Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

Can anyone topple NELLY KORDA?

It’s difficult to tip against the World No.1, who took a week off after winning the Olympic gold medal a fortnight ago. That was her third victory in four starts, which also included the Women’s PGA Championship.

With her length and touch she won’t be intimidated at all by the difficulty of the Carnoustie course.

Sportsbet odds: $9

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

It is extremely difficult to go past Nelly Korda here, but having skipped a links preparation opportunity in Scotland last week, I think it will be a former World No.1 who gets the job done at Carnoustie. ARIYA JUTANUGARN is that player.

Jutanugarn loves this event, having won it in 2016, and although here victory wasn’t at a links, she showed her chops at Dumbarnie, where she was fourth after a Sunday 68.

Twice a winner this year, Jutanugarn has the sort of game that should match perfectly with the challenge of Carnoustie and varying weather often delivered in Scotland. The test will be patience, as it inevitably is at this venue.

Sportsbet odds: $26

RELATED: Women's Open preview

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

All eyes will be on Nelly Korda and that’s as it should be but it’s hard to go past the form of another former World No.1 in LYDIA KO.

A bronze medal in Tokyo followed by a blistering nine-under finish at the Scottish Women’s last week to grab second place tells you everything you need to know about Ko's form.

She’s a player who won’t be daunted by the big stage and snaring the final major of 2021 would be a fitting exclamation point to a year where she has put a mid-career slump behind her.

Sportsbet odds: $14

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

MINJEE LEE. I promised our tips convenor that I wasn't just saying this to avoid having to find witty words about the top Aussie.

Lee obviously slipped the noose of "best player not to have won a major" at Evian last month. She also arrives at Carnoustie with last year's third place fresh in her mind after that epic final-day duel with Sophia Popov. In some ways, she's also sneakily passed the baton of Aussie expectation to her fellow West Australian Hannah Green.

So it's all systems go for a woman who loves links golf, is playing with house money and, critically at such a beast of a course, possesses the capacity to cash in with birdies when opportunities present themselves.

Sportsbet odds: $36


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

Australia’s most recent major winner MINJEE LEE can forget about the missed cut last week at the Scottish Open. This is a major and she knows how to play the style of golf that will be required to do well at Carnoustie.

The West Aussie finished third last year at Royal Troon playing some brilliant golf, especially when the conditions were not conducive to good scoring.

TAB odds: $2.50

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

Hannah Green and Minjee Lee are both red-hot chances to not only be the top Aussie but also to win the title. However, it is SU OH who I believe will lead our charge at Carnoustie.

Oh was impressive on her way to sharing 34th last week at the Scottish Open and was 11th in her previous start, suggesting her form is good and her links play is shaping up well.

With experienced caddie Brian Nilsson on the bag adding value, this could be the Victorian’s time to join the recent run of Aussie women claiming majors.

TAB odds: $7

RELATED: Familiar feelings for Hannah at Carnousite

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

Among the Australians it’s hard to split the top two in Minjee Lee and HANNAH GREEN despite both being less than their best and missing the weekend at the Scottish last week.

Green was impressive in Tokyo in finishing just out of the medals despite not having her best stuff and I like her chances this week on a course that will test the patience of the field.

TAB odds: $3

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

MINJEE LEE. Need I say more? Well, I already did. (See above).

TAB odds: $2.50


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

It has been five years since CHARLEY HULL won on the LPGA Tour. And she is yet to win a major. But the Englishwoman looked really good in her fifth placing at the Scottish Open last week.

Her ball-striking was the standout and if she can maintain that, and make a few of the shorter putts she missed at Dumbarnie, Hull can be a serious threat to the title at Carnoustie.

Sportsbet odds: $31

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

There is clearly something about this week and links golf that gets ASHLEIGH BUHAI in the right frame of mind to play well.

The South African was T12 last week in Scotland having only recorded two previous LPGA top-20s all year, and finished T11 and fifth in the last two Women’s Opens.

A short but accurate hitter, Buhai should be able to plot her way around this week and take advantage of her iron play to avoid any big scores and get plenty of birdie looks. If conditions are tough her chances rise significantly.

Sportsbet odds: $111

RELATED: First & second round tee times (AEST)

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

I’m sticking with my pick from last week in LEONA MAGUIRE.

In both Tokyo and Scotland she made plenty of birdies but sprinkled in too many mistakes and not much is required to turn those middle of the pack finishes into top-10s and contending.

Sportsbet odds: $41

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

JASMINE SUWANNAPURA. The young Thai was relentless at Troon last year for her runner-up finish and showed frequent glimpses of that same links form at last week's Scottish Open.

Enjoys the challenges that tough layouts such as Carnoustie invariably provide and, as ever, will begin with a swag of her highly fancied compatriots taking the spotlight.

Sportsbet odds: $71


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

The smaller than the PGA Tour average green sizes, with bentgrass surfaces trimmed to run at 13 on the Stimpmeter this week, will reward approach shot precision. And there are none more accurate than the FedEx Cup points leader COLLIN MORIKAWA.

He either leads or is in the top few players of most accuracy stat categories and if form runs true he will add The Northern Trust trophy to his haul this week.

Sportsbet odds: $17

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

Some might think I’ve lost it a little in lockdown, but I am on JASON DAY this week.

My mail is that the Queenslander is in a great headspace after a couple of weeks off following a disappointing Open Championship, which was almost enough alone to get me onside given the source. Once considering his experience at Liberty National I was all in.

Day’s history here reads 12th in 2009, T25 in 2013, Presidents Cup in 2017 and missed cut in 2019, which is forgiven due to a horrid run at the time.

Day plays well at venues he is comfortable with and if he can get the putter working could be in well and truly in the mix on Sunday.

Sportsbet odds: $101

RELATED: The Northern Trust preview

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

May the comeback year of JORDAN SPIETH continue.

Likes the Liberty National course as evidenced by his T6 finish when the event was last here in 2019 and is on a run of good play after a runner-up at The Open and T12 in Memphis.

Hasn’t missed a cut since January and while not quite back to his form of 2015 he’s closer to that than what we saw from him last year.

Sportsbet odds: $17

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER. The rising American has done everything but win this year, including three consecutive top-10 finishes in major championships.

Has ability to string birdies together like few on Tour, with his magical 59 coming at this event last year (admittedly at a different venue) a case in point.

Has to have a question mark until he salutes, but you get the strong sense that his time is coming sooner than later.

Sportsbet odds: $31


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

There has been a host of first time European Tour winners lately and I expect this week to be no different. JACQUES KRUYSWIJK is one to follow in Prague.

The South African has been one of the consistently good performers during the past two months on both the main Tour and Challenge Tour, finishing in the top-35 in all five events he has played in that time. In fact, 17 of his past 20 rounds have been under par.

Of the 27 rounds he has played on the main Tour this year, he has averaged +2.25 Strokes Gained Total per round against the field making him the No.1 player in that stat category. With an average drive around 307 yards, he will find this Albatross layout to his liking.

Sportsbet odds: $29

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

RORY SABBATINI is seemingly returning to global player status, and not due to his national allegiance changes.

The South African come Slovakian makes his way over to Europe after missing the FedExCup Playoffs despite a T10 finish last week in America following his Olympic silver medal in Japan.

His form is clearly good and a high finish would help him on his way back inside the top-100 in the world rankings.

Sportsbet odds: $15

RELATED: D+D Czech Masters preview

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

It’s a less than stellar field in Prague this week which is the ideal opportunity for an in-form RYAN FOX to capture his first 72-hole European Tour title.

The big hitting Kiwi was disappointed with his play in Tokyo but showed encouraging signs in finishing just outside the top-10 last week and will head to the first tee Thursday feeling confident.

Sportsbet odds: $19

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

MAVERICK ANTCLIFF. I have no reason other than he's a great bloke and I'd really like him to succeed.

Not very scientific, right? Well, if you're going to tell me that finding the following names (in non WGC/major fields in Europe) in succession recently is a science, you are officially kidding yourself: Hill, Forrest, Gavins and Elvira. If you found any of those winners, you're a rock star.

So let's hope that Antcliff can add his name to that list of obscure Euro winners. The Queenslander has been building, including his second place at the Canary Islands recently, so why not?

Sportsbet odds: $41


So far our so-called experts have combined to tip 21 winners in 2021, with 111 of their picks recording top-10 finishes that week and a best return of $61 for Max Homa to win the Genesis Invitational (tipped by Rod Morri).