The First Look: The Open Championship
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Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
All-access: Best Collin Morikawa and caddie conversations on the PGA TOUR
The Open Championship will be contested for the 150th time and what a venue to do it at. The excitement is high as the golf world returns to the Old Course at St. Andrews.
FIELDNOTES: Tiger Woods is back. After withdrawing following the third round of the PGA Championship and skipping the U.S. Open, Woods returns to action at The Open, a major he’s won three times – and twice at St. Andrews… Collin Morikawa looks to become the first repeat winner of the Claret Jug since Padraig Harrington in 2007-08… World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is hoping to follow in Woods’ footsteps. Woods was the last golfer to win both the Masters and The Open at St. Andrews in the same year (he did it in 2005)… Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) and Matt Fitzpatrick (U.S. Open) are also looking to add a final notch to their major championship belt for 2022… Six amateurs will be teeing it up, including world No. 1 Keita Nakajima… On this, the 150th playing of The Open, there will be plenty of past champions back in action including Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke, John Daly, David Duval, Ernie Els, Harrington, Zach Johnson, Shane Lowry, and more… J.T. Poston heads to The Open for his debut across the pond after winning the John Deere Classic.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points.
COURSE: St. Andrews Golf Links (Old Course), par 72, 7,313 yards. This marks the 30th playing of The Open Championship at St. Andrews’ Old Course – otherwise known as the Home of Golf – the most of any course in the Open Championship rotation. The golf course has barely changed since the last time it hosted The Open; it’s just 16 yards longer. Mother Nature will play the biggest role during the championship, as the swirling, high-blowing winds could wreak havoc on a scorecard.
STORYLINES: How will Woods fare? He made the cut at both the Masters and the PGA Championship before failing to make it through all four rounds at Southern Hills. He skipped the U.S. Open in order for his body to be 100% for The Open at St. Andrews. He’s already played the JP McManus Pro-Am and a couple of linksy practice games with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas… The weather, like it is every year for The Open, will be a big factor. It’s set to be a fairly dry week in Scotland, but with some potential rain and wind on the weekend, navigating what Mother Nature gives you will be a challenge. Nick Faldo shot 18 under to win at St. Andrews in 1990 – the lowest score in relation to par in major history – but then John Daly’s winning score five years later was 12 shots higher. Woods broke Faldo’s record, shooting 19 under to win in 2000… The last five major champions have all been in their 20s… Rory McIlroy and Will Zalatoris are the only golfers to have finished inside the top-10 in each of the three majors already contested this year… The Open will be contested at Royal Liverpool in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024… A bogey on the penultimate hole (the ‘Road’ hole at St Andrews) in 2015 is what kept Jordan Spieth out of a playoff as he tried to win his third major of the season that year. A winner already this year – and someone with the flair for the dramatic – what will Spieth do at the Old Course?
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Henrik Stenson (2016 at Royal Troon).
18-HOLE RECORD: 62, Branden Grace (3rd round, 2017 at Royal Birkdale).
LAST TIME: Collin Morikawa won his first Claret Jug – in his maiden Open Championship appearance, at that – topping Jordan Spieth by two shots. Morikawa’s second major championship triumph came a year after he won the PGA Championship, also in his debut there. Morikawa made three birdies in a row on his first nine Sunday at Royal St. George’s and added another birdie on the par-5 14th. Spieth bogeyed two of his first six holes Sunday and was behind the eight ball. He made an eagle on the par-5 seventh to start clawing back. But despite three birdies on his back nine he couldn’t overcome Morikawa, who took a share of the lead on the fourth hole and the lead on his own the very next hole after Louis Oosthuizen made bogey to Morikawa’s birdie. Oosthuizen finished tied for third alongside Jon Rahm. Dylan Frittelli finished fifth – his best career result at a major.
HOW TO FOLLOW (All times ET)
NOTE:The R&A, who owns and operates The Open, controls all digital streaming and broadcast rights to this event. For more information on how to watch this week, please visit The Open’s website. PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will resume on Thursday, July 21 at the 3M Open.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 1:30 a.m.-4 a.m. ET (Peacock), 4 a.m.-3 p.m. (USA). Saturday, 5 a.m.-7 a.m. (USA), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 4 a.m.-7 a.m. (USA), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)
Bonus: Thursday-Sunday: Featured Holes (No’s 11-13), Morning Featured Group 1, Morning Featured Group 2, Afternoon Featured Group 3, Afternoon Featured Group 4 (All TBD, Peacock)
Live stream: For complete live stream coverage, visit THEOPEN.COM.