Spieth will have plenty of competition at British Open

We are less than a day away from the start of the Open Championship at St. Andrews, an occurrence less frequent than the Olympics or the World Cup. It’s a great four days, some of the best in all of golf, and it’s happening during one of the most exciting seasons in decades on the PGA Tour.

So who is going to win this thing? Let’s take a look at the five I like this week at the Old Course (not named Jordan Spieth).

5. Bernd Wiesberger. Maybe a sleeper to you at home but not a sleeper to the golf community, especially those across the pond. The 29-year-old Austrian is ranked 23rd in the world after his win earlier this month at the Alstom Open de France, and Bernd sits fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings behind Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett and Louis Oosthuizen.

It’s easy to call him a sleeper, but Wiesberger was in the final group alongside Rory a year ago at the PGA Championship and looks poised and ready to make a second run in a major, hopefully learning from that Sunday last year at Valhalla.

4. Shane Lowry. Coming into his own at 28, Lowry, like Wiesberger, has continued to step up at the big events and has now been in the top 10 in two of the past four majors.

Playing in his first major championship at St. Andrews in 2010, Lowry finished T-37 and played solid golf last month at Chambers Bay on his way to at T-9.

In his past five events, Lowry has finished T-6 at the BMW PGA Championship, T-43 at the Irish Open, T-9 at the U.S. Open, T-29 at the BMW International and T-31 at the Scottish Open. He’s playing solid golf and seems ready for another good week at a major championship, especially considering the good vibes he has at the home of golf.

3. Adam Scott. You know everything you need to know about Scott’s career, but understand something: The guy was built to win a British Open. T-5, T-3 and second are his past three Open Championship finishes, and a familiar face on the bag at Chambers Bay helped him post a final-round 64 and a T-4. This will be Scott’s fourth Open at St. Andrews, and he has improved each time, missing the cut in 2000, then finishing T-34 in ’05 and T-27 in 2010.


It’s insane to think the 11th-ranked player in the world is flying under the radar, but Scott is a great pick to have a fantastic week and someone I think believes in himself more when Steve Williams is on the bag.

2. Louis Oosthuizen.  What more do you want?

Won at St. Andrews five years ago by seven shots.

Played out of his mind at the U.S. Open after an opening-round 77, missing out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth by one measly shot.

Despite a lackluster Travelers start (MC) and opening three rounds at the Greenbrier, shot a 3-under 67 on Sunday to bring some momentum to St. Andrews.

1. Rickie Fowler. He’s as poised and confident as ever to win his first major championship, and he couldn’t be in a better spot to do it. Fowler’s game was built for links golf, and his win this past Sunday at the Scottish Open was great, but much like Phil Mickelson in 2013, it was the appetizer to something more on his mind.

Fowler is ready. He’s won two huge events in 2015, had one of the best major seasons ever in 2014 and is coming off a horrible U.S. Open with something to prove.

I think Fowler wins, I really do. This PGA Tour season has been all about the youth emerging as not only the faces of the game but the champions, and I see Fowler continuing that trend Sunday at St. Andrews.

Shane Bacon is a regular contributor to FOXSports.com’s golf coverage. Follow him on Twitter at @shanebacon.