Golf’s oldest major goes by several monikers. It’s commonly known as the Open in Europe, although sometimes The Open Championship is evoked. Here in America we also have an Open, tagged …
Golf’s oldest major goes by several monikers. It’s commonly known as the Open in Europe, although sometimes The Open Championship is evoked. Here in America we also have an Open, tagged the U.S. Open; so just to make it clear, we refer to it as the British Open.
The first round of The Open took place on October 17, in 1860, at the Prestwick Golf Club in Ayshire, Scotland, decades before the Golf Chanel and ESPN broadcast it worldwide. The historical event is hosted by the R & A, or the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, which governs golf everywhere on the planet that is isn’t claimed by the USGA.
In 1872 Prestwick, the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and the Royal and Ancient GC contributed 10 pounds each and purchased a new trophy, the Claret Jug. Over the decades many notable golfers have competed for the coveted prize. From Old Tom Morris to several naturalized Americans including Jock Hutchison, who was born in St. Andrews; but it was Walter Hagen who became the first American born winner in 1922. Then from 1923-1933, Americans dominated the contest with Bobby Jones topping the leader board three times along with Gene Sarazen. Ben Hogan won in 1957 completing golf’s Triple Crown by winning the Master’s and the U.S. Open in the same year.
Scotland’s Old Course at St. Andrews, established in 1552, is known as the oldest links in the world. Winning there tops every players bucket list. So the Open is scheduled usually every five years at the home of golf. Past champions often pick the legendary course for the swansong of their career. A walk down 18 surrounded by cheering crowds is the cherry atop a memorable career.
Who’s going to end up at the top this year’s leader board? It’s anybody’s guess; but after winning the 2019 Master’s and with more majors yet to come, Tiger Woods should prove to be a heavy favorite. Legend has it that top golfers show up hoping to win a tournament. Tiger shows up expecting to!
This year’s 148th Open is set for July 18-21 to be played at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, the second time since 1951 and the second time only to be played outside of England or Scotland.
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