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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 July, 2004, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
From Prestwick to Royal Troon

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BBC Sport takes a closer look at each of the 14 venues which have hosted the Open Championship since the event was first held at Prestwick in 1860.

CARNOUSTIE: Most dramatic finale

Jean Van de Velde in trouble at Carnoustie
Van de Velde came unstuck
The 1999 Open was there for the taking for Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie.

He was within touching distance of becoming the first Frenchman for 92 years to lift the Claret Jug.

All he needed was to avoid a triple bogey on the 72nd hole.

But he had a nightmare, memorably wading into the water as he tried to play a near-impossible shot.

The ensuing three-way play-off saw Paul Lawrie become the first Scot to win the title on native soil in 68 years.

MUIRFIELD: Oldest private club

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was founded in 1744, and Muirfield is its third home.

Ernie Els kisses the Claret Jug in 2002
Els was a worthy winner in 2002
The course's post-war Open roll of honour adds to the sense of history: Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo have all won there.

Ernie Els joined that illustrious list of names when he triumphed at Muirfield in a thrilling play-off in 2002.

MUSSELBURGH: No place like home

The Park brothers enjoyed playing at Musselburgh, their home course.

Mungo won the first Open there in 1874, while Willie, who claimed Prestwick's 'private' event in 1860, won Musselburgh's last Open in 1889.

ST ANDREWS: Most popular venue

St Andrews wins the contest for most popular Open venue.

The course has hosted the tournament 26 of the 130 times it has been played.

St Andrews first held the Open in 1873 when Tom Kidd claimed the title.

More than a century later, Tiger Woods set a low-scoring record at St Andrews in 2000 when he cruised to victory with 19 under par, becoming the youngest player to win all four majors.

Other champions have included Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Locke and James Braid.

PRESTWICK: Opening the Open

Nine years after the club was founded, Prestwick held the first Open Championship for eight professionals in 1860.

Willie Park was the first to win a rather fetching red leather belt but a year later, the course responded to pleas from outsiders and unanimously resolved that the "the belt... on all future occasions, shall be open to all the world".

ROYAL TROON: First-class delivery

Royal Troon's eighth hole is known as the 'Postage Stamp', and is the shortest, as well as one of the most celebrated, in championship golf.

Justin Leonard
Leonard won the last time the Open came to Royal Troon in 1997
Gene Sarazen aced it in 1973 with a five-iron into the wind... at the age of 71!

Royal Troon is also home to the Open rotation's longest hole, the 601-yard sixth.

This year will be the eighth time the Ayrshire course has hosted the Open.

TURNBERRY: Britain's Pebble Beach

Turnberry survived both World Wars - when it was used as an airbase - and its now spectacular run of holes from the eighth to the 11th is often compared with Pebble Beach in California.

Turnberry hosted its first Open in 1977, five years after Jack Nicklaus won the first US Open at Pebble Beach.

Nicklaus almost won at Turnberry as well, but lost an epic duel with Tom Watson.

ROYAL BIRKDALE: Star of the sixties

Royal Birkdale shot to prominence as a major golf venue in the 1960s, staging three Open championships and two Ryder Cups between 1961 and 1971.

ROYAL LIVERPOOL (Hoylake): Comeback course

Hoylake and the Royal Liverpool club last staged the championship in 1967 but dropped off the rota of Open courses because of insufficient space for the tented village, an inadequate practice ground and traffic problems.

However, the club has recently bought 10 acres of land adjacent to the course, and will return to the rota in 2006.

Unique opening hole

David Duval
Duval claimed the title in 2001
The only championship course to open with a par three is Royal Lytham and St Anne's.

Players find the course somewhat lopsided, with a front nine that offers hope but a tough run home that taxes the finest golfers around.

But David Duval had no such problems, triumphing there three years ago.

PRINCE'S: Least Popular

Do you remember that classic Open at Prince's?

Probably not, because the course has held the Open only once - back in 1932.

Located at Sandwich on the Kent coast, it was the scene of a Gene Sarazen win which helped the American on his way to becoming the first player to win all four majors.

These days the course hosts qualifying events for the Open - that is if its neighbour Royal St George's hosts the major.

Scooping the jackpot

George Duncan, who won the 1920 Open at the Royal Cinque Ports course in Deal, was the first Open champion to earn three-figure prize money. He scooped exactly 100 out of a total event prize fund of 225.

ROYAL ST GEORGE'S: Finest finale

Arguably the highest quality finish of recent times came at Royal St George's.

Ben Curtis at Sandwich
Curtis sprang a surprise at Royal St George's last year
Greg Norman shot 64 to edge out Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer in 1993 - the Australian achieved a championship record low total of 267.

Presenting Norman with the Claret Jug, Gene Sarazen declared: "That was the most awesome display and the greatest championship I have seen in my 70 years of golf."

Ben Curtis, then ranked 396th in the world, stunned the field last year when he landed the big prize. The inexperienced American was the only player under par after four bruising rounds.

ROYAL PORTRUSH: Across the Irish Sea

Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland became the first ever course to host the Open outside Scotland or England.

Max Faulkner was the unlikely winner of the one and only Open title in Northern Ireland, and suffice to say it was his one and only title.

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