MARC Leishman will chase a breakthrough major triumph when he tees off in the 143rd British Open at Royal Liverpool today.
The Warrnambool professional will hit the links course at 3.58pm (AEST) hoping to capitalise on an encouraging run of form.
He has two top-10 finishes, along with a tied for 11th, in his past six tournaments on the US PGA Tour, although missed the cut at his last outing.
Leishman is one of eight Australians in the field for the British Open. World number one Adam Scott heads the Down Under contingent.
The others are world number five Jason Day, John Senden, Matt Jones, Brett Rumford, Bryden Macpherson and Rhein Gibson.
They are hoping to end an Australian drought stretching back to 1993, when Greg Norman won the second of his two Open titles.
Norman, whose first Open triumph was in 1986, is one of four Australians to lift the claret jug.
Ian Baker Finch (1991), Peter Thomson (1954-56, 1958 and 1965) and Kel Nagle (1960) have also achieved the feat.
Scott, who turned 34 yesterday, could have already matched Norman’s record had he taken advantage of his opportunities in the past two years.
He bogeyed his last four holes at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 2012 to lose by one shot to Ernie Els, having started the final round six shots clear.
A similar story unfolded at Muirfield in 2013. Scott led with seven holes to play but closed with four bogeys and a birdie to finish tied for third.
But rather than ruing his inability to finish the job, Scott says the performances are proof he has what it takes to win links golf’s biggest prize.
He has spent more than a week preparing at Royal Liverpool and said he’d never felt as good heading into a major.
“I think I’m playing some of the best golf of my life at the moment,” he said. “I should really be taking advantage of it and stepping up this week and putting myself in with a good chance.”WITH AAP