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Golf Australia Express : Issue2
July 14-17, 2011 Royal St George’s GC , Sandwich, Kent, ENG Purse: £5,000,000 Defending Champ: Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) THE EVENT It’s no secret among the pros—everyone wants to win a British Open. Aside from catapulting you to immortal list of major winners, British Open winners tend to be put on a slightly higher pedestal—at least among other golfers. It could have something to do with the history the original major possesses. This year marks the 140th time ‘The Open Championship’ has been held, and for the 14th time Royal St George’s Golf Club will host the year’s third major. It’s been the scene of some exciting finishes, dramatic twists, and famous victories. Greg Norman won his second claret jug here 18 years ago—the last time an Aussie held the British Open title. Could this be the week that changes? OPEN SANDWICH 140TH BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PEEK THE A BRITISH OPEN PREVIEW WINNER’S PRIZEMONEY from British Open’s at Royal St George’s £850,000 £700,000 £100,000 £65,000 £25,000 £300 £75 £50 £100 £100 2011 2003 Ben Curtis (USA) 1993 Greg Norman (AUS) 1985 Sandy Lyle (SCO) 1985 Bill Rogers (USA) 1949 Bobby Locke (RSA) 1922 Walter Hagen (USA) 1911 Harry Vardon (JER) 1938 Reg Whitcombe (ENG) 1934 Henry Cotton (ENG) 1928 Walter Hagen (USA) 1904 Jack White (SCO) 1899 Harry Vardon (JER) 1894 John Henry Taylor (ENG) SAY MY NAME ROYAL ST GEORGE’S The home of this year’s British Open got its name when Edinburgh-born course designer and eminent surgeon, Dr Laidlaw Purves, stood atop St Clement’s Church in the village of Sandwich, cast his eyes over the surrounding countryside, and exclaimed: “By George, what a place for a golf course!” Seriously, we did not make that up—but we do agree it’s anoddwaytonamea course. Just be thankful it wasn’t Thomas Björn at St Clement’s all those years ago, otherwise we might be watching the 140th Open Championship from “Royal SOB” this week. LAST TIME AT ROYAL ST GEORGE’S The 2003 British Open produced a surprise winner in a dramatic finish. Then 26-year-old American, Ben Curtis, stole the show at Royal St George’s in what was not only his first major he’d played in, but also the first time he had set foot on a links course. Entering the event as a 300–1 outsider, Curtis won by a stroke to Fijian Vijay Singh and Dane Thomas Björn. His one-under total 283 left him as the only player under par at the major. The victory catapulted him from No.396 in the world to No.35— the biggest weekly jump in rankings on Tour. The win was pure Open drama: Curtis sat in the clubhouse at one under with Björn leading the tournament by three with four holes to play. But a dropped shot at the 15th followed by a double bogey at 16 saw the Dane quickly squander his claret-winning lead. Another bogey at 17 effectively sealed his fate, and he ultimately finished one stroke behind Curtis after 72 holes. It’s just like they say: you don’t have one until you’ve won.