Capsules of top contenders for British Open at Royal Troon

A capsule look at 10 top contenders for the British Open, to be played July 14-17 at Royal Troon in Scotland (listed in predicted order of finish):

RORY MCILROY

AGE: 27

COUNTRY: Northern Ireland

WORLD RANKING: 4

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 19

MAJORS: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Going wire-to-wire to win the claret jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014.

BACKSPIN: Winning the Irish Open before a home crowd was his first victory of the year and a big deal. Not pushing through when having chances (French Open, Doral) has been puzzling. After missing St. Andrews with an ankle injury last year, this will be his first British Open since he won.

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JASON DAY

AGE: 28

COUNTRY: Australia

WORLD RANKING: 1

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 10

MAJORS: PGA Championship (2015)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Leaving a 30-foot putt short on the 18th green at St. Andrews to get into a playoff. That proved to be the catalyst to the Aussie winning the PGA Championship and taking over firmly at No. 1 in the world.

BACKSPIN: Now that he has a major and is clearly the No. 1 player, expectations rise at each major. And he has started slowly at both of them, raising questions whether he's trying too hard to get off to a good start. Coming off Firestone, where he lost the lead on the back nine, should help.

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JORDAN SPIETH

AGE: 22

COUNTRY: United States

WORLD RANKING: 3

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 10

MAJORS: Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Coming within one shot of a playoff at St. Andrews in his pursuit of the Grand Slam last year.

BACKSPIN: For a two-time winner this year who already had a great chance to win one major, this sure feels like a struggle for Spieth. Never rule out a guy who putts this well, especially on links greens.

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DUSTIN JOHNSON

AGE: 32

COUNTRY: United States

WORLD RANKING: 2

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 11

MAJORS: U.S. Open (2016)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Hitting a 2-iron out-of-bounds from the 14th fairway at Royal St. George's in 2011 when he was closing in on Darren Clarke.

BACKSPIN: Now that he finally has a major, the question is whether this leads to more - and how soon. The strength of his game - driving - would seem to give him an advantage on the tough closing stretch at Royal Troon. It might come down to how he chooses to play off the tee on the front nine.

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ADAM SCOTT

AGE: 35

COUNTRY: Australia

WORLD RANKING: 8

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 27

MAJORS: Masters (2013)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Losing a four-shot lead with four holes to play at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2012.

BACKSPIN: Scott might have peaked too early this year, winning back-to-back in Florida. Except for the Masters and Colonial, he really hasn't been that far off. He is skipping the Olympics because they are not the same priority as majors, so he would do well to make a strong run at this one.

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HENRIK STENSON

AGE: 40

COUNTRY: Sweden

WORLD RANKING: 6

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 17

MAJORS: None

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: He was one of four players who had a share of the lead in the final round at Muirfield in 2013. He wound up in second place.

BACKSPIN: Stenson has been streaky in recent years, and perhaps his victory in the BMW International Open was a sign he is ready to go on another tear. He hasn't finished in the top 15 at a major since he tied for third in the 2014 PGA Championship, so he's due.

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LEE WESTWOOD

AGE: 43

COUNTRY: England

WORLD RANKING: 39

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 39

MAJORS: None

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Having a one-shot lead with four holes to play at Turnberry in 2009 and missing an 8-foot par putt on the 18th that ultimately kept him out of a playoff.

BACKSPIN: He has put together a resurgence, and his bid for a major might not be over yet. The bigger question is who plays with him in the final round if he makes the cut. Westwood has played the final round with both major champions this year - Danny Willett at the Masters and Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open.

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DANNY WILLETT

AGE: 28

COUNTRY: England

WORLD RANKING: 9

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 5

MAJORS: Masters (2016)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Playing in the final group at St. Andrews on Sunday - even though it was only the third round. He was one shot behind 36-hole leader Dustin Johnson, shot 72 and fell three shots out of the lead.

BACKSPIN: He has been relatively quiet since his Masters victory. Willett had a chance to win the BMW PGA Championship and wound up third with a 76-71 weekend. He tied for 37th in the U.S. Open and missed the cut in successive weeks at the German Open and French Open.

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PHIL MICKELSON

AGE: 45

COUNTRY: United States

WORLD RANKING: 21

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 45

MAJORS: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), British Open (2013), PGA Championship (2005)

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Winning the third leg of the career Grand Slam at Muirfield with a 66, considered one of the best closing rounds in Open history.

BACKSPIN: The British Open marks the three-year anniversary of Mickelson's last victory. Most times he has played well, his putter has let him down. Royal Troon is where he had his first good chance at the claret jug in 2004 when he missed the playoff by one shot.

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BRANDEN GRACE

AGE: 28

COUNTRY: South Africa

WORLD RANKING: 10

WORLDWIDE VICTORIES: 10

MAJORS: None

BRITISH OPEN MEMORY: Opening with a 67 in his British Open debut at Turnberry in 2009, then having to wait until 2012 before he qualified for his next one.

BACKSPIN: South Africa's highest-ranked player keeps taking big steps toward the elite in golf. He challenged in the last two U.S. Opens, and he won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage. And he is aware that the last non-American to win the claret jug at Royal Troon was a South African, Bobby Locke.

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