Five players to watch at this weekend's British Open:

Ernie Els
Is it a credit or a curse that Els has 12 British Open top-10s since 1992 and only one victory (2002)? This is as good a time as any for the 40-year-old, who has two PGA wins this year and no longer quakes at the sight of Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods
The way Woods has struggled this year, it’s hard to pick him. But it’s also hard to ignore that he’s won the last two times St. Andrews hosted the Open and has long proclaimed the Old Course as his favorite in the world.

139th British OpenWhere » Fife, Scotland.Course » St. Andrews Links (Old Course)When » Thursday-SundayTV » ESPN - Thu.-Fri.: 4 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Sat., 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; Sun., 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.Defending champion » Stewart Cink

Justin Rose
He’s the hottest man on the tour, having won two of his last three starts. In the one event, he didn’t win, he led in the final round. Rose had a brilliant debut at age 17 in the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale, finishing tied for fourth. He turned pro the following week.

Lee Westwood
The only player from the British Isles to win at St. Andrews since World War II was Nick Faldo (1990). But there are many candidates in their prime, including Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey.

Padraig Harrington
The Irishman won back-to-back British Opens (2007-08) but has not won a tournament since, though swing changes made at the start of 2009 are finally starting to pay dividends. Harrington last won two European Tour events at St. Andrews.