The 150th Open Championship will tee off at the Old Course St. Andrews, Scotland tomorrow. The event, the last major on the 2022 golf calendar, will see a total of 156 players battle it out for honours at the “Home of Golf”. The top 70 players and ties will make the cut after 36 holes.
Here are some of the events and players making headlines:
Rory McIlroy installed favourite
World no. 2 Rory McIlroy enters the competition as the favourite to lift the Claret Jug, according to predictions by Bookmakers and pundits.
McIlroy has had a fine season recording three straight top-10 finishes in major championships. He has however managed only one win on the PGA Tour this year. The four-time major winner will be chasing a second victory at The Open and a first majors win since 2014.
The other players heavily tipped to win The Open include world no. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth.
Will Tiger Woods be in contention?
Tiger Woods returns to action after a brief break. Since his return to the sport early this year after a horrific road accident, Woods managed to complete four rounds at the Masters in April but withdrew after three rounds at the PGA Championship in May. Since then, the 15-time majors winner has skipped several events on the PGA Tour to prepare for The Open.
St Andrews is regarded one of his favourite courses, where he won The Open in 2000 and 2005. Woods is one of just five players to have won The Open multiple times at St Andrews on the 29 occasions the championship has been played on this iconic course. Widely thought to be his last appearance at St Andrews, Woods is expected to challenge for the title in order to exit in style.
The richest British Open
The 2022 British Open is the richest in the tournament’s history with a total purse of $14 million. The total prize fund has been increased by 22%, from $12.5m in 2021, with the winner taking home $2.5m. In addition to the players making the cut, those who will be eliminated after the 36 holes will also be entitled to some cash from the prize fund. The leading 10 professional golfers and ties who miss the cut earn $10,500, the new 20 professional golfers and ties win $8,500, with the remainder of professional golfers and ties taking home $7,000.
Despite the notable purse increase, The Open still remains the least paying major compared to the Masters ($15m), PGA Championship($15m) and US Open ($17.5m).
Why St Andrews remains the real home of golf
The British Open returns to the par 72 Old Course St Andrews for the first time since 2015. The 500-year-old course will be hosting the tournament for the 30th time. Though the course is famed for its nice and wide fairways, the unpredictable wind conditions and unenviable thick rough will pose a major test to the players. These, plus the large and deep 110 bunkers call for precision golf more than power.