I have just arrived in the media tent which is situated about 100 yards from the 18th green at Royal Birkdale. As I scan down the huge leaderboard in front of me it seems that every player in the top ten would be a surprising yet fascinating winner. Here are some of the reasons why:

Greg Norman +2

I don’t think it needs explaining why a 53-year-old, who plays more tennis than golf, would be a turn up for the books. This really would be one of the most unexpected Open victories in history.

Padraig Harrington +4

He may be one of the best players in the world but there was serious talk of Harrington pulling out on Thursday. With an injured wrist and the pressure of defending a win would cement Harrington’s place as one of the best golfers of his generation.

KJ Choi +4

Trying to become the first Asian to win a major championship, Choi would achieve hero status in Korea if he can continue his fine form this week. The 37-year-old finished in the top ten at last year’s Open and has looked extremely comfortable in the difficult conditions.

Simon Wakefield +5

Looking to become the first Englishman to win the Open since Faldo in 1992, Wakefield produced an outstanding back nine of 34 yesterday to post a round of 70. The 34-year-old is currently ranked 256 in the world but another round like yesterday’s could be life changing.

Ben Curtis +7

The surprise winner at Royal St George’s flew up the leaderboard after a round of 70 yesterday. No one saw him coming back in 2003 but he proved that anything can happen during a final round.

Ross Fisher +7

A player in excellent form coming into the week, Fisher continues to impress. The Englishmen handled the pressure brilliantly during his European Open win two weeks ago and played some outstanding golf to qualify for both the US Open and the Open this year.

There are at least another 13 players who have a great chance in the tough conditions including three other Englishman. Graeme Storm, Ian Poulter and 20-year-old amateur Chris Wood are all within five shots of the lead. Who ever lifts the trophy on the 18th green this afternoon it should be great entertainment until the very end.