The 150th Open: Matt Fitzpatrick and Collin Morikawa chasing more major success at St Andrews
Matt Fitzpatrick chasing back-to-back major victories, following his US Open victory last month, while Collin Morikawa returns as defending champion after last year's win at Royal St George's; watch live on Thursday from 6.30am on Sky Sports The Open
By Ali Stafford at St Andrews
Last Updated: 11/07/22 7:01pm
US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick is relishing the chance to contend for more major success in The 150th Open, despite admitting the Old Course is not one of his favourites.
Fitzpatrick, who has never finished higher than tied-20th in his previous six Open appearances, arrives at St Andrews as one of the pre-tournament favourites after celebrating a maiden major victory in Brookline last month.
The 27-year-old continued his impressive start to 2022 with a tied-sixth finish in the Genesis Scottish Open last week, with Fitzpatrick determined to improve his Open record and end his frequent struggles on links courses.
"I've been to St Andrews many times, so kind of know what to expect, but I'm sure this week has a different atmosphere than normal," Fitzpatrick said in his pre-tournament press conference. "I wouldn't say it's one of my favourite golf courses, but to experience it at an Open, it's amazing.
"It's definitely one that I watched growing up. I didn't really watch much golf growing up. It would be Ryder Cup, The Masters, and The Open, to be honest. It was always held in high esteem when it comes to St Andrews. I love the area, and I think this week, with it being the Open here and my first one, I'm definitely going to enjoy it.
"I wouldn't say my Open record is great at all. I'll be honest, since I turned pro, obviously we play much less links golf. I feel like I've got worse in the links and wind since I turned pro. Other golf courses in wind, I've played fine.
"I feel like coming back here, lt has taken time just to get used to it and where to land it, how to fly it. We're not put under that test as regularly out in regular events because either there's no wind or it's softer and you can just fly it to a certain spot.
"Obviously I'd like to improve on my record, and I feel like I've obviously been playing much, much better since the last Open that I played. It's just trying to do more of the same this year, and like I say, just fix a couple things from last week and hopefully take into this week."
Morikawa: 'It sucked' to return the Claret Jug
Reigning champion Collin Morikawa insists that a successful title defence at St Andrews this week would mean more to him than last year's victory at Royal St George's.
Morikawa enjoyed a two-shot victory last summer on the Kent coast, following on from a maiden major at the PGA Championship the previous year, with the world No 4 admitting it "sucked" to hand back the Claret Jug to the R&A ahead of the historic edition of The Open.
The world No 8 has already enjoyed top-five finishes at The Masters and US Open this season, with Morikawa now looking to bounce back from last week's missed cut at the Genesis Scottish Open and become the first back-to-back Open champion since Padraig Harrington in 2008.
"Now that I know what it's like to have the Claret Jug for a year, there's nothing like it," Morikawa said. "It's a really special year. Even though you won that tournament a year ago, it's going to be in your history for the rest of your life. It's pretty cool.
"It [handing the trophy back] sucked, it really did. I woke up this morning and looked at it. The replica is beautiful, but it's not the same. It really isn't. It will never be, but I don't want to dwell on the past. I think I've talked about that early on in my career, I always look forward to what's next.
"I think trying to defend this week at The 150th at St Andrews would be even more special. There's obviously a lot of great players, a lot of guys that are playing really well right now, and I've got to step it up.
"This is a week where, look, we only get four majors a year, and we're already at number four. I don't want to look back at this year and kind of not be happy about what I did and how I prepped. So I'm doing everything I can to be ready for this week, and hopefully we can put together four really good rounds."
When is The Open 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.