Padraig Harrington believes Darren Clarke can keep his hot streak going and win The Open.
Clarke, 41, grabbed a last gasp spot at St Andrews when he finished second in the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond on Sunday.
And Harrington sees no reason why the fiery Ulsterman can’t end his major duck at the Home of Golf.
Harrington said: “When Darren is playing good golf, he’s a match for anybody in the world, whether it’s a major or any other tournament.
“He came so close to winning the Open when he was second at Troon in ‘97. He has always been a great streak player.
“When he gets on a roll, he can hit every fairway, he can hit every green and he can really hole the putts.
“The thing with Darren is he really needs to be patient and wait for those streaks to come along and obviously he is on one of those streaks because he won the JP McManus Pro-Am and came close last week.”
Up 25 spots to 104th in the world thanks to his Loch Lomond performance, Clarke was bitterly disappointed not to end his two year victory drought.
But he was delighted that he has had to make an unscheduled appearance at St Andrews and reckons he has a chance if the putts continue to fall.
Clarke beamed: “I only packed for one week, everything is in laundry in the hotel.
“Of course I’m bitterly disappointed that I didn’t win at Loch Lomond but overall it’s not too bad. It was another good week for me and I’ve just got to carry on with that.
“I’m excited and really looking forward to playing in the Open. I love the golf course, it is proper golf and I’m back on the best links courses in the world.”
Clarke reckons his good form is all down to him “just holing a few putts” and hopes he can keep his hot streak going.
But he knows he has to stay patient, insisting: “On links course you need the odd good bounce and the odd good break, probably more so than anything else.
“I will keep on smiling. I have to be more accepting and because I am putting a little bit better, I feel I can hole more. If it goes in, it goes in.”