The English men’s soccer team reached its first-ever UEFA Euro final before losing to Italy in penalty kicks in London on Sunday. However, it was England's first major tournament appearance on the men's side since the 1966 World Cup. And a couple of hours before England's gut-wrenching loss, the Wimbledon men's finals were contested 15 miles from Wembley Stadium after being canceled for the first time since WWII because of COVID-19. Next up, The Open Championship, which was also canceled last year due to the pandemic.
After England defeated Denmark in the Euro semifinals, fans belted out “It’s coming home.” However, nothing was brought home at Wembley Stadium nor the All England Club. England's soccer drought will extend the current 55 years and though Scotland's Andy Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 and '16, an Englishman hasn't won Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.
The drought isn't that long in The Open, with the last English champion, Nick Faldo, coming 29 years ago. The first Open Championship was played in 1860 and the Scottish owned the tournament until 1890 when English amateur John Ball won at Prestwick, where The Open originated.
The English won seven straight times from 1894-1900, with John Henry Taylor (a five-time Open champion) and Harry Vardon (a six-time champion) winning three each. Another run came before WWII, when the English won six straight Opens, from 1934-39.
After Max Faulkner won his lone Open title in 1951, it would be 18 years before Tony Jacklin claimed the claret jug and then another 18 years until Faldo won his first of three Opens (‘87, ‘90, ‘92). Faldo's '92 triumph remains the most recent English victory in this major.
So, will an Englishman be able to end The Open drought on the links and bring the claret jug home - or, since the championship is being contested at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, keep it there? Here's a look at the favorites and some longshots, according to PointsBet:
Tyrrell Hatton (+3400)
At the last Open in 2019 Hatton finished T-6, but his best Open finish came in '16 when he tied for fifth. Earlier this year, the 29-year-old won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and is currently ranked No. 10 in the world. At this year's majors, he finished T-18 at the Masters, T-38 at the PGA Championship and missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
Tommy Fleetwood (+3400)
Fleetwood, the world No. 33, has been close to tasting his first major win before. He finished second at Royal Portrush in 2019, second at Shinnecock Hills' U.S. Open in '18 and fourth at Erin Hills in the 2017 U.S. Open. Fleetwood's play at this year's majors has been uninspiring, with a T-46 at Augusta his best showing. He tied for 17th in the Irish Open and tied for 26th in the Scottish Open, in his run-up to the year's final major.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+3500)
The 26-year-old world No. 20 finished T-20 at The Open in '19, his best result in five appearances. With five top-10 finishes this year on the Tour, he also finished T-34 at the Masters, T-23 at the PGA and T-55 at the U.S. Open. He lost in a playoff this past week at the Scottish Open.
Justin Rose (+4000)
Rose, 40, finished second at Carnoustie in 2018 and knocked on the door of winning this year's Masters with a 36-hole lead, but shot 72-74 over the weekend, finishing seventh, his best result this year. He fared well at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island, finishing eighth, but missed the cut at Torrey Pines' U.S. Open.
Paul Casey (+4000)
Casey, 43, has been a professional for nearly 20 years and has played in 17 Opens, with his best finish a T-3 in 2008. Despite finishing T-57 at Royal Portrush two years ago, he has been a regular on major leaderboards recently. He was runner-up in the 2020 PGA and T-4 this year. He also tied for seventh at Torrey Pines.
Lee Westwood (+5000)
The 48-year-old newlywed has played in 87 majors and when he tees off at Royal St. George's he'll break the record for most majors played without a win – unless, of course ... The reigning European Tour Golfer of the Year has six career top-3s in majors, including finishing second at the 2010 Open. At this year's majors, his best finish is 46th at the U.S. Open, after missing the Masters cut and placing T-71 at the PGA.
Richard Bland (+20000)
Bland, 48, has been a professional since 1996 but hasn't gathered much fanfare until recently. In May, he won the Betfred British Masters in his 478th career start and became the European Tour's oldest first-time winner. A month later at Torrey Pines – without a hat sponsor – he became the oldest 36-hole leader in U.S. Open history, but faltered down the stretch, finishing T-50. In his third Open start (he was T-22 in '18 and MC in '98), can he provide another improbable run?
Marcus Armitage (+40000)
The 33-year-old won the Porsche European Open in early June for an emotional first professional victory. Later that month he flew to Southern California for the U.S. Open, but missed the cut as he did in his only other major appearance, the '18 Open. Armitage is known as one of the most whimsical personalities on the European Tour and in May he set a Guinness World Record for driving the 'farthest golf shot caught in a moving car' 303 yards.