The 144th Open Championship was played July 16th -20th at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
The sport has been played at St Andrews for well over half a millennium and the Old Course once again presented a spectacular and unique test for the world’s best players competing to become Champion Golfer of the Year. This year’s event was extended to five days after high winds forced play to be cancelled on day three. Louis Oosthuizen last won the Open at this venue in 2010, with Tiger Woods winning the prior two times before that in 2000 and ’05. Woods’ 19-under-par total surpassed the mark set by Nick Faldo ten years previously, when the Englishman shot 18-under-par to win by five.
Rory McIlroy was to be the defending Open Champion from Royal Liverpool last year, while Jordan Spieth was going for a third-straight Major win, to become the first since Ben Hogan in 1953 to accomplish the feat. However McIlroy suffered a rupture to an ankle ligament in a soccer kickabout 10 days before the event and was unable to recover in time. Spieth finished one stroke back from the winning score of 14 under par along with Australian Jason Day.
Zach Johnson won the Open after a final-round 6-underpar 66 and then a four-hole playoff from which he emerged the victor over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.
It’s Not The ‘British Open’!
‘The Open Championship’ is the official name of the tournament. Although some would say calling it the British Open makes sense to help differentiate it from the U.S. Open, golf purists bristle when they hear that.
The Open Golf Champion Trophy
The Open Golf Champion Trophy, now commonly referred to as the Claret Jug, was originally made by Mackay Cunningham & Company of Edinburgh and was hallmarked 1873. Following the 1927 Open, which was won at St Andrews by Bobby Jones, the Club’s Championship Committee took the decision to retain the Claret Jug in future years and to present the winner with a replica. St Andrews; A Links Golf Course The term ‘links’ describes courses built on land linking the coast to good farmland. In other words, these types of golf courses originated because of land that was otherwise unproductive.
Outward and Inward
This describes a layout common in links golf in which nine holes go out away from the clubhouse and the other nine come back in. Not very creative, but again, these course designers were working with bad farmland. What is A Burn? A burn is one of those annoying little streams that cut through the course and serve as magnets to golf balls.
Dunes are hills of sand that are all over links golf courses. Sometimes, they’re the only things that frame a links golf hole. Dunes are often covered in gnarly fescue and they come in all shapes and sizes.
St Andrews is famous for the numerous pot bunkers, which can be placed as greenside guardians or as fairway menaces. Pot bunkers are sometimes made even more dangerous by slopes down toward the bunker. It is not uncommon for pot bunkers to be blind from the teeing ground.
The ‘Ground Game’
At St Andrews, approach shots are often run up onto greens. There are plenty of bump-and-runs around the greens and you see players putting with putters or hybrids from insane distances down the fairway.
This is the term for the rotation of courses that traditionally host the Open Championship. The rota is set between The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal St. George’s, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Royal Birkdale, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Muirfield, and Royal Troon which will host the 2016 Open.