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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
From Prestwick to Muirfield
Untitled

Since The Open was first held at Prestwick in 1860, the championship has travelled up and down Britain.

BBC Sport Online takes a closer look at each of the 14 Open venues.


CARNOUSTIE: Most dramatic finale


The 1999 Championship was on a plate 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 failed to do so and also waded in water trying to play a near-impossible shot.

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

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MUIRFIELD: Oldest private club

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

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.

It will host this year's Open.

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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 won Prestwick's 'private' event in 1860, won Musselburgh's last Open in 1889.

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ST ANDREWS: Most popular venue

View of the clubhouse at the Old Course, St Andrews

St Andrews wins the contest for most popular Open venue.

The Royal and Ancient has hosted the tournament no fewer than 26 times out of the 130 times it has been played.

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

Tiger Woods set a low-scoring record at St Andrews in 2000 when he cruised to victory on 19-under-par and in so doing became the youngest player to win all four Majors.

Other winners have included three-time champion Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Locke and five-time champion James Braid.

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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".

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ROYAL TROON: Most bizarrely-named hole

Royal Troon's 8th hole is known as the 'Postage Stamp', and is the shortest, as well as one of the most celebrated, in championship golf.

Gene Sarazen aced it in 1973 with a five-iron into the wind... at the age of 71!

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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 8th 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 in one of the best ever championships.

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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 1961-1971.

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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, possibly for 2006.

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ROYAL LYTHAM AND ST ANNES:
Unique opening hole

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 last year.

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PRINCE'S: Least Popular


Do you remember that classic Open at Prince's?

Probably not, because the course has held the Open only once.

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.

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ROYAL CINQUE PORTS (Deal):
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.

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ROYAL ST GEORGE'S: Finest finale


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

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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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BBC Sport Online's Open Golf Championship news section

All the Muirfield action

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Your say on The Open

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Internet link
Links to more Open history stories are at the foot of the page.


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