BBC Sport remembers some of the more celebrated moments in Open history.
The fact that a British qualifier became the first Briton to win the Open in eight years should be a highlight in itself, but Paul Lawrie's efforts in victory will always be overshadowed by those of Jean Van de Velde in defeat.
The Frenchman led by three after 71 holes but wanted to finish in style and shot for the green instead of opting for a more cautious approach.
Van de Velde earned a dubious place in the history of The Open
His wild effort ricocheted off the grandstand and into the Barry Burn, Van de Velde waded in after his ball and finished the hole with a seven before losing the play-off.
St Andrews 1995
Two men captured the imagination at the home of golf in 1995 - but only one could win.
Constantino Rocca collapsed in relief after muscling his way into a play-off after holing a 60ft birdie putt from the Valley of Sin on the last.
Rocca sank a famous putt, but failed to take the big prize
The effort seemed to drain every last reserve of energy from the genial Italian and John 'The Wild Thing' Daly easily won the play-off.
Royal Troon 1989
Mark Calcavecchia won the first four-hole play-off in Open history but owed his place in it to an extraordinary slice of luck at the 12th on the final day.
A wild shot had left his ball in deep rough on a green-side ridge but his hit-and-hope wedge flew up before dropping right in the hole.
Calcavecchia was one of the lucky Open winners
In the shoot-out the American held off the challenge of a pair of Australians, Greg Norman and Wayne Grady, to win his only major.
Royal St George's 1985
Sandy Lyle became the first British winner since Tony Jacklin in 1969, but both he and a partisan home crowd had their hearts in their mouths at the 18th.
From the fringe of the green, Lyle underhit a chip and the ball rolled back from where it pitched to rest at his feet.
Lyle was a popular winner at Royal St George's
Lyle slumped to his knees in despair but recovered to get up and down in two and hold off Payne Stewart's challenge.
Royal Lytham and St Annes 1979
Seve Ballesteros became the first player from continental Europe to win the Open since Arnaud Massey in 1907.
The Spaniard, who had made an impression on the British public as a 19-year-old in 1976, took the lead on the final day and entertained the galleries to the full.
Ballesteros' dashing style delighted the galleries
He managed to mix the sublime with the ridiculous - playing out of car parks - on his way to a first major victory.
The 106th Open is widely considered as the best ever.
Watson and Nicklaus were at the height of their powers
For four days the two best players in the world, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, went head to head in what came to be known as the "duel in the sun".
They both broke the aggregate record score but Watson prevailed after carding final rounds of 65, 65 to his opponent's 65, 66.
Defending champion Lee Trevino assured himself a place in Open history at Muirfield.
On the 71st hole of the championship, the par-five 17th, Trevino put his fourth shot through the green - "That's it, I've thrown it away," he was heard to say.
Trevino's chip-in stopped Nicklaus' Grand Slam bid in its tracks
But he chipped in for par and took the title to deny Jack Nicklaus the third leg of a Grand Slam.
St Andrews 1970
Whatever happens at Royal Troon this year, it will take something special to outdo Doug Sanders.
With the crowds gathered, Sanders misses that putt
He was denied victory on the final green at St Andrews when he missed a putt from less than three feet.
To compound his mistake, Sanders then lost the play-off to Jack Nicklaus.