2010 British Open Hopefuls

The time has arrived for the third Major in 2010, and what better scenario can you think of to describe how this British Open will be played? St. Andrews, high winds, pouring rain, and longer tee shots over apartment buildings? Sign me up!

Here are a few names to watch this week as the PGA Tour prepares to tackle a new look at the birthplace of golf.

Justin Rose: Nobody on Tour is playing better right now, and Rose is no slouch when it comes to playing links-style golf. Fans will remember the way he stole the show 12 years ago at Royal Birkdale as an amateur, finishing tied for fourth. While the Open remains elusive to this PGA veteran, there has never been a better opportunity to hoist the Claret Jug than what Rose is faced with now.

Steve Stricker: The repeat-Deere champion is sure to make a strong showing at the Open this season thanks to his recent hot play. Probably one of the more consistent players on Tour, Sticker's strong wedge game will surely be his strong suit this weekend on the Old Course's tricky pin placements.

Stewart Cink: The 2009 Open champion looks to defend his title, however Cink's strongest Major showing this season was a tie for 40th at the US Open last month. Having proven the effectiveness of his links-strategy last year, Stew certainly has the tools needed to repeat.

Tiger Woods: Already a 2-time Open winner at St. Andrews (2000 and 2005), Woods brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong gameplan to Scotland this week. Looking for his first Major (and win) of the 2010 season, Woods has finished tied for fourth at the Masters and US Open this season despite his long hiatus. Keeping the ball in play off the tee will be the only way Woods has a chance this week, and St. Andrews has more fairway square footage than most courses on the globe.

Phil Mickelson: The 2010 Masters winner has never performed substantially well at the British Open in years past, but no time like the present to make a change to that trend. Unquestionably the best short-game player on the PGA Tour, Lefty will need all the tricks in his bag to master the greens in the midst of projected bad weather.

Tom Watson: Age ain't nothing but a number for this PGA Legend, and that was proven during his incredible showing at last year's Open. Perhaps the greatest links-player of all time, Watson has already made strong showings at both the Masters and US Open earlier this year. Don't let the crows feet fool you; this Old Tom still has plenty of magic left in his bag.