Royal Birkdale will host The Open for the tenth time in July 2017 and will welcome the world’s greatest golfers to one of the sport’s most renowned and challenging venues.
Since first hosting The Open in 1954, the course has been (alongside Royal Lytham) the most regular venue for the Championship, other than St Andrews. At Birkdale’s first Open, Peter Thomson won the first of three in succession; he returned to the same course in 1965 to add his fifth and final title.
Here, DSPORT has picked up past 5 winners of The British Open. Have a look:
Henrik Stenson, 145th Open (2016) at Royal Troon, Scotland
Henrik Stenson royally seized the 145th Open at Royal Troon by defeating Phil Mickelson with his master strokes. Stenson shot a final round 63 for 264, a record 20-under par, three strokes ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson, the 2013 champion. After 54 holes, the 40-year-old became the first Swede to lift the Claret Jug and win a Major Championship. Stenson’s battle with Mickelson over the Ayrshire links will go down as one of the most historic head-to-heads in the history of The Open. It was apt that it mirrored the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus back in 1977, which took place just down the coast at Turnberry.
Stenson finished at 20-under 264, the lowest 72-hole score ever in a major. He tied Jason Day’s record for lowest under par set last year at the PGA Championship.
Zach Johnson, 144th Open (2015) at St Andrews, Scotland
Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship at St. Andrews after five days and a four-hole playoff, the longest British Open ever. American Zach Johnson claimed his second major title with victory in a three-man play-off in the 144th Open Championship.
The 2007 Masters winner finished a shot ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen and three ahead of Australian Marc Leishman over four extra holes. It was one of the most memorable Opens in recent history, which saw the world’s best players battling it to the finish line, to claim the historic Claret Jug. Johnson became the sixth man to win both the Masters Tournament and The Open at St Andrews, joining Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
Rory McIlroy, 143rd Open (2014) at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, England
The 2014 Open Championship was the 143rd Open Championship, held 17–20 July 2014 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Merseyside, England. Rory McIlroy won his first Open Championship, two strokes ahead of runners-up Rickie Fowler and Sergio García, and became only the sixth to win the championship going wire-to-wire after 72 holes (being the sole leader after each round).
McIlroy became the first player to win The Open and the BMW PGA Championship in the same season and, at 25, the third youngest to win three different Majors, behind Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Phil Mickelson, 142nd Open (2013) at Muirfield Golf Links, Scotland
It took Phil Mickelson 14 years to win a Major after winning the US Amateur Championship, and 20 attempts to win The Open. Mickelson shot a final round 66 (−5) to win his fifth major title, three strokes ahead of runner-up Henrik Stenson. Starting the final day five adrift, four birdies in the last six holes swept him to a three-stroke victory. He was third at Royal Troon in 2004 and runner-up to Darren Clarke at Sandwich in 2011 but rarely otherwise contended at The Open. His closing 66 was the lowest score ever to win an Open at Muirfield.
Ernie Els, 141st Open (2012) at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Lancashire, England
Ernie Els won his second Claret Jug, one stroke ahead of runner-up Adam Scott. Els made clutch birdies on the par-4 14th and 18th holes for a final-round 68 while the leader, Scott (75), collapsed behind him, and Els came from six strokes behind at the turn to win his second British Open and fourth major title. After ten years Els had arrived on golf’s world stage having won the Triple Crown in South Africa of Open, PGA, and Masters Titles. He won the US Open at Oakmont in 1994, in a play-off over Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie, and Curtis Strange called him the “next god of golf”. Others simply called him the “Big Easy”, for the blonde giant’s sweet, effortless swing.
DSPORT will telecast the championship live. Keep reading this section for more updates.