It's time for the PGA Tour to take its yearly trip over seas for the only major championship not played on US soil. It's the oldest major in golf and the usual charms found at a major championship course are still there, but in a different way. 

Welcome back an old friend... the Open Championship. 

This year's playground is Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland. Reports from the media and players are saying the course is playing fast - very fast, in fact - and the links style course is as firm as you'd expect in an Open Championship. 

Don't expect to see lush, manicured green fairways. That's not the complexion that makes up an Open Championship course. The fairways will look scorched by the sun, the bunkers as deep as craters, and the rough thick and tall as you could only imagine in your worst golfing nightmares. 

That's Muirfield and that's why the Open Championship is going to be one of the best battles of the year. The weather is expected to be hot and dry, which means Muirfield will only get faster and firmer as the tournament progresses. The 156 players vying for the Claret Jug will need pinpoint accuracy to stick shots on the green and a weed eater to find their balls if they miss the fairway.

Officials can water the course all they want, but without any rain in the forecast, there's a good chance conditions that watering won't make much of a difference. That's just the nature of the beat. The nature of an Open Championship course. 

The course is fair without any surprises and that should mean that by Sunday, we'll be well situated for an epic finish. But who's going to win? 


1. Tiger Woods 

2. Justin Rose

3. Brandt Snedeker

4. Phil Mickelson

5. Lee Westwood