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    Rickie Fowler: US stars up against it

    Rickie-Fowler-Golf

    Golf   |   July 11, 2019

    Rickie Fowler feels a lack of knowledge of the Royal Portrush course means the American players will be at a disadvantage for the final major of the year.

    The Open Championship returns to the Northern Irish venue for the first time since 1951, with home hero Rory McIlroy and US ace Brooks Koepka joint-favourites at 9.50.

    As ever, it will be a multi-national field that assembles next week for the prestigious event and not too many players have much experience of the County Antrim layout.

    US stars have won 2019’s three majors to date but Fowler believes those from across the Atlantic will have it all to do on unfamiliar territory.

    “A lot can depend on the weather, but there’s going to be a handful of guys that have spent some time at Royal Portrush and have played there more times than really any of the Americans,” he said.

    “I like the challenge that’s ahead. But I think the US guys are a little bit the underdogs as a lot of us haven’t really seen Portrush.”

    Fowler will prepare for the Open at this week’s Scottish Open and is 15.00 to win at the Renaissance Club. It is a familiar path for the Californian to take and he was a winner of the event in 2015 when it was staged at Gullane.

    He has been joined by a number of Americans from the PGA Tour, with Justin Thomas (13.00), Matt Kuchar (17.00) and Kevin Kisner (41.00) all set to tee it up north of the border.

    McIlroy (7.00) is the star attraction, while Henrik Stenson (21.00) and fiery Englishman Matt Wallace (26.00) will also enjoy a run-out as the stars fine-tune their preparations for Portrush.

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