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British Open 2023 target of climate activists “Just Stop Oil

On the second day of the British Open 2023, despite efforts by the organizers, some climate activists from the protest group “Just Stop Oil” made it onto the grounds of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Using orange paint, the four individuals targeted the 17th green of the golf course.

British Open 2023: Billy Horschel helps police with “Just Stop Oil” protest

On the morning of the second round, the four activists from the climate group “Just Stop Oil”, who have already caused a stir at other sporting events such as Wimbledon, arrived on the grounds of the Open Championship. On the 17th green, one activist threw orange paint in the direction of the course. Shortly after, however, she was already taken into police custody with the help of Billy Horschel. His flight was about to putt on the short par 3 during the action.

After the incident, the R&A released a brief statement on the incident. “A protester was quickly apprehended on the 17th hole and is one of 4 people who have been arrested by the police. Play was not disrupted and we would like to thank the marshals, players and other spectators for their vigilance and understanding as the protestors were removed.”

R&A and police already prepared for protest actions

Police have already been working in advance with the organizing R&A on plans for incidents of this nature to minimize disruption to match operations, visitors and local residents. “The public should be prepared for the police to maintain a high presence throughout the event as we complement and support other security agencies. There are a number of plans and processes in place to deal with any incidents and prevent significant or ongoing disruption to spectators, residents and businesses,” said local police Chief Superintendent Mark Wiggins.


The Open 2023: Bunkers adjusted, made easier for the players

In the first round, the pros at the 2023 Open Championship had to contend with the treacherous pot bunkers at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. For round 2, the conditions were adjusted.

The deep pot bunkers are characteristic of the links courses in Scotland. The steep bunker walls give players a hard time on such courses anyway. Not infrequently, bad luck adds to the problem, so that a normal stance is not an option when playing out of the bunker. So the players have to get creative, play with one leg and in the worst case play back towards the tee. Complicating matters further is the sloping topography of the greens towards the bunkers, which causes balls to roll towards the sand time and time again.

Even some professionals despair of the challenging obstacles at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Justin Thomas, for example, ended his first round with a 9 on the par-5 18th because he was unable to free himself from a tricky bunker location.

Adjusting the bunkers at the 2023 Open Championship

In addition to sloping greens and steep bunker walls, the subsoil in particular poses a special challenge for the pros. The greenkeeping team has smoothed out the bottoms of the bunkers in preparation for the British Open 2023, so that the balls stay in tricky positions in the corners of the bunkers. With dry conditions in mind, the greenkeeping team was asked to adjust the bottoms of the bunkers after the completion of the first round.

The R&A explained, “We would like to inform you that we have adjusted the way the bunkers are raked overnight. Yesterday afternoon the bunkers dried out more than they have in recent weeks, and this resulted in more balls being left directly against the walls than we would normally expect. (…) We routinely rake the bunkers flat at most Open venues, but we decided this adjustment was appropriate given the drier conditions that occurred yesterday. We will continue to monitor this closely for the remainder of the championship.”

For now, then, it’s a case of breathing a sigh of relief for the players at the British Open. With a little luck, such hopeless situations as there were in the first round can be avoided.

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This is why Rory McIlroy wins the Open Championship

Ever since his success at the Scottish Open, Rory McIlroy has been the clear favorite for this year’s Open Championship in Liverpool. We take a look at what speaks for him and who could challenge him for the title.

A Rory McIlroy in top form at the Open Championship

At the beginning of the year, there seemed to be nothing that the Northern Irishman couldn’t win. But then the outside pressure mounted, it was as much about LIV and the PGA Tour as it was about sporting success, and McIlroy seemed to have reached his limit. The results failed to materialize, and time out was necessary, even from the Elevated events, which he had promised to participate in when they were first conceived. But with June 6 and the negotiated merger between the PGA and PIF, the pressure is also falling off. What happens at tour level is no longer his business, McIlroy thinks to himself, and plays as freely as he did at the beginning of the year. A second place at the US Open in June was the first bright spot, then the links victory last week. The signs are all pointing to McIlroy.

The fact that he is the last Champion Golfer of the Year to be named at Royal Liverpool further helps his odds. And let’s not forget the duel against Cam Smith at the 2022 Open Championship. McIlroy’s colleagues also know that the 34-year-old is a force to be reckoned with this week. Last year’s triumphant Cam Smith, for example, said. “There are a lot of guys who, if the week goes well, can be up there on Sunday. I’m sure Rory is one of them.” For Jon Rahm, McIlroy is also the main favorite. “If I had to pick one player, it would be Rory,” he said in an interview with Mercedes Benz. Matt Fitzpatrick even expresses a tiny bit of jealousy at the four-time major winner’s outstanding form. “I think everyone would like to play golf the way Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler are doing right now. But that’s pretty rare for the rest of us.”

The unbeatable Scottie Scheffler

If there is anyone who can outperform Rory McIlroy in terms of form, it is Scottie Scheffer. You’ll look in vain for a missed cut this year and all season for the world No. 1. His worst finish in 2023 is a split 12th.If there isn’t at least a top 10 for him this week, it almost has to be a disappointment. In his last ten major appearances, Scheffer missed the cut only once and finished outside the top 10 only once, but that was at the 2022 British Open. At St. Andrews, the currently unbeatable Scheffler apparently found his master. But he showed that he has no problems with links golf per se with a shared third place at the Scottish Open last week.

The defending champion Cameron Smith

Not to be forgotten, of course, is the defending champion. When Cameron Smith handed the Claret Jug back to Martin Slumbers of the R&A, he reluctantly let the trophy go. “I’ll just win it again,” he jousted. Even though Smith’s Ripper GC is only in the lower midfield of the LIV Golf League, things look very different for the captain. He ranks second in the season standings behind only Talor Gooch after his win in London. In addition, he boasts four top 10 results, an eleventh place finish and a twelfth place finish. His major record this year is not without its problems either. Although T34 at the Masters, where he particularly shone in previous years, the trend developed positively: T9 at the PGA Championship, 4th place at the US Open, what will he achieve at the Royal Liverpool?

The fiery Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm also looked unstoppable at the beginning of the year. Since the spring and his Masters win, however, he’s cooled off a bit. More breaks, results good enough to keep him in the top 3 in the world, but not to challenge Scheffler for the top spot. He is well aware of that himself, he explained before the tournament. “Obviously Rory and Scotty are more the favorites because they’ve been playing better lately, but I’m glad people still think I have a chance.” At the same time, he said, his expectations of himself are probably higher than what people on the outside think of him. “Whether people think you’re going to win or not, I’m still coming here to win.” He’s already won one major this year, and a second would definitely be in the cards.

Honourable Mentions

But, as Jon Rahm also says, “This is golf, all 150 of us have a chance.” Figures like Rickie Fowler, with chances to win the US Open and end his winless streak are also aiming for the title, as is Brooks Koepka, who has major title number 6 in his sights, but has had very inconsistent results at the Open Championship so far. With Tommy Fleetwood, who finished T4 behind Rory McIlroy last year and T6 last week, standing just as high with the bookmakers as world No. 5 Viktor Hovland, with whom Fleetwood shared fourth place in 2022. But in the end, there can only be one Champion Golfer of the Year 2023.

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Team Galvin Green Four-Ball heads to Hoylake in style

Galvin Green, the premium hi-tech apparel brand, has scripted striking outfits for four of its leading Tour ambassadors taking part in The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool this week, including three players on the cusp of making Europe’s Ryder Cup team in September.
They are led by Englishman Jordan Smith – fresh from a strong showing at the Genesis Scottish Open where he finished in a tie for 12 th. Two-time DP World Tour winner Jordan currently occupies 12 th place in the European Ryder Cup standings, followed by former Ryder Cup star Dane Thorbjørn Olesen in 15 th and Sweden’s Alexander Björk in 20 th spot. They will be joined by England’s Laurie Canter, one of the LIV Golf trailblazers.
Here are the colourful, high-performance garments that the four are set to wear as they take on the challenging Hoylake links, in addition to the market-leading Galvin Green outerwear and mid-layers they might need.

The Open Championship 2023: The looks of Galvin Green

Jordan Smith will step on the first tee on Thursday wearing the bold MADDEN short-sleeve shirt featuring a free-flowing wave print in the Navy/White colourway along with the matching NOAH trousers in Navy. Smith’s full-line up of performance-driven designs include:
The MAXIMUS shirt inspired by a still, calm ocean in Sharkskin and NOAH pants in Black; the tri-tone MO shirt offering a contemporary look in the Cool Grey/White/Navy colourway and navy NOAH trousers; MADDEN shirt in the refreshing Cool Grey/White colourway with matching NOAH trousers in Sharkskin.

(Photo: Galvin Green)

Thorbjørn Olesen, winner of the Thailand Classic earlier this year, will be looking to elevate his season with a strong showing at Royal Liverpool wearing the following outfits:
The distinctive MARKOS shirt in a gleaming water-themed print to deliver a supremely eye-catching look paired with the NOAH trousers in the Ensign Blue/Navy and Navy colourways respectively; MADDEN design in the bright Blue/White option and NOAH in White; the MAXIMUS in Sharkskin and NOAH pants in Black; plus the MO shirt in the vibrant Cool Grey/White/Sunny Lime colour and NOAH in Sharkskin.

(Photo: Galvin Green)

Alexander Björk, who has played in Galvin Green apparel since turning Professional in 2009, will sport a selection of athletic looks that include:
The MARKOS shirt in a mesmerising Navy/Orange colourway paired with the NOAH trousers in Navy for a super stylish appearance; vivid MO shirt in Black/White/Sharkskin and black NOAH trousers; distinctively bright MANOLO shirt in a fun print of small lighthouses and tee pegs, along with the NOAH trousers in Sharkskin; plus the MADDEN style in a super vibrant Orange/White colour complemented by the contrasting NOAH trousers in Navy.

(Photo: Galvin Green)

Laurie Canter, who successfully booked his place at the 151 st Open through winning the Final Qualifying event at Royal Porthcawl in challenging conditions, will wear the following outfits:
The MARKOS shirt in Blue/Navy and matching NOAH pants in Navy; MALCOLM shirt in a stylish Black/Sharkskin/Red colour combination that is inspired by the natural beauty of coastal golfing venues and NIXON trousers in Black; trendy MICO shirt designed to project a bird’s eye view of the ocean from above and NIXON pants in Sharkskin; as well as the MADDEN in Navy/White and matching NOAH trousers in Navy.

(Photo: Galvin Green)

“We’ve assembled these top-quality outfits to ensure our Tour Ambassadors look the part and perform at their best on the biggest stage,” said Conor Petters, Marketing Manager UK & Ireland. “Wearing our hi-tech clothes will hopefully give our players the edge to play at their peak and help secure a Ryder Cup spot further down the line in some cases,” he added.
All VENTIL8 PLUS shirts and trousers provide excellent moisture transportation properties and breathability to keep the body dry, while offering UV 20+ protection in warmer temperatures. Easy to maintain, the garments also dry quickly and without the need to iron. To explore the Galvin Green looks that will be worn at Hoylake, visit

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Farewell from St. Andrews? Crying Woods gets standing ovation

The sporting outcome was to be expected after the first round of the British Open 2022. Tiger Woods fails to make the cut. But he had probably not expected the elemental force with which he was met by the love of the fans as he walked down the final fairway. Riotous cheers from the tee to the green. Standing ovations on the grandstand at the last hole. Even the 46-year-old, who won the British Open here in 2000 and 2005, had to shed a few tears.

“And I don’t know if I’ll be physically able to play another British Open here at St Andrews”. The next Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews is not scheduled for another eight years, in 2030, due to the chaos caused by the Corona pandemic. It’s actually the “Home of Golf’s” turn to host golf’s oldest major tournament every five years.

Tiger Woods: “You could feel the warmth”

That might be too long for Woods, who remains very limited in his walking. And so the walk down the final fairway amounted to a farewell tour. Everyone present seemed aware of the significance of the moment. And even though Woods still talks about wanting to continue working hard to play tournaments, it’s quite possible that this could never again be the case on his self-declared favorite course.

The closer he got to the 18 green, Woods explained, the more emotional it became. He said he saw Rory McIlroy, who had just started on one, coming toward him. “As I walked further along the fairway, I saw Rory right there. He gave me the tip of the cap. It was a pretty cool — the nods I was getting from guys as they were going out and I was coming in, just the respect, that was pretty neat. And from a players’ fraternity level, it’s neat to see that and feel that. And then as I got into the shot — or closer to the green, more into the hole, the ovation got louder and got — you could feel the warmth and you could feel the people from both sides. Felt like the whole tournament was right there.”

And it felt like a very special moment for the spectators, too. Something big was in the air, a big goodbye. At the very least, a big uncertainty. Tiger was probably not the only one who had “a few tears” in his eyes. But Woods made one thing clear right away during the subsequent media talk: “I’m not retiring from the game. I will continue to play British Opens in the future.”

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British Open Golf – Decisions in play-off

In the 100-year history of the British Open, only 21 tournaments have been decided in a playoff. While the winner was decided over 36 holes at the beginning, the organizers shortened the playoff to 18 holes in 1970. The last rule change was in 1989, and since then a playoff has been played over four holes.

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Decisions in playoffs – the 2000s

The last playoff took place in 2015, when Zach Johnson defeated his two competitors, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Marc Leishman. Indeed, while Johnson needed a total of 15 strokes (3-3-5-4), Oosthuizen needed 16 (3-4-5-4) and Leishman 18 (5-4-5-4). The deciding factor was Johnson’s birdie on the second extra hole, while Leishman put himself out of the game on the first hole.

Before that, Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in 2009 by 14 strokes (4-3-4-3), while Watson needed a total of 20 strokes (5-3-7-5) for the four extra holes. In the process, Watson, who was competing in the Open for the first time in 34 years, nearly won the tournament. With a victory, he would have become the oldest winner at the British Open at the age of 59. But his nerves must have let him down. He played a bogey on the 72nd hole, which earned him a playoff against Cink.

Two years earlier, in 2007, Padraig Harrington won with some luck against Sergio Garcia. Harrington had been trailing Garcia by six strokes at the start of the final round. He then took the lead, but played a double bogey on the last hole. Garcia, however, also muffed his putt for the win. In the playoff, Harrington narrowly edged Garcia (16 — 5-3-4-4) by 15 strokes (3-3-4-5).

In 2004, Ernie Els (16 — 4-4-4-4-) lost to Todd Hamilton (15 — 4-4-3-4) in a playoff. Both had previously missed their winning putt on the last hole.

Already two years before, in 2002, Ernie Els had gone into the playoff. Here, however, he prevailed against three other competitors. With 16 strokes (4-3-5-4), he was initially tied with Thomas Levet (4-3-5-4). While Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington lost out, the two played another extra hole in sudden-death mode. Els edged Levet by four strokes.

The nineties

In 1999, three players went into a playoff for the title. Jean van de Velde actually held a comfortable lead of three strokes at the last hole. But a triple bogey forced him into a playoff against Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard. After three extra holes Lawrie led by one stroke, another bogey on the fourth hole then made his victory perfect (5-4-3-3). It was the biggest comeback in PGA Tour history. At the start of the final day, Lawrie was still ten shots off the lead.

Marc O’Meara clearly beat Brian Watts (5-4-5-5) by two strokes the year before (4-4-5-4).

Costantino Rocca forced a play-off against John Daly with a spectacular putt in 1995. After he missed a chip on the last hole, he putted through the “Valley of Sin” on the Old Course. The ball rolled over the undulating green, conquered the slope up to the hole and actually fell into the hole. However, Rocca then played a seven (5-4-7-3) on the third playoff hole. This cleared the way for John Daly to win his second major (3-4-4-4).

The Eighties

In 1989, for the first time, only four holes were played in a playoff. Greg Norman erased his seven-stroke deficit with a 64 in the final round. Then he had to wait to see if anyone caught up with him. Mark Calcavecchia and Wayne Grady managed to do so. It was off to the playoff. Greg Norman missed the win on the last extra hole. He played his drive into a bunker, from there into another bunker. After putting his third shot out of bounds behind the green, he picked up the ball (3-3-4-x). Calcavecchia then eventually edged Grady (4-4-4-4 — 16) by three strokes (4-3-3 — 13).

The sixties and seventies

In the final 18-hole playoff, Tom Watson won over Jack Newton in 1975. Watson earned his first of five British Open victories with a 71.

In 1970, Doug Sanders was supposed to win the tournament. But on the last hole, his calf-biting putt missed the target. Jack Nicklaus led by one stroke on the last extra hole and claimed victory.

In 1963, the first left-hander won the British Open. Bob Charles won the final playoff, which was played over 36 holes (69/71) against Phil Rodgers (72/76).

The fifties and forties

Peter Thomson won the British Open for the fourth time in 1958. With a round of 68 and a 71, he edged out Dave Thomas (69/74). It was the fourth of his five British Open successes.

Bobby Locke won the play-off for himself with an emphatic victory in 1949 (67/68). Harry Bradshaw played a 74 and 73.

The thirties, twenties and tens

In 1933, Craig Wood (78/76) lost the first of four playoffs at his majors. Denny Shute defeated him with 75 and 74.

The amateur Roger Wethered didn’t really feel like playing the playoff in 1921. Actually, he was supposed to play in one of his team’s cricket matches. He was persuaded to play, but lost to Jock Hutchison (74/76). Wethered got a penalty, among other things, for stepping on his ball (77/82).

In 1911, the playoff ended after just 34 holes. Arnaud Massy gave up and so Harry Vardon could also break the playoff and won.

The 19th century

Harry Vardon prevented the third consecutive victory of J.H. Taylor (161) with his first win in 1896. He shot 157 to win the first of his six British Open titles.

In 1889, the tournament was held on the nine-hole Musselburgh Links. The play-off therefore went over 36 holes. Willie Park Jr. won by 158 strokes over Andrew Kirkaldy (163).

Bob Ferguson lost his fourth Open title to Willie Fernie in 1883 with a bogey on the par-3 hole.

The first playoff at the British Open took place in 1876. Although it could hardly be called a playoff. David Strath refused to play the playoff. Therefore, Bob Martin only had to walk once from the first hole to the last to be declared the winner.

David Strath refused to play because he disagreed with a decision made by the R&A on the 17th hole in the final round. In fact, the decided to postpone the final decision until after the playoff. If a decision was made against Strath, he would have had to be disqualified. Strath found that nonsensical and simply did not compete.

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Historic British Open – The most important events

1860 — Prestwick

Twelve holes are played to determine Allan Robertson’s successor as Scotland’s best golfer. Willie Park wins the championship belt, local hero and course architect Old Tom Morris comes a mere second. The Open Championship is born.

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1870 — Prestwick

Young Tom Morris wins for the third time in a row and gets to keep the belt. On his fourth success in 1872, he goes home without a trophy because the Claret Jug is not yet ready. The year before, the Open was even cancelled altogether for lack of a trophy.

1873 — St. Andrews

Tom Kidd wins the first Open at St. Andrews, held for the first time on an 18-hole course. The Scot is the first to hold the new trophy, but the first name on the base of the Claret Jug is that of the 1872 winner Tom Morris Jr.

1892 — Muirfield

The Open is played over 72 holes (four rounds) for the first time.

1902 — Royal Liverpool

Sandy Herd has the new Haskell ball wrapped around a core sent from the U.S. and beats the established “gutty” guard.

1904 — Royal St. Georges

The Open is held over three days for the next 62 years, with a 36-hole final at the end. J. H. Taylor plays the first round of 68 in golf history on 18 holes.

1909 — Royal Cinque Ports

Business arrives in the form of an exhibition area, with manufacturers and dealers advertising their golf products in tents.

1914 — Prestwick

The great Harry Vardon wins the Open for the sixth time at age 44, making him a record winner.

1922 — Royal St. Georges

Reporters race to nearby Sandwich to radio a sensation to the U.S.: at last, Walter Hagen, the first native-born American, has triumphed.

1924 — Royal Liverpool

Said Hagen, always up for a show, notices a public address by the Lord Mayor as he leaves his hotel in Liverpool. Uninvited, he climbs to the dignitary’s podium to wave to the crowd and be celebrated.

1926 — Royal Lytham & St Annes

For the first time, spectators must pay admission. Ticket-holders watch Bobby Jones’ success, which he sets up with a sensational mashie niblick (8-9 iron) from the fairway bunker over 155 yards of gorse and rough to the green in the final round at 17.

1927 — St. Andrews

Because there was money left over from the previous year, admission is free! Bobby Jones is carried on shoulders from the 18th green by the enthusiastic crowd after his second of three Open triumphs (1930, Grand Slam).

1935 — Muirfield

Coincidences abound: While tennis ace Fred Perry wins Wimbledon, Alf Perry (no relation, nor in-law) wins his only major golf tournament against Hagen and Co.

1950 — Royal Troon

The first German makes a name for himself: Hermann Tissies needs 15 strokes at the 115-yard famous “Postage Stamp” eight. In 1973, 71-year-old Gene Sarazen plays an ace on the par-3, and the next day the inventor of the sand wedge holes out of the bunker for birdie.

1951 — Royal Portrush

The only Open outside England and Scotland is broadcast by the BBC on the radio. Winner Max Faulkner with his penchant for colorful clothing may be considered a predecessor of Fowler, Daly and Co.

1953 — Carnoustie

America’s “Ice Man” Ben Hogan travels across the pond for his only Open Championship and promptly wins the third major title of the season in Carnoustie, thus achieving the “Triple Crown of Golf,” which is still unrivaled today. Only Tiger Woods has ever won three majors in a row, when he won the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship in 2000.

1955 — St. Andrews

In the second of his five victories, Australian Peter Thomson is shown live on television.

1966 — Muirfield

The Open is now held Wednesday through Saturday. Jack Nicklaus makes it a career Grand Slam with his first victory, something only Gene Sarazen (1935), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1965) and Tiger Woods (2000) have achieved besides him.

1969 — Royal Lytham & St Annes

After 17 victories by overseas golfers, Englishman Tony Jacklin restores British Open honors as “Champion Golfer of the Year.”
restores British Open honor.

1975 — Carnoustie

Tom Watson wins the first of his five British Opens in a playoff. In 1977, he engages in the legendary “Duel in the Sun” with Nicklaus at Turnberry. Watson plays the weekend in 65-65, Nicklaus in 65-66.

1978 — St. Andrews

Jack Nicklaus wins his third Open Championship and at the same time completes the career Grand Slam, winning all four majors, for the third time.

1980 — Muirfield

The British Open will now be held from Thursday through Sunday. Seven years after that, at the same location, Nick Faldo is immortalized for 18 pars in the final round on the Claret Jug. Sir Nick also keeps the engraver busy in 1990 and ’92.

1995 — St. Andrews

While John Daly drives the ball onto the green with a terrific shot from the Road Hole bunker on the final round, laying the foundation for his victory, the dreaded sand pit on the 17th green finally brings playoff defeat to his opponent in the playoff, Costantino Rocca. The Italian needs three strokes to break free, but has already written golf history with his 18-meter putt on the 18th green and the subsequent “jubilant ecstasy”.

1999 — Carnoustie

Jean van de Velde makes THE black-out in Open history: Around the Barry Burn on the 18th hole, the Frenchman “gambles away” a three-stroke lead and loses in a play-off against Paul Lawrie. The R&A engraver had already stamped Van de Velde’s name on the Claret Jug.

2000 — St. Andrews

With consistent iron play and without once lying in one of the 112 bunkers, Tiger Woods sets a new scoring record at the Millennium Open (-19) and at the same time makes his career Grand Slam perfect.

2009 — Turnberry

At the scene of the “Duel in the Sun” of 1977, 59-year-old Tom Watson could once again equal Harry Vardon and loses the sixth Open only in a play-off against Stewart Cink.

2010 — St. Andrews

At the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship, the winner is Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa). Rory McIlroy shoots an opening 63 in ideal conditions, prompting the R&A grandees to frantically consider structural changes to make the Old Course more difficult for 2015.

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British Open – “Claret Jug” Victory Award

The trophy that rewards the winner of the British Open Championship is officially known as the “Championship Trophy”, but it is commonly referred to as the “Claret Jug”; it is a Bordeaux decanter. “Claret” is the English name for a dry red wine produced in the famous French wine-growing region of Bordeaux. The British Open trophy is modeled after a silver wine jug in which claret was served in the 19th century.

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Before the Claret Jug there was the Championship belt

But the winner of the British Open did not get the Claret Jug from time immemorial. The first winners were awarded with a championship belt. The first British Open was held in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club. The first belt was also awarded in that year.

The belt was made of wide, red morocco leather and was trimmed with silver buckles and decorations. This trophy would possibly still be today’s British Open award had it not been for the special achievement of Young Tom Morris: Prestwick Golf Club hosted the first eleven British Opens. Each year the championship belt changed hands as a challenge cup. But Prestwick’s rules stated that the belt would become the property of the golfer who won the British Open three times in a row. Young Tom Morris achieved this feat in 1872, winning in 1868, 1869 and 1870. So he could take home the Championship belt after his third win in 1870.

The British Open briefly had no victory award

Suddenly the British Open had no trophy and Prestwick did not have the funds to commission its own. So club members came up with the idea of sharing a trophy with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Prestwick suggested that the three clubs could take turns hosting the British Open and all contribute something to the new trophy.

While the clubs deliberated, no British Open was held in 1871. Eventually they pooled money for a new trophy.

Tom Kidd 1873 first winner of the Claret Jug

When Young Tom Morris won the British Open again, the trophy had not yet been completed. So in 1873, Tom Kidd was the first British Open winner to win the Claret Jug.

This original trophy has been on display in the clubhouse of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews since 1927, along with the Championship belt (donated by the Morris family in 1908). The trophy currently in circulation is a copy of the original and was first presented to the 1928 winner, Walter Hagen. Each winner is allowed to keep this trophy for one year after his victory, must return it to the next British Open and then receives a replica of the traveling trophy for his own use.

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British Open – Cut Rule

The British Open cut rule is not difficult to understand: The top 70 finishers after 36 holes make the cut. Everyone else doesn’t make the weekend. This cut rule was first used at the 1898 British Open.

British Open: briefly with two cuts

But there wasn’t always this one-cut system. In 1968, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) installed two cuts: one cut after 36 holes, another cut after 54 holes. This cut rule lasted until 1985, during which time the top 80 players advanced after the first cut and the top 60 players advanced after the second.

In 1986, the cut rule at the British Open was changed back to the best 70 after 36 holes. It is still in place today.

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The Open – the very first staging in Prestwick

The history of the British Open dates back to 1860, at a time when America is on the verge of a drastic civil war and makes Abraham Lincoln its president in November, things are much more leisurely in Great Britain. In Scotland, a society of golfers comes together to play the first Open Championship on a twelve-hole round on the grounds of Prestwick Golf Club on October 17, 1860.

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First venue of the British Open: Built by a genius
The course at Prestwick Golf Club had been designed by golf’s all-round genius Old Tom Morris, the host club’s greenkeeper at the time, whose son managed the first hole-in-one at the tournament just seven years later. Both dominated the tournament for several years in the beginning.

Later, the competition was held on three different courses, always in alternation, after Young Tom Morris had won the tournament on his father’s course three times in a row. Because the early contests were played on a twelve-hole course, the round was played three times in just one day to reach a total of 36 holes.

Golf on the move
When the first British Open took place, golf was in the midst of a flurry of change. Outside of Great Britain, golf was still barely established at the time – the first German golf club (the Royal Homburger Golf Club and the Wiesbadener Golf-Club are in dispute over the designation of the first German golf club) did not open its doors until the end of the century.

The first ladies’ golf club was founded seven years after the Open premiere, although half a century had passed since the first ladies’ golf tournament at the time of the first Open Championship. Played at Musselburgh – a course that would also host the British Open on a few occasions – it was the first documented ladies’ tournament in the history of golf.

Dynamic period of golf technology
But the sport also underwent some technological changes in the period before and after the first British Open. While hickory shafts were still common at the first Open, by the end of the century experiments would be made with the steel shaft that would later revolutionize the game. Similarly, in 1898, the Haskell ball with a wrapped hard rubber core replaced the gutta-percha ball established in 1848, which had been common at the first and subsequent tournaments.

In 1894, the USGA was founded, which meant that for the first time there was also a regulating institution in golf in the United States. Four years later, the Stableford method of counting was invented and the wooden tee was patented the following year. At the first British Open, moreover, professional golfers were still rare, but participation by amateurs was nevertheless prohibited – so it came about that the first field of participants consisted of only eight golfers.