If you take a peek into Open Championship history at Royal Birkdale, there’s one multiple major champion who emerges as the favourite.
But it isn’t Rory McIlroy, or Phil Mickelson, or Jordan Spieth. Step forward: Martin Kaymer. But why? Well, if you take the average age of the nine previous winners of Open Championships at Royal Birkdale, along with the average number of starts they needed before winning their first Claret Jug, you get ‘A. Golfer’ aged 32 and a few months, who won on their sixth start.
By that logic, the winner of this year’s championship should be the German. The former world No.1 will be 32-and-a-half at this year’s championship and will be playing in his tenth Open, having made his debut on the Southport links back in 2008.
“As a European, it is my biggest goal and my biggest dream to win the Open,” said Kaymer ahead of the championship back in 2010."
Speaking about the challenges the Open brings with it, he added: “It's just a different mental approach. You need to avoid your big mistakes and I don’t really mind it because everybody has to go through it.”
Kaymer’s best performance at an Open Championship came at St Andrews in 2010, where he finished T7. In nine appearances, that is his only top ten, with T12 finishes in 2011 and 2015. He has missed the cut just one though, which came at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012.
Another player worth keeping an eye on is Charl Schwartzel (32, 12th start), whilst English duo Paul Waring and David Horsey also fit the age criteria and will be playing in their third and second Opens respectively. What’s more, both are relatively local to Royal Birkdale. Waring was born in Birkenhead, 17 miles from Birkdale, with Horsey born in Stockport, 38 miles away.