The 143rd Open Championship gets underway early on Thursday morning from the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, England. This is the event that golf fans have waited all year for with Phil Mickelson defending his 2013 championship at Muirfield, and the return of Tiger Woods to major competition. Tiger is the defending champion at Royal Liverpool where he won his third Claret Jug in 2006.
With all eyes, and focus on Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson this week, Phil has made only two top 10′s in the 2014 season, and Tiger hasn’t hit a shot in a major since the PGA Championship last year. The players coming to Hoylake who are hot, and most people expect to be the top competitors this week are Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.
With 600 FedEx Cup points on the line as well as $8 Million dollars in prize money, The Open Championship will tee off the best players in the world on Britain’s second oldest sea-side golf course.
The 7312 yard par 72 Royal Liverpool Golf Course was originally a Race and Hunt Club, with the golf course being laid out on the race track in 1869. It hosted its first British Amateur in 1885, and the Walker Cup in 1921.
The first British Open was played at Hoylake in 1924, and Bobby Jones won the second leg of his Grand Slam here in 1930. Royal Liverpool was in the Open Championship Rota until 1967 when a hiatus with the R&A ended it five decade run. The event returned in 2006 after 39 years and Tiger Woods won his third title at Royal Liverpool.
Although I liked what I saw from Henrik Stenson in his last outing in Germany when he lost in a four-way playoff to Fabrizio Zanotti, you have to beware of Justin Rose, and Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer was impressive in winning the 2014 Players Championship, and his US Open win at Pinehurst. The young German looks to be at peace with the world, and his golf swing. We all saw how he was able to use his Texas Wedge around the very difficult greens in North Carolina. It should come in handy this week.
Justin Rose looks equally as impressive at Congressional and again last week as he slowly took command of the Scottish Open on Saturday, and was able to close the deal on Sunday.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 4 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (ESPN). Saturday, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (ESPN). Sunday, 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (ESPN).
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (ESPN Radio). Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (ESPN Radio). Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (ESPN Radio).
The Field At The 143rd Open Championship