The British Open Golf Championship is about to get underway at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire. The oldest professional championship golf tournament sees top players from around the world compete for the Claret Jug and a 5 million pound prize fund. The 2012 event runs from Sunday 15 to Sunday 22 July.
History of the British Open
The British Open is a historic event and is always played on the weekend following the third Friday during July. It is the third major championship of the annual golf calendar. The Masters Tournament and the US Open are played before and the British Open is then followed PGA Championship. Since 1995, the British Open has been an official part of the PGA world tour with the British leg being played at one of nine courses. The very first Open Championship was in 1860 in Scotland and the game has evolved beautifully since. Today, it is a 72 stroke play tournament and the first cut comes after the first 36 holes. If the players tie at the end, the game continues into sudden death holes, making this championship extremely exciting and exceptional.
In 2012 for the 141st championships, there is a total prize fund of 5 million GBP (nearly 7.8 million USD) with 900,000 GBP being awarded to the winner. Back in 1860 top prize was a red leather belt and since 1872 the champion received a trophy, nicknamed the Claret Jug
Guide to the 2012 British Open golf players
This year’s top favourites are Darren Clarke, David Duval, Louis Oosthuizen and Tiger Woods.
Darren Clarke. After finishing tied for third in the 2001 Open Championship, Clark showed the world his strength and talent. The Northern Irishman then moved on to win his first major championship by winning the British Open in 2011.
David Duval. Duval gave an exceptional game to his audiences in 2001, when he tied for lead at The Open Championship. A force to be reckoned with, American Duval might really surprise everyone at Lytham St Annes.
Louis Oosthuizen. This 2010 Open Championship winner and 2012 Master’s Tournament runner up is ready to make headlines. The South African golfer is popular for scoring a three under par or an albatross in the final round of the Masters Tournament.
Tiger Woods. While he needs no introduction, this three time winner of the Open Championship, in 2006, 2005 and 2000, is definitely looking to make a smashing come back and this Championship just might be it for him. Woods has skill, amazing strength and the power to make the game go his way.
How to participate in the British Open
If you don’t fancy watching from your armchair, consider actually attending, but be warned; you’ll need to book everything in advance. The British Open is a popular and much loved golf event, so tickets sell fast. Since the championship tickets are divided according to days, sections and price levels so they are easy to purchase if you know which days you want.
Additionally, you will have to buy separate parking tickets if you are driving there. Since there will be a lot of fans headed to the Golf Club there will be heavy traffic. Consider travelling by coach or bus and skip having to hunt your car. If you do choose to use your own wheels, remember to stick the colour coded parking decal that will accompany your parking ticket on your vehicle.
For mobile use, there are designated mobile zone areas and cell phones are to be kept on silent at all times. No pictures or videos are allowed and following the rules allows everyone to enjoy the game. There are several accommodation options available close to the Golf Club and further up and all are connected to the St Anne’s area by coach and station links.
By Julie Bowman