Royal Birkdale, the venue for this year’s British Open, is often called the fairest of all the Open courses because of its flat fairways and wide ranging scores. Eventually, its fairness mostly depends on the weather conditions which have been as fragile as a woman’s mood. This year’s Open will be the 10th in Birkdale history which ranks behind St. Andrews (29), Prestwick (24), Muirfield (16), Royal St. George’s (14), Royal Liverpool (12) and Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s (11).
Not every legend has won here, there have been some all-time greats who have won historically good tournaments at Birkdale. A similar season is expected this time around as well. Interestingly, this fairest test in the Open rotation has a unique distinction to its name. It is often referred as the heaven of first timers! Birkdale has Seven straight first-time major winners.
Indeed, the first time is always the most special, and Jason Day, Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka will happily agree to it. It is one of the remarkable streaks in the history of golf. Will the 10th Open at Birkdale witness the same magic!
The fascinating part of all of this is that it would not be a surprise if that happens. Would anyone be stunned to see Rickie Fowler, Thomas Pieters, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Jon Rahm and Matthew Fitzpatrick reel off the next six majors in a row giving us three straight seasons of first-time major winners? If that happens, and there are strong probabilities for that, we would get a repeat of 2015 when Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy held all four of them at one time.
The Open is the oldest among the four majors and Birkdale perfectly matches the legacy it carries. It would, thus, be interesting to see how season performs, how golfers tackle the tricks of the wind and most important, how the first timers perform!