Golf history at Royal Lytham & St Annes
The 141th Open Championship, July 19 to 22
Winning the 141th Open Championship at Lytham St Annes (England) is a major achievement among European Tour players. Raising the famous claret jug on the final day of the Open means your name is placed in a long list of historic winners. From July 19 to 22, one of the most important events of the 2012 European Tour will take place one of the oldest golf courses of England: the Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Winning the Open is a golfer’s dream, last year that came true for Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland. Clarke, currently number 81 in the Race to Dubai, grasped the title on the Kent coast at Royal St George's GC. Attaining Major Championship glory is what it is all about at Royal Lytham & St Anne's Golf Club
Recovery shot from car park
at Lytham has had some heroic wins – and winners – in the past, like Seve Ballesteros. In 1979 Seve Ballesteros had to hit a recovery shot from a car park to finish three shots clear of Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw. Seve returned in 1988 to win his third Open title, closing with a round of 65 to finish two ahead of Nick Price with Nick Faldo in third place. All golf greats have tried their luck at Royal Lytham & St Annes at least once. The first American winner at Lytham was Tom Lehman in 1996. Lehman saw the six-shot lead that he held on Sunday morning eroded by Mark McCumber and Ernie Els, but he held on for a two-shot victory.
It’s not just the Open Championship
that brings the huge crowds to Lancashire. It’s the whole package of great golf and the truly historic site of the Royal Lytham & St Annes. The course was built in 1897, 11 years after the club was founded. It quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest, and most exacting links golf courses in Britain. It is the routing of the holes and the huge number of bunkers – some 200 in total – that make this course one of the toughest of the Tour.
It is interesting to know that the design and layout is basically still the same as some hundred years ago. Between 1919 and 1922 improvements were made by the famous golf course architect Harry Colt and consequently it was chosen to host The Open.
Even the trophy is historic. In 1870 the first trophy – a leather belt with a silver buckle – was won three times by Tom Morris Junior. The organization ordered a new trophy to be made: the Claret Jug, or to use its proper name, The Golf Champion Trophy. The first Open Champion to receive the new trophy was the 1873 winner, Tom Kidd, but Tom Morris Junior’s name was the first to be engraved on it as the 1872 winner. Winning The Open in 2012 will give one golfer at the Royal Lytham & St Annes a much-coveted place in history…
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