The Open Championship is trending up ... as in the age of its winners.

Older golfers have enjoyed a surge in the United Kingdom's major. Since 2011, five of the seven champions have been 39 or older: Darren Clarke in 2011, Ernie Els in 2012, Phil Mickelson in 2013, Zach Johnson in 2015 and Henrik Stenson in 2016. That all came after a 59-year-old Tom Watson lost to Stewart Cink in a playoff in 2009.

These results, likely a result of improved technology and fitness among golfers of the 40-something-year-old generation, are a good sign for Tiger Woods, who is 42. Could he compete at Carnoustie this week?

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