The Open Championship returns this year after being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. It was the first time since World War II that the major was not played.
Shane Lowry, who won his first major championship at The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, will return the Claret Jug after the end of his extended title defense.
FIELD NOTES: The top two FedExCup golfers – Patrick Cantlay and Harris English – will both be on the lookout for their first major championship wins at The Open … Shane Lowry returns to defend his 2019 Open Championship title. Lowry wants to become the first golfer since Padraig Harrington (2007, 2008) to play in a row … Any of the other big winners of this season (Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm) will all try to make their big ones Expand trophy cases at Royal St. George’s … One spot remains for the John Deere Classic top 5 player who has not yet qualified … Some of the world’s top golfers, including former PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Sungjae Im , have chosen to skip The Open this year for a variety of reasons (including travel). For Im, he decided to continue to focus on winning an Olympic medal … All of the 30 best golfers in the world will tee off at The Open, with Im (27th) being the only one missing.
FEDEXCUP: The winner will receive 600 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Royal St. George’s GC, Par 70, 7,211 yards (subject to change). Royal St. George’s was the first golf course in England to host The Open (1894), and this year the traditional course will be held for the 15th time. The last Open Championship played there was in 2011 (won by Darren Clarke at the age of 42) and before that it was the surprising win of Ben Curtis in 2003. The course is known for its rugged and hilly terrain, which often creates unpredictable jumps, plus dunes and deep bunkers. It lies over a beautiful coastal land.
STORYLINES: Jon Rahm will try to become only the seventh golfer to ever win the US Open and Open Championship in the same year … Louis Oosthuizen is trying to avoid becoming the first golfer since 2000 to finish second in three consecutive majors Already a winner, Major Bryson DeChambeau will debut his new caddy Brian Zeigler at Royal St. George’s … Can Phil Mickelson keep his big mojo going? After winning the PGA Championship earlier this year, Mickelson finished second behind Darren Clarke at the 2011 Royal St. George’s Open. The Open Championship will be held in St Andrews in 2022 and Royal Liverpool in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024.
72 HOLE RECORD: 264, Henrik Stenson (2016 at Royal Troon).
18 HOLES RECORD: 62, Branden Grace (3rd round, 2017 at Royal Birkdale).
LAST TIME: Shane Lowry had the support of a nation when he took his first major championship title of his career. The lightning-fast Irishman won the 2019 Open Championship with six strokes. He shot a scorching 63 (a course record) at Royal Portrush on Saturday – the first time the Northern Ireland magic links hosted The Open since 1951 – and despite a 1: over 72, it was his title he won. After a lead of four over 54 holes there were no significant challenges for the pursuers on Sunday as Tommy Fleetwood, who finished second, shot 3 over 74 in the final round. Tony Finau finished third, while Lee Westwood and Brooks Koepka finished fourth. Koepka’s top five placement got him into serious company. Along with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, he was the fifth player to finish in the top 5 in all four majors in a single season.
HOW TO FOLLOW (all times ET)
TV: Thursday-Friday, 1.30 a.m. – 4 a.m. (Peacock), 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Peacock). Saturday, 5-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 4-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 4 a.m.-2 p.m. (SiriusXM 92)