Five English players that could win at Royal Birkdale

Royal Birkdale clubhouse

The 2017 Open Championship heads to Southport and the stunning links course at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club for a tenth time.

It’s been 25 years since an Englishman last won The Open when Nick Faldo triumphed at Muirfield in 1992, and 48 years since an English victory on English soil.

So what are the chances of an Englishman walking away with the Old Claret Jug come Sunday?

FOX Sports Asia takes a look at five home favourites we feel could win the event.(in no particular order):

Tommy Fleetwood  (England)

Age: 26
World ranking: 14
Major wins: 0
Professional wins: 6

Why he could win it:
It is a no brainer to pick the Englishman for a possible winner as he grew up at Southport and knows the course well having played there many times over the years. 

Not only that but he will have amazing fan support at Royal Birkdale on his hometown course.

Fleetwood happens to be playing the best golf of his life at the moment. In June he finished fourth in the U.S. Open and is also coming off victories at the Abu Dhabi Championship and the Open de France. 

The turn around in form after a quiet few years could have a lot to do with a return to his boyhood swing coach Alan Thompson in 2015. He has been on the up ever since.

If things go his way, on a course he knows very well, don't be surprised to see the 26-year-old  winning his first major this weekend.  

Justin Rose (England)

Age: 36
World ranking: 12
Major wins: 1 (2013 U.S. Open)
Professional wins: 18

Why he could win it:
The experienced Rose is one of those golfers who consistently does well in tournaments worldwide and is one of the most accomplished English golfers of his generation.

Though he may only have a best T4 result at the Open Championship in 1998 as a 17-year-old, it was staged at Royal Birkdale. He just needs things to fall into place this weekend and could be a major challenger due to his familiarity with the course.

His form of late has been good and it showed when he finished runner up to Sergio García in a playoff at the Masters in April.

Though his recent approach play has not been up to his high standards, a turnaround seems inevitable which will make him tough to beat.

Paul Casey (England)

Age: 39
World ranking: 16
Major wins: 0
Professional wins: 17

Why he could win it:
After a slow start to the year Casey has got better and better after finishing 26th at the U.S Open, he has followed it up with four Top-12 finishes in his last six starts.

The Englishman has not played particularly well at the Open of late but if he carries his good form to Birkdale in 2008, where he finished tied for seventh in 2008, he could cause a surprise.

What makes him so dangerous heading into this weekend's event is that Casey has the raw power and the putting stroke to prosper on a course that plays to his strengths.

Ian Poulter (England)

Age: 41
World ranking: 78
Major wins: 0
Professional wins: 16

Why he could win it:
Winless since 2012, Poulter was in danger of losing his tour card earlier this year after a foot injury meant he failed to accumulate enough ranking points.

He has since bounced back, finishing second in The Players Championship, while he was tied for the lead heading into the final round of last week’s Scottish Open.

The popular figure has several top-10 finishes in the majors, including a second place last time out at Royal Birkdale, so with his form returning and a good record on links courses Poulter is definitely capable of pulling off that long-awaited first major win.

Tyrrell Hatton (England)

Age: 25
World ranking: 24
Major wins: 0
Professional wins:    4

Why he could win it:
The young Englishman comes into the Open in poor form having missed the cut in his last four events – including the US Open.

Still, with a good record on links courses – a victory at last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championships at St. Andrews (that included a course record 62) and a T5 at Royal Troon in last year’s Open – a return to form is not beyond the realms of possibility.

And should he return to his early season form that saw him earn seven consecutive Top-20 finishes he will definitely be in with a shout at the weekend.

Honourable mentions

Danny Willett (England)

Age: 29
World ranking: 41
Major wins: 1 (2016 Masters Tournament)
Professional wins: 5

Why he could win it:
After winning the 2016 Masters tournament the 29-year-old Willett's form has gone up and down ever since.

In February, he headed into the final round of the 2017 Maybank Championship in Malaysia leading by three shots, looking to claim his first tournament win since his 2016 Masters triumph but ended up shooting over par in the final round to end fifth, four strokes behind eventual winner Fabrizio Zanotti.

Willett could very well bounce back to his hot form of 2016 as he has a terrific work ethic that is not often matched at the top of the game.

Heading into Royal Birkdale, one thing that Willett has is a very good wedge game and if his putting is on song, then he could spring a few surprises.

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