The 150th Open: Tiger Woods' last time at St Andrews? Major win for Rory McIlroy? Storylines to follow
Tiger Woods chasing historic 16th major title, while Rory McIlroy searches for first major success since 2014 and England looks a winner at The Open after a 30-year absence; Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports' dedicated Open channel!
Last Updated: 11/07/22 3:05pm
Will The 150th Open be the last time we see Tiger Woods at St Andrews? Could the Old Course prove 'too easy' for the world's best? How will Rory McIlroy perform? Five storylines to follow this week...
What can we expect from Tiger Woods?
Woods has made just two official starts since suffering career-threatening injuries to his leg and ankle in last February's car crash, two months on from undergoing back surgery for a fifth time, although the 82-time PGA Tour winner has always set his sights on playing in Scotland this week.
The 15-time major winner won his first Open title by eight shots at St Andrews and claimed a dominant victory at the same venue in 2005, with Woods telling reporters at the JP McManus Pro-Am last week that he wanted to "give it at least one more run at a high level" at the course.
Woods failed to complete the PGA Championship in May because of injury and sat out of the US Open last month, although the time off hasn't provided any noticeable improvement in his mobility around the golf course.
The 46-year-old largely used a buggy to get around Adare Manor, while Woods appeared far from comfortable walking and bending down in two early practice rounds alongside Justin Thomas at St Andrews.
Woods has overcome huge hurdles in the past, recovering from back surgery to win The Masters in 2019 and producing similar comebacks during his history-making career, but it remains to be seen how much longer Woods will continue playing when he physically isn't anywhere near being able to contend.
Is this the week McIlroy ends his major drought?
It is 12 years since the world No 2 last contested The Open at St Andrews, when McIlroy started with a brilliant 63, slumped to a second round of 80 in terrible weather and fought back to finish in a tie for third.
McIlroy led from start to finish to win the 2014 Open at Royal Liverpool, but was prevented from attempting to retain the Claret Jug on the Old Course the following year after suffering an ankle injury playing football.
The Northern Irishman has had three top-five finishes in The Open since and has finished no worse than eighth in the three majors so far this season, so it would be little surprise to see him in contention this week in Scotland.
McIlroy has only finished outside the top 20 in a tournament three times over the past year and is already a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, with the 33-year-old having another chance this week to claim a fifth major title and first since 2014.
Can an Englishman succeed in Scotland?
It's 30 years since the last English winner of the Claret Jug, when Sir Nick Faldo was crowned Champion Golfer of the Year for a third time after a one-shot victory at Muirfield, although there are plenty in the field looking to end that run this week at St Andrews.
Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter all have experience in finishing runner-up at The Open, as does Tommy Fleetwood after coming second to Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush in 2019, with the quartet part of a strong English contingent involved in the final men's major of the year.
Tyrrell Hatton will be chasing a maiden major title, at the venue where he twice won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, while all eyes will be on Matt Fitzpatrick and how he follows up last month's US Open victory.
Fitzpatrick didn't feature the last time St Andrews hosted The Open in 2015, having only turned professional the previous year, although the 27-year-old arrives as one of the favourites despite finishing no higher than tied-20th in his previous six Open appearances.
Are major records under threat at St Andrews?
The lowest round in men's major history remains the 62 posted by Branden Grace during The Open in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, but could we see a player go even lower at St Andrews this week?
The course record at St Andrews is the 61 posted by Ross Fisher at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship the same year, with the historic layout reliant on the elements to truly test the world's best players.
The par-72 venue is relatively short by modern standards, stretching out to just over 7,300 yards at full length, while a lack of wind will see leave course exposed to low and potentially history-making scoring.
When asked whether the Old Course could be "too easy", Spieth said at the Scottish Open: I think it might be. It's hard for me to tell given in 2015 we had so much wind that we couldn't even play. But I think if it's like it was this morning [calm] out here, it's just a wedge contest, really."
When is The Open live on Sky Sports?
Sky Sports The Open will show over 80 hours of live coverage from the iconic Old Course at St Andrews, more than ever before, with live programming on all seven days of tournament week and a host of bonus extra features available to enjoy.
Live coverage from the opening two rounds will begin at 6.30am - before the opening tee shot - and run through until after play is finished, with wall-to-wall coverage live from 9am on Saturday and 8am for Sunday's final round.
There will be lots of extra action throughout all four days via the red button on Sky Sports The Open, along with Sky Q and Sky Glass, with Featured Groups and Featured Holes available to enjoy as the world's best players tackle the Home of Golf.
Watch The 150th Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 6.30am live on Sky Sports The Open.