By Chris King •
Updated: 19 Jul 2023 • 16:16
Image of Louis Oosthuizen holding the British Open Claret Jug in 2010.
Credit: Marie Guilpin/CC BY-SA 2.0
This Thursday, July 20, sees the start of the 151st British Open, the oldest golf tournament in the world.
It returns to Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Merseyside in England for the first time since 2014. This will be the 13th time the prestigious competition has been played at the Hoylake course.
Rory McIlroy was victorious on the previous occasion and he enters this year’s event as one of the favourites following his win at the Scottish open last weekend.
In 2014 the current world No 2 Northern Irishman beat America’s Dustin Johnson by eight strokes. Scottie Scheffler is his nearest rival for the iconic Claret Jug according to the bookies. He will arrive at Hoylake on a run of seven consecutive top-five finishes.
The American golfer has been No 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking since March 2022. In March he won the 2023 Players Championship by five strokes at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, his last major victory to date.
Although his putting has been letting him down this season Scheffler has still been consistent. In every tournament since the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January he has still posted a strokes gained average of two or better.
Also, since his victory in the Players, Scheffler has only finished outside the top 10 in one tournament. That was a tie for 11th place at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina back in April.
Spain’s Jon Rahm, the current Masters champion, and Cam Smith, the defending Open champion are also up there among the favourites.
Members of the controversial Saudia Arabian LIV Golf League are allowed to enter the Open this year. That means an appearance by Brooks Koepka, the PGA Championship winner in 2023.
By winning that tournament, the American star became the 20th golfer to win five majors. He also joined an exclusive club with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only three players to win three PGA titles in the stroke-play era.
Royal Liverpool will also be graced by U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark, Viktor Hovland, the Memorial winner, and other top names including Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Max Homa, and Bryson DeChambeau.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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