly apologised for the incident this week but will prefer to put things right with some immaculate strokeplay.

Despite the strength of the Americans, there are plenty of Europeans and others who could challenge. Rory McIlroy is due to do so, even if his form this year has been patchy. Tommy Fleetwood, who ran Koepke close in the US Open, is the most obvious English contender, while Scots will hope for great things from Russell Knox, who won the recent Irish Open and will want to forget his 49th-place finish in the Scottish Open at Gullane, where a final round of 75 derailed a promising challenge.

The man of the moment, however, may be a man whose only Ryder Cup involvement will be watching it on TV. South African Brandon Stone equalled the European tour record with a final round of 60 to win the Scottish Open. This was the 28th time the score has been recorded, although Stone could have broken it had he not missed a birdie putt on the 18th.

Carnoustie itself will provide plenty of stern challenges, with the various competitors sure to be aware of its many hazards - not least the 18th itself. The rough, the Barry Burn, and the bunker close to the hole are all lying in wait for anyone hoping for a straightforward end to around - with memories of a floundering Frenchman falling foul of all of them acting as a reminder of the perils that await.

Some might like the idea of the French being brought down to Earth after their recent sporting glory in Moscow, but right now, golf lovers from across Europe will be hoping their continent can produce another Open winner.



Get the latest information about our travel packages to the world’s top sporting events.

Upcoming events

View full event list