PGA Tour
PGA European - British Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, July 15th through Sunday, July 18th
SITE: The Old Course at St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Tom Morris Sr (1863)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,305
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 376 Yds10 - Par 4 380 Yds
2 - Par 4 453 Yds11 - Par 3 174 Yds
3 - Par 4 397 Yds12 - Par 4 348 Yds
4 - Par 4 480 Yds13 - Par 4 465 Yds
5 - Par 5 568 Yds14 - Par 5 618 Yds
6 - Par 4 412 Yds15 - Par 4 456 Yds
7 - Par 4 371 Yds16 - Par 4 423 Yds
8 - Par 3 175 Yds17 - Par 4 455 Yds
9 - Par 4 352 Yds18 - Par 4 357 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,584 Yds36 3,721 Yds
 
Annual:  139th
Television:  ESPN - Thursday/Friday -- 5 a.m.-3 p.m. (et),
  Saturday -- 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Stewart Cink
Runner-Up:  Tom Watson
Tournament Record:  267 (Greg Norman, 1993 - Royal St. George's)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Tom Lehman, 1996 - Royal Lytham & St. Annes)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Nick Faldo, 1992 - Muirfield)
18-Hole Record:  63 (Mark Hayes, 1977 - Turnberry)
  (Isao Aoki, 1980 - Muirfield)
  (Greg Norman, 1986 - Turnberry)
  (Paul Broadhurst, 1990 - St. Andrews)
  (Jodie Mudd, 1991 - Royal Birkdale)
  (Nick Faldo, Payne Stewart, 1993 - Royal St. George's)
Total Purse:  $7,300,000 (4,800,000 pounds)
Shares:  1st Place - $1,290,000; 2nd Place - $759,000; 3rd Place - $496,000
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Stewart Cink *278Retief Goosen280
Tom Watson278Luke Donald280
Lee Westwood279Five players at281
Chris Wood279
Mathew Goggin280

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past British Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009*Stewart Cink (278) -- Tom Watson
(Turnberry Golf Links - Ailsa Course, Scotland)
2008Padraig Harrington (283) -- Ian Poulter
(Royal Birkdale, England)
2007*Padraig Harrington (277) -- Sergio Garcia
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
2006Tiger Woods (270) -- Chris DiMarco
(Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England)
2005Tiger Woods (274) -- Colin Montgomerie
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
2004*Todd Hamilton (274) -- Ernie Els
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
2003Ben Curtis (283) -- Vijay Singh, Thomas Bjorn
(Royal St. George's, England)
2002*Ernie Els (278) -- Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington, Thomas Levet
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
2001David Duval (274) -- Niclas Fasth
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
2000Tiger Woods (269) -- Ernie Els, Thomas Bjorn
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1999*Paul Lawrie (290) -- Justin Leonard, Jean Van de Velde
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1998*Mark O'Meara (280) -- Brian Watts
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1997Justin Leonard (272) -- Darren Clarke, Jesper Parnevik
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1996Tom Lehman (271) -- Ernie Els
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1995*John Daly (282) -- Costantino Rocca
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1994Nick Price (268) -- Jesper Parnevik
(Turnberry Golf Links, Scotland)
1993Greg Norman (267) -- Nick Faldo
(Royal St. George's, England)
1992Nick Faldo (272) -- John Cook
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1991Ian Baker-Finch (272) -- Mike Harwood
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1990Nick Faldo (270) -- Payne Stewart, Mark McNulty
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1989*Mark Calcavecchia (275) -- Wayne Grady, Greg Norman
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1988Seve Ballesteros (273) -- Nick Price
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1987Nick Faldo (279) -- Paul Azinger, Rodger Davis
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1986Greg Norman (280) -- Gordon Brand
(Turnberry Golf Links, Scotland)
1985Sandy Lyle (282) -- Payne Stewart
(Royal St. George's, England)
1984Seve Ballesteros (276) -- Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1983Tom Watson (275) -- Andy Bean
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1982Tom Watson (284) -- Nick Price, Peter Oosterhuis
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1981Bill Rogers (276) -- Bernhard Langer
(Royal St. George's, England)
1980Tom Watson (271) -- Lee Trevino
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1979Seve Ballesteros (283) -- Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1978Jack Nicklaus (281) -- Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Ray Floyd, Simon Owen
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1977Tom Watson (268) -- Jack Nicklaus
(Turnberry Golf Links, Scotland)
1976Johnny Miller (279) -- Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1975*Tom Watson (279) -- Jack Newton
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1974Gary Player (282) -- Peter Oosterhuis
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1973Tom Weiskopf (276) -- Johnny Miller
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1972Lee Trevino (278) -- Jack Nicklaus
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1971Lee Trevino (278) -- Lu Liang Huan
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1970*Jack Nicklaus (283) -- Doug Sanders
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1969Tony Jacklin (280) -- Bob Charles
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1968Gary Player (289) -- Bob Charles, Jack Nicklaus
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1967Roberto de Vicenzo (278) -- Jack Nicklaus
(Hoylake, England)
1966Jack Nicklaus (282) -- Dave Thomas, Doug Sanders
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1965Peter Thomson (285) -- Brian Huggett, Christy O'Connor
(Southport, England)
1964Tony Lema (279) -- Jack Nicklaus
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1963*Bob Charles (277) -- Phil Rodgers
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1962Arnold Palmer (276) -- Kel Nagle
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1961Arnold Palmer (284) -- Dai Rees
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1960Kel Nagle (278) -- Arnold Palmer
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1959Gary Player (284) -- Fred Bullock, Flory Van Donck
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1958*Peter Thomson (278) -- Dave Thomas
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1957Bobby Locke (279) -- Peter Thomson
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1956Peter Thomson (286) -- Flory Van Donck
(Hoylake, England)
1955Peter Thomson (281) -- John Fallon
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1954Peter Thomson (283) -- S.S. Scott, Dai Rees, Bobby Locke
(Royal Birkdale, England)
1953Ben Hogan (282) -- Frank Stranahan, D.J.Rees, Peter Thomson, A.Cerda
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1952Bobby Locke (287) -- Peter Thomson
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1951Max Faulkner (285) -- A.Cerda
(Portrush, Ireland)
1950Bobby Locke (279) -- Roberto DeVicenzo
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1949*Bobby Locke (283) -- Harry Bradshaw
(Royal St. George's, England)
1948Henry Cotton (294) -- Fred Daly
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1947Fred Daly (293) -- R.W. Horne, Frank Stranahan
(Hoylake, England)
1946Sam Snead (290) -- Bobby Locke, Johnny Bulla
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1945Not Held Due to World War II
1944Not Held Due to World War II
1943Not Held Due to World War II
1942Not Held Due to World War II
1941Not Held Due to World War II
1940Not Held Due to World War II
1939Richard Burton (290) -- Johnny Bulla
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1938R.A. Whitcombe (295) -- James Adams
(Royal St. George's, England)
1937Henry Cotton (290) -- R.A. Whitcombe
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1936Alfred Padgham (287) -- J.Adams
(Hoylake, England)
1935Alfred Perry (283) -- Alfred Padgham
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1934Henry Cotton (283) -- S.F. Brews
(Royal St. George's, England)
1933*Denny Shute (229) -- Craig Wood
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1932Gene Sarazen (283) -- Macdonald Smith
(Prince's, England)
1931Tommy D. Armour (296) -- J.Jurado
(Carnoustie, Scotland)
1930Bobby Jones (291) -- Macdonald Smith, Leo Diegel
(Hoylake, England)
1929Walter Hagen (292) -- Johnny Farrell
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1928Walter Hagen (292) -- Gene Sarazen
(Royal St. George's, England)
1927Bobby Jones (285) -- Aubrey Boomer
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1926Bobby Jones (291) -- Al Watrous
(Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England)
1925James Barnes (300) -- Archie Compston, Ted Ray
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1924Walter Hagen (301) -- Ernest Whitcombe
(Hoylake, England)
1923Arthur Havers (295) -- Walter Hagen
(Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland)
1922Walter Hagen (300) -- George Duncan, James Barnes
(Royal St. George's, England)
1921*Jock Hutchison (296) -- Roger Wethered
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1920George Duncan (303) -- Alexander Herd
(Deal, England)
1919Not Held Due to World War I
1918Not Held Due to World War I
1917Not Held Due to World War I
1916Not Held Due to World War I
1915Not Held Due to World War I
1914Harry Vardon (306) -- John H. Taylor
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1913John H. Taylor (304) -- Edward Ray
(Hoylake, England)
1912Edward Ray (295) -- Harry Vardon
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1911Harry Vardon (303) -- Arnaud Massy
(Royal St. George's, England)
1910James Braid (299) -- Alexander Herd
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1909John H. Taylor (295) -- James Braid, Tom Ball
(Deal, England)
1908James Braid (291) -- Tom Ball
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1907Arnaud Massy (312) -- John H. Taylor
(Hoylake, England)
1906James Braid (300) -- John H. Taylor
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1905James Braid (318) -- John H. Taylor, Rolland Jones
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1904Jack White (296) -- John H. Taylor
(Royal St. George's, England)
1903Harry Vardon (300) -- Tom Vardon
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1902Alexander Herd (307) -- Harry Vardon
(Hoylake, England)
1901James Braid (309) -- Harry Vardon
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1900John Taylor (309) -- Harry Vardon
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1899Harry Vardon (310) -- Jack White
(Royal St. George's, England)
1898Harry Vardon (307) -- Willie Park Jr
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1897Harold Hilton (314) -- James Braid
(Hoylake, England)
1896*Harry Vardon (316) -- John H. Taylor
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1895John H. Taylor (322) -- Alexander Herd
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1894John H. Taylor (326) -- Douglas Rolland
(Royal St. George's, England)
1893William Auchterlonie (322) -- John E. Laidlay
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1892Harold Hilton (305) -- John Ball, Hugh Kirkaldy
(Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland)
1891Hugh Kirkaldy (166) -- Andrew Kirkaldy, Willie Fernie
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1890John Ball (164) -- Willie Fernie
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1889*Willie Park, Jr. (155) -- Andrew Kirkaldy
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1888Jack Burns (171) -- Ben Sayers, David Anderson
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1887Willie Park, Jr. (161) -- Bob Martin
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1886David Brown (157) -- Willie Campbell
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1885Bob Martin (171) -- Archie Simpson
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1884Jack Simpson (160) -- Douglas Rolland, Willie Fernie
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1883*Willie Fernie (159) -- Robert Ferguson
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1882Robert Ferguson (171) -- Willie Fernie
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1881Robert Ferguson (170) -- Jamie Anderson
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1880Robert Ferguson (162) -- Peter Paxton
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1879Jaime Anderson (169) -- Andrew Kirkaldy, James Allan
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1878Jaime Anderson (157) -- Robert Kirk
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1877Jaime Anderson (160) -- Robert Pringle
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1876Bob Martin (176) -- David Strath
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1875Willie Park (166) -- Bob Martin
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1874Mungo Park (159) -- Tom Morris Jr
(Musselburgh, Scotland)
1873Tom Kidd (179) -- Jamie Anderson
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
1872Tom Morris Jr (166) -- David Strath
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1871Not Held
1870Tom Morris Jr -- David Strath, Bob Kirk
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1869Tom Morris Jr -- Tom Morris Sr
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1868Tom Morris Jr -- Tom Morris Sr
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1867Tom Morris Sr (170) -- Willie Park
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1866Willie Park (169) -- David Park
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1865Andrew Strath (162) -- Willie Park
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1864Tom Morris, Sr. (160) -- Andrew Strath
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1863Willie Park (168) -- Tom Morris Sr
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1862Tom Morris Sr (163) -- Willie Park
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1861Tom Morris, Sr. (163) -- Willie Park
(Prestwick, Scotland)
1860Willie Park (174) -- Tom Morris Sr
(Prestwick, Scotland)

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Tournament was extended to 72 holes in 1892.

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Stewart CinkT-41T-30T-59T-34T-14mcmcT-6mcWon
Tom WatsonT-55mcmcT-18---T-41T-48---mc2nd
Lee WestwoodT-64T-47mcmc4thmcT-31T-35T-67T-3
Chris Wood------------------------T-5T-3
Retief GoosenT-41T-13T-8T-10T-7T-5T-14T-23T-32T-5
Luke Donaldmc---mcmcmcT-52T-35T-63---T-5
Ernie ElsT-2T-3WonT-182ndT-343rdT-4T-7T-8
Justin LeonardT-41mcT-14mcT-16T-52---mcT-16T-8
Henrik Stenson---mc---------T-34T-48mcT-3T-13
Ross Fisher---------------------mcT-39T-13
Camilo Villegas------------------------T-39T-13
Justin Rose---T-30T-22mc---------T-12T-70T-13
Miguel A. JimenezT-26T-3mc---T-47T-52T-41T-12mcT-13
Angel CabreramcmcmcT-22---mc7th34thmcT-24
Davis Love IIIT-11T-21T-14T-4T-5mcmcmcT-19T-27
Mark CalcavecchiaT-26T-54T-80mcT-11T-60T-41T-23mcT-27
John DalymcmcmcT-72mcT-15mcmcmcT-27
Jim FurykT-41mcmcmcmcmc4thT-12T-5T-34
Graeme McDowell------------mcT-11T-61mcT-19T-34
Martin Kaymer------------------------80thT-34
Sergio GarciaT-36T-9T-8T-10mcT-5T-52ndT-51T-38
Vijay SinghT-11T-13mcT-2T-20T-5mcT-27mcT-38
Paul Casey------mcmcT-20mc71stT-27T-7T-47
Zach Johnson------------mcmcmcT-20T-51T-47
Paul LawriemcT-42T-59mcmcT-52mcmcmcT-47
Rory McIlroy---------------------T-42---T-47
Steve StrickermcT-42T-59------------T-8T-7T-52
Robert AllenbyT-36T-47mcT-43mcT-52T-16mcT-7T-52
Kenny Perry---------T-8T-16T-11mc------T-52
Tom LehmanT-4mcmcT-46mcT-23mcT-51T-32T-60
Padraig HarringtonT-20T-37T-5T-22mc---mcWonWonT-65
Sean O'Hair---------------T-15T-14T-6782ndT-65
Mark O'MearaT-26T-42T-22T-65T-30mcT-63T-60mcT-70
Ian PoulterT-64---T-50T-46T-25T-11mcT-272ndmc
Greg Norman------T-18T-18mcT-60------T-3mc
Ben Curtis---------WonmcmcmcT-8T-7mc
K.J.Choi------mcT-22T-16T-41mcT-8T-16mc
Adam ScottmcT-47mcmcT-42T-34T-8T-27T-16mc
Todd Hamilton---------mcWonmcT-68mcT-32mc
Mike WeirT-52mcT-69T-28T-9mcT-56T-8T-39mc
David DuvalT-11WonT-22mc---mcT-56---T-39mc
Colin MontgomerieT-26T-1382ndwdT-252ndmcmcT-58mc
Lucas Glover------------------mcT-27T-78mc
Hunter Mahan------------T-36---T-26T-6mcmc
Geoff Ogilvy---mc---------T-5T-16mcmcmc
Tim Clark------mc---mcT-23T-56---mcmc
Sandy LylemcT-69T-75mc73rdT-32mcT-65wdmc
Tiger WoodsWonT-25T-28T-4T-9WonWonT-12---mc
Phil MickelsonT-11T-30T-66T-593rdT-60T-22mcT-19---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar
Darkhorse - Ryan Moore, Ricky Barnes, Alejandro Canizares
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Phil Mickelson) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Kenneth Ferrie) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:
Will world No. 1 Tiger Woods win his first major championship in over two years and his first title in 2010? Can Padraig Harrington win this title for the third time in four years? Can Ernie Els win his second British Open? Will Phil Mickelson or Graeme McDowell win their second major of 2010? Will Jim Furyk capture his first British Open? Can Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy or Paul Casey win their first major championship? Will Tom Watson contend this year at the age of 60 after his runner-up finish in 2009 to Stewart Cink? These questions will all be answered this week as the 139th British Open Championship takes shape at St. Andrews in Scotland. This will be the 28th British Open to be played at St. Andrews and first since 2005, when Woods won his second of three British Opens.

Last year, Cink denied Watson's run at history by winning in a four-hole playoff. Cink totaled 14 strokes in the extra session, while Watson needed 20 shots in the same stretch at Turnberry. The playoff was contested over Nos. 5, 6, 17 and 18 and was aggregate score. For Cink, this was his sixth PGA Tour win and first major championship. Watson had been going for his record-tying sixth Open Championship title and was trying to become the oldest major champion. Cink posted a one-under 69 in regulation, that included a birdie on the 72nd hole to post two-under-par 278. Watson, led by one on the 18th tee of regulation, but knocked his approach over the green at the last and could not save par. Watson shot two-over 72 in the final round to match Cink at minus- two. Cink never owned a piece of the lead until his birdie putt dropped on the 72nd hole.

Cink became the 10th player to win his first major at the British Open in the last 25 years, joining Sandy Lyle (1985), Norman (1986), Tom Lehman (1996), Justin Leonard (1997), Paul Lawrie (1999), David Duval (2001), Ben Curtis (2003), Todd Hamilton (2004) and Harrington (2007).

In 2008, Harrington became the fifth player in 50 years to successfully defend his title. Harrington fired an outstanding, one-under 69 in the final round to win his second major championship at three-over 283. He was an amazing four-under on his back nine when conditions intensified at Royal Birkdale. Greg Norman's amazing run at becoming the oldest major champion ended on the back nine of the final round. The 53-year-old two-time former British Open champion held the lead on the 10th tee, but four back-nine bogeys derailed his chances. Norman, who held the third-round lead, finished with a seven-over 77 and tied for third place.

Harrington joined Woods (2005-06), Watson (1982-83), Lee Trevino (1971-72) and Arnold Palmer (1961-62) as the only players to repeat at the British Open in the last 50 years. Amateur Chris Wood finished in a tie for fifth in 2008. It was just the third top-10 finish by an amateur in any major championship since 1970, joining Justin Rose (T-4 at 1998 British Open) and Jim Simons (T-5 at 1971 U.S. Open).

In 2007, Harrington got a second chance and defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff to earn his first major at Carnoustie. Harrington took the aggregate, four-hole playoff 15-16. Harrington became the first European to win a major since Lawrie titled at Carnoustie in 1999. Harrington made a disastrous double-bogey on the 72nd hole in regulation, but Garcia followed him with a bogey at 18 to force the four-hole playoff to decide the title.

With his win in 2007, Harrington became the first Irishman to win the British Open since Northern Ireland's Fred Daly in 1947. Harrington's six-stroke comeback in the final round was the largest come-from-behind win in this event since Lawrie came from 10 strokes back to win at Carnoustie in 1999.

2006 saw Woods successfully defended his title with a two-shot victory at Royal Liverpool. The No. 1 player in the world was threatened by Chris DiMarco on the back nine, but three consecutive birdies from the 14th allowed Woods to shoot a final-round, five-under 67. Woods finished the event at 18-under-par 270. It was Woods' third British Open title and first at a venue other than St. Andrews. Woods became the first player since Watson in 1982-83 to successfully defend his British Open title. It was his first victory since his father, Earl, passed away in May of 2006.

In 2005, Woods captured his second British Open championship at the Old Course at St. Andrew's to become the second player in golf history to win the career Grand Slam twice. He did it on the same course where he completed his first slam. In 2000, Woods dusted the field at St. Andrews to win the British Open and become the fifth player in golf history to win all four major championships. In 2005, he joined Jack Nicklaus as the only players to do it more than once. Woods opened the event with a 66 and never looked back, as he led wire-to-wire. With his win, Woods became the sixth player to win this event in wire-to-wire fashion. The others are: Ted Ray (1912), Bobby Jones (1927), Gene Sarazen (1932), Henry Cotton (1934) and Tom Weiskopf (1973). He became the fifth player to win two British Opens at St. Andrews, joining Bob Martin (1876, 1885), J.H. Taylor (1895, 1900), James Braid (1905, 1910) and Nicklaus (1970, 78). Woods won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 to join Nicklaus as the only two players to win the career Grand Slam three times.

Nicklaus competed in the final major of his career in 2005 at St. Andrew's. The same week Nicklaus bowed out of competitive golf, Woods completed another type of slam. Every major championship Nicklaus stepped away from, Woods hoisted the trophy. It first started in 2000 at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, then a few months later at Valhalla, Woods claimed the PGA Championship. Earlier in 2005, Nicklaus announced it would be his last trip to the Masters as a player and Woods went on to defeat Chris DiMarco in a playoff. In his 12 appearances at the British Open as a professional, Woods has three wins, seven top-10s and one missed cut.

In 2004, for the second consecutive year, an underdog of the biggest proportion captured the title. Todd Hamilton joined 2003 winner Ben Curtis as British Open champions, as he outdueled Els in a playoff to capture the Claret Jug. When Curtis won in 2003, he was the 396th-ranked player in the world. He stunned the planet's best with his final round of 69 and a one-shot win over Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh. Curtis, who jumped to 35th in the world after his win, became the first player since Francis Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. Open to capture a major in his first major appearance. With his win in 2004, Hamilton became the second consecutive rookie on the PGA Tour to win this event. Prior to winning, Hamilton was ranked 96th in the world and climbed to 16th after the win.

Els has fared well at this event the last 11 years. He has nine top-10s, including his 2002 win, a second in 2000 and 2005, a third in 2001 and 2006, a fourth in 2007, a seventh in 2008 and eighth in 2009.. The only time Els has missed the cut at the Open Championship was in 1989 when he was an amateur. He currently has a streak of 18 straight British Open cuts made. Garcia has finished in the top 10 six of the last nine years.

Harry Vardon, J.H. Taylor and Gary Player are the only players to win the British Open in three different decades. Henry Cotton set the record for the largest 54-hole lead in British Open history when he took a 10-stroke advantage into the final round at Sandwich in 1934. Cotton carded a final- round 79, but still won by five over Sidney Brews.

The European Tour travels to Sweden for their next event following the Open Championship for the Nordea Scandinavian Masters, where Ricardo Gonzalez captured the title last year.

07/12 17:14:51 ET

As of July 12, 2010, at 05:15 PM ET