The 149th Open Championship will finally get under way this week as golf’s best look to claim the famous Claret Jug at Royal St George’s.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry became the champion golfer when he claimed a brilliant win at Royal Portrush in 2019.
The Open was cancelled last summer due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
But now, the final Major of the year is set to go ahead with the beautiful links course at Royal St George’s playing host.
Hideki Matsuyama claimed glory at The Masters in April before Phil Mickelson pulled off a stunning win at the PGA Championship a month later.
Spain’s Jon Rahm then held off a stellar field to win the US Open at Torrey Pines in June.
Now the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau will be looking to join those champions with victory at the prestigious Open.
The Open Championship: Date and start time
The 149th Open Championship will be held at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent.
Play is due to start at 6:30am on Thursday, July 15 and will run until a champion is crowned on Sunday, July 18.
Royal St George’s will play to a par 70 this year and will be 7,189 yards in length. 156 players will make the field over the first two days before the cut on Friday night.
The winner is set to take home just shy of $2,000,000.
There will be 13 former champions in the field including Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.
The Open Championship: How to follow
The action will be shown on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf from 6:30am on the opening two days.
It will be shown on the same channels from 9am on Saturday and from 8am on Sunday.
The best of the action will also be live across the talkSPORT network throughout the week with regular updates on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2.
The Open Championship: Latest odds
- Jon Rahm 7/1
- Rory McIlroy 14/1
- Brooks Koepka 16/1
- Jordan Spieth 16/1
- Justin Thomas 16/1
- Xander Schauffele 16/1
- Dustin Johnson 18/1
- Bryson Dechambeau 25/1
- Louis Oosthuizen 25/1
- Viktor Hovland 25/1
- Collin Morikawa 28/1
- Tyrrell Hatton 28/1
- Matthew Fitzpatrick 33/1
- Patrick Cantlay 33/1
- Shane Lowry 33/1
- Tommy Fleetwood 33/1
- Lee Westwood 35/1
- Patrick Reed 35/1
- Paul Casey 35/1
The Open Championship: Tee-off times
Tee-off times for the first two rounds are set to be confirmed on Monday, July 12.
The cut will then be made on Friday evening following the conclusion of the second round.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is out of the Open after testing positive for Covid while Zach Johnson, Louis de Jager and Bubba Watson have also withdrawn.
Matthew Wolff, KH Lee, Danny Lee and Ryan Moore have pulled out of the event too, meaning there have been 16 withdrawals in all so far.
Andy Sullivan, Harold Varner III, Brendan Steele, Sam Horsfield and Dylan Frittelli are among the players to have been added to the field.
A GUIDE TO ROYAL ST GEORGE’S
1st, 445 yards, par 4: Tiger Woods lost his opening drive in 2003 and Jerry Kelly took an 11, but the fairway has been widened since then. Out of bounds right and three bunkers front of the green.
2nd, 421 yards, par 4: Out of bounds continues down the right on this dogleg left. Two bunkers are cut into the hill on the inside of the angle and the green falls away on all sides.
3rd, 239 yards, par 3: First of the four short holes was lengthened by 30 yards for the 2011 Open and with a narrow two-tier green cut into the hill can be a real brute.
4th, 491 yards, par 4: Changed from a par five in 2003 to a par four for 2011 with a huge bunker staring you in the face on the tee and a really demanding tilted green with out of bounds immediately behind.
5th, 422 yards, par 4: John Daly has driven the green over the dunes, but new mounding short right makes it less enticing. Bunkers down the left, but none round the green.
6th, 174 yards, par 3: The Maiden hill to the left of the green is a popular spot for spectators. Four bunkers lie around the two-tier green.
7th, 566 yards, par 5: Has played the easiest hole on the course in the past – with not a single double bogey in 1993 and 25 of the 27 eagles that week – but a new tee in 2011 added 32 yards.
8th, 450 yards, par 4: Used to be a par three, but changed to an uphill dogleg right, the approach played over an area of rough to a long and slender green.
9th, 412 yards, par 4: A bunker known as The Corset pinches in from the right and the humps and hollows are pronounced. A new tee for 2011 added 24 yards, while the green drops away steeply to the right.
10th, 415 yards, par 4: Tom Kite was leading in 1985 when he went from bunker to bunker and took six. The green is perched up high and with slopes front and back, great accuracy is needed.
11th, 238 yards, par 3: The one back-nine hole to be played directly towards the sea and demanding in the extreme when there is any wind. Three bunkers left and two right with a two-tier green.
12th, 379 yards, par 4: A dogleg right where there is a temptation to bite too much off the corner over the bunkers. Five more traps are short of a green which Tiger Woods four-putted in 2003.
13th, 456 yards, par 4: The drive has to be threaded between bunkers and the approach is played to the longest green on the course with a ridge running down its spine and out of bounds at the back.
14th, 547 yards, par 5: Out of bounds all the way down the right and the ‘Suez Canal’ across the fairway at 330 yards. To add to the dangers the green was moved back and closer to the fence.
15th, 496 yards, par 4: Lengthened by 21 yards in 2011, but still a par four with five bunkers to be negotiated off the tee and three more in front of a green which falls away to the right.
16th, 162 yards, par 3: Thomas Bjorn, two ahead at the time, took three to get out of the bunker on the right in the final round in 2003 and finished a shot behind Ben Curtis. In 1967 Tony Jacklin made the first televised hole-in-one here.
17th, 426 yards, par 4: The fairway was one of the hardest to hit with all its swales, but it has since been widened. Greg Norman’s closing 64 in 1993 included a missed 18-inch putt here.
18th, 450 yards, par 4: Two well-struck shots are needed to a green which falls away to the left into Duncan’s Hollow. Sandy Lyle was there in 1985 and his ball then came back towards him, but a five was enough to win.
The Open Championship: What has been said?
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy insists he will not repeat the mistakes of Portrush when he tees it up this time around.
The Northern Irishman never recovered from starting his home Open with a quadruple-bogey eight two years ago, missing the cut despite a brilliant second round of 65.
The world number 11 said: “There is a lot to that in terms of I didn’t quite approach Portrush the right way in terms of preparing myself to play in that atmosphere in front of those people.
“It was almost as if once that first round was out of the way I was unburdened because I was like ‘I can’t win from here’ and then I go out and shoot 65 on the second day.
“It’s trying to feel on the first day how I felt on the second day, I think that’s the key. That’s just unburdening yourself.
“There are certain things you can do, mental exercises, to get into that frame of mind but in Portrush that week I certainly didn’t do a good enough job and I learned from that and it is something I’ve obviously tried to improve on since.
“I know how to play links golf obviously, I grew up on it, I know how to play Open Championships. Portrush wasn’t what I wanted but I’ve had a win, a second and two other top fives.
“I feel comfortable in that environment, it was nice to get back to links golf in Scotland as I’ve not played links golf for two years.
“I’d have previously said in my career the Open was not the major which suited me the most but results would say otherwise.”