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

DATES: Thursday, July 14th through Sunday, July 17th
SITE: Royal St. George's Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent, England
COURSE ARCHITECT: Dr. William Laidlaw Purves (1887)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,211
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 444 Yds10 - Par 4 415 Yds
2 - Par 4 417 Yds11 - Par 3 243 Yds
3 - Par 3 240 Yds12 - Par 4 381 Yds
4 - Par 4 495 Yds13 - Par 4 459 Yds
5 - Par 4 419 Yds14 - Par 5 547 Yds
6 - Par 3 178 Yds15 - Par 4 496 Yds
7 - Par 5 564 Yds16 - Par 3 163 Yds
8 - Par 4 453 Yds17 - Par 4 426 Yds
9 - Par 4 412 Yds18 - Par 4 459 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,622 Yds35 3,589 Yds
 
Annual:  140th
Television:  ESPN - Thursday/Friday -- 4 a.m.-3 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Louis Oosthuizen
Runner-Up:  Lee Westwood
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)
  (Rory McIlroy, 2010 - St. Andrews)
Total Purse:  $8,031,991 (5,000,000 pounds)
Shares:  1st Place - $1,314,000; 2nd Place - $768,000; 3rd Place - $496,000
 
2010 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Louis Oosthuizen272Retief Goosen281
Lee Westwood279Martin Kaymer282
Paul Casey280Sean O'Hair282
Rory McIlroy280Robert Rock282
Henrik Stenson280Nick Watney282
 
Past British Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2010Louis Oosthuizen (272) -- Lee Westwood
(St. Andrews, Scotland)
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
Player2001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Louis Oosthuizen---------mc---mc------mcWon
Lee WestwoodT-47mcmc4thmcT-31T-35T-67T-32nd
Henrik Stensonmc---------T-34T-48mcT-3T-13T-3
Paul Casey---mcmcT-20mc71stT-27T-7T-47T-3
Rory McIlroy------------------T-42---T-47T-3
Retief GoosenT-13T-8T-10T-7T-5T-14T-23T-32T-56th
Nick Watney------------------T-35---T-27T-7
Martin Kaymer---------------------80thT-34T-7
Sean O'Hair------------T-15T-14T-6782ndT-65T-7
Robert Rock------------T-67T-16------mcT-7
Luke Donald---mcmcmcT-52T-35T-63---T-5T-11
Jeff Overton---------------------T-70T-13T-11
Alvaro Quiros------------------------mcT-11
Sergio GarciaT-9T-8T-10mcT-5T-52ndT-51T-38T-14
Tom LehmanmcmcT-46mcT-23mcT-51T-32T-60T-14
Charl Schwartzel------mc---mcT-22mc---mcT-14
Dustin Johnson------------------------mcT-14
Robert Karlssonmcmc---------T-35mcT-7---T-14
Rickie Fowler---------------------------T-14
Graeme McDowell---------mcT-11T-61mcT-19T-34T-23
Miguel A. JimenezT-3mc---T-47T-52T-41T-12mcT-13T-27
Robert AllenbyT-47mcT-43mcT-52T-16mcT-7T-52T-27
Adam ScottT-47mcmcT-42T-34T-8T-27T-16mcT-27
Matt Kuchar---mc------------mcmcmcT-27
Ross Fisher------------------mcT-39T-13T-37
Vijay SinghT-13mcT-2T-20T-5mcT-27mcT-38T-37
Hunter Mahan---------T-36---T-26T-6mcmcT-37
Camilo Villegas---------------------T-39T-13T-44
Stewart CinkT-30T-59T-34T-14mcmcT-6mcWonT-48
John DalymcmcT-72mcT-15mcmcmcT-27T-48
Lucas Glover---------------mcT-27T-78mcT-48
Phil MickelsonT-30T-66T-593rdT-60T-22mcT-19---T-48
Steve StrickerT-42T-59------------T-8T-7T-52T-55
Ian Poulter---T-50T-46T-25T-11mcT-272ndmcT-60
Jason Day---------------------------T-60
Mark CalcavecchiaT-54T-80mcT-11T-60T-41T-23mcT-2773rd
Zach Johnson---------mcmcmcT-20T-51T-47T-76
Tom WatsonmcmcT-18---T-41T-48---mc2ndmc
Ernie ElsT-3WonT-182ndT-343rdT-4T-7T-8mc
Justin LeonardmcT-14mcT-16T-52---mcT-16T-8mc
Justin RoseT-30T-22mc---------T-12T-70T-13mc
Angel CabreramcmcT-22---mc7th34thmcT-24mc
Jim Furykmcmcmcmcmc4thT-12T-5T-34mc
Paul LawrieT-42T-59mcmcT-52mcmcmcT-47mc
Padraig HarringtonT-37T-5T-22mc---mcWonWonT-65mc
Mark O'MearaT-42T-22T-65T-30mcT-63T-60mcT-70mc
Ben Curtis------WonmcmcmcT-8T-7mcmc
K.J.Choi---mcT-22T-16T-41mcT-8T-16mcmc
Todd Hamilton------mcWonmcT-68mcT-32mcmc
David DuvalWonT-22mc---mcT-56---T-39mcmc
Geoff Ogilvymc---------T-5T-16mcmcmcmc
Sandy LyleT-69T-75mc73rdT-32mcT-65wdmcmc
Bubba Watson------------------------mcmc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day
Darkhorse - Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Simon Khan
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Lee Westwood) - Finished tied for 14th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brendan Steele) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:
Will world No. 4 Rory McIlroy continue his dominance from the U.S. Open and win his second major title in a row? Will Charl Schwartzel win his second major of 2011 after winning The Masters? Can Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, K.J. Choi, Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter or Adam Scott win their first major championship? These questions will all be answered next week as the 140th British Open Championship takes shape at Royal St. George's in England. This will be the 15th British Open to be played at Royal St. George's and first since 2003, when unknown Ben Curtis won his first major title.

This will be the first time McIlroy has played since running away with the U.S. Open one month ago. McIlroy won his first major at 22 years old by eight strokes over Day and broke many tournament records in the process. Three-time British Open champion Tiger Woods will miss his second straight major championship, as he is still recovering from knee and achilles injuries.

Last year, Louis Oosthuizen shot rounds of 65-67-69-71 to finish his first major championship title at 16-under-par 272. He ended seven strokes clear of Westwood on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Oosthuizen became the fourth South African to win this event, joining Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els. Locke also won at St. Andrews. Americans Sean O'Hair and Nick Watney tied for seventh. It was the first time since 1969 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that there were no Americans in the top five at a British Open.

Oosthuizen became the 11th player to win his first major at this event in the last 26 years, joining Sandy Lyle (1985), Greg Norman (1986), Tom Lehman (1996), Justin Leonard (1997), Paul Lawrie (1999), David Duval (2001), Curtis (2003), Todd Hamilton (2004), Padraig Harrington (2007) and Stewart Cink (2009).

In 2009, Cink denied Tom 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, it 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.

Harrington became the fifth player in 50 years to successfully defend his title in 2008. 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 this event 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. He 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. 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. Andrews. 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 13 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 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.

The British Open was last held at Royal St. George's in 2003, as Ben Curtis won by one shot over Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh. Although he shot 69, Curtis bogeyed three of his final five holes and trailed Bjorn by three, sitting in the clubhouse. Bjorn would then bogey 15, double-bogey 16 and bogey 17. For the 2011 Open, 105 yards have been added to the course, which played to 105 strokes over par. Curtis was the last player to win the British Open in his debut at the championship. Other players to have accomplished this feat are; Willie Park Sr (1860), Tom Kidd (1873), Mungo Park (1874), Jock Hutchison (1921), Denny Shute (1933), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Lema (1964) and Tom Watson (1975).

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 Masters, where Richard S. Johnson captured the title last year.

07/12 09:42:59 ET

As of July 12, 2011, at 09:43 AM ET