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Golf at its very best will be on display this July when The Open Championship returns to Royal Liverpool Golf Club, also known as Hoylake, from 13-20 July. As the second-oldest seaside golf course in England, after Royal North Devon, it is a fitting host for golf’s oldest Major Championship.
When Royal Liverpool last hosted The Open in 2006, it was following a 39 year absence at the Wirral links. Spectators turned out in droves to welcome the Championship back to Hoylake amidst unusually hot weather, walking the sun-baked fairways alongside the best players in the world. They were treated to a display of near-flawless shot-making by Tiger Woods, who used his driver just once during the Championship on his way to his third Open title.
Many eyes will be on Woods in 2014, curious to see if he can turn out another winning performance at Hoylake, eight years on. Others will be sharply focused on defending Champion Phil Mickelson, hoping to catch a glimpse of the brilliance he displayed at Muirfield in 2013.
Playing in his 20th Open, Mickelson surged back from a five-shot deficit in the final round, delivering four birdies in the last six holes to lift the Claret Jug for the first time. Calling it “probably the best round of my career,” the drama and emotion of Mickelson’s Open victory will certainly be on the minds of spectators when he returns to defend his title this year.
Among the other leading contenders will be the 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott (Left) who came so close to claiming his first Major Championship at The Open at Royal Lytham in 2012 and contended at Muirfield again last year. A resurgent Rory McIlroy will be looking to win his third Major Championship crown at Hoylake and the likes of 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, Swede Henrik Stenson, who finished runner-up at Muirfield and won the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in 2013, and former world number one Lee Westwood, who finished four shots behind Mickelson at The Open last year, will be among those to watch out for.
The Open has a storied history at Royal Liverpool, stretching back to 1897 when Harold Hilton won the Championship as an amateur for the second time. The venue has witnessed a string of particularly memorable Open Champions. In 1907, Arnaud Massy became the only Frenchman to have won The Open; Fred Daly (Pictured below) became the first Irishman to do so, in 1947; and Argentine golfer Roberto De Vicenzo became the first South American to win a Major Championship when he lifted the Claret Jug in 1967 at the age of 44.
In 1930, Bobby Jones won The Open at Hoylake on his way to becoming the first and only player to win the Grand Slam in a single year and the last player to have won The Open as an amateur.
When Royal Liverpool hosts The Open for the 12th time time this July, all the elements will be in place to deliver another memorable Championship near the shores of the River Dee.
“We are looking forward to returning to Royal Liverpool where there has been some wonderful Open Championships over the years,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, The R&A’s Executive Director — Championships.
“Spectators turned out in huge numbers last time we were at Royal Liverpool and we are expecting another wonderful Championship this year,” he added.
The Junior Open, which is held every two years, will be played at nearby West Lancashire Golf Club from 14-16 July and will see an international field of over 100 girls and boys under the age of 16 take part.
Spectators at The Open will have access to a free Wi-Fi mesh covering the grandstands, tented villages and other areas throughout the golf course. Users will be able to connect their mobile devices and follow the location of their favourite players on the course, view live scores and tune in to TV and radio coverage of The Championship. Electronic scoreboards will also be placed around the course, to provide up-to-date results and a wide range of digital content.
Children under the age of 16 will be admitted to The Open free of charge. To purchase tickets, click here.