The Open 2023: FAQs & Tee Times

Rory McIlroy returns to the scene of his 2014 Open triumph as the 151st edition tees off at Royal Liverpool, with Cameron Smith defending the Claret Jug.

We answer some frequently asked questions and reveal the most eye-catching tee times. The 2023 Open will be played between July 20-23.

Preview

Fresh off the back of winning the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club last week, McIlroy will be full of confidence as he bids to end his nine-year major drought at Royal Liverpool, where he won The Open in 2014, the third of his four majors. He finished runner-up to Wyndham Clark at the recent U.S. Open and is on a streak of six consecutive top-10 finishes.

“I’m as close as I’ve ever been,” he said in Scotland. “My consistency in the performances, especially in the majors over the last couple years is way better than it has been over the last few years.”

Last time out at St. Andrews, McIlroy started the final round on top of the leaderboard but struggled to sink any putts, ending up third behind Cameron Young and an inspired Cameron Smith who shot a 64. Smith then announced he would join LIV Golf, but he, along with fellow LIV golfers such as Brooks Koepka, will be teeing off at Royal Liverpool.

Before McIlroy’s win in 2014, this famous links in northern England, also known as Hoylake, hosted The Open in 2006 when Tiger Woods won the last of his three Claret Jugs. The classic seaside track has undergone some changes since 2014, including a brand new hole 17.

Who are the other main contenders?

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler finished tied third at the Scottish Open, so is no slouch across the links. The American is looking to add a second major to his 2022 Masters. He has not finished outside the top-12 on the PGA Tour since October and has two wins this season including The Players. He has six wins in total since February 2022 and six runner-up finishes. At majors this season, he has finished T10, T2 and 3rd.

Jon Rahm, No.3 in the world, started the season brilliantly winning four times, including the Masters in April. He’ll be hoping to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to win the green jacket and the Claret Jug in the same season. But his form has dipped recently and he hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship a month ago where he missed the cut.

Defending champion Cameron Smith says he’s now a better golfer than he was when he won it last year and will be aiming to become the first player to go back-to-back at The Open since Padraig Harrington in 2007-08, who is an outside bet after winning the U.S. Senior Open in June.

Man of the moment Rickie Fowler, who recently ended a four-year winless drought at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finished tied for second at Royal Liverpool in 2014. Tommy Fleetwood loves links golf and finished second to Shane Lowry in 2019 and tied fourth at St Andrews last year. He and Matt Fitzpatrick are among the homegrown players who could become the first English winner of The Open in 31 years.

Majors man Brooks Koepka won his fifth at the PGA Championship in May, while Viktor Hovland will be hoping to win his first, after claiming the Memorial Tournament in June.

Tee Times to look out for

Thursday (local time)

Starting at Hole 1

0847: Sam Burns, Sepp Straka, Chris Kirk

0903: Padraig Harrington, Seamus Power, Talor Gooch

0914: Jordan Spieth, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jason Day

0925: KH Lee, Davis Riley, Taiga Semikawa

0947: Scottie Scheffler, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott

0958: Cameron Smith, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark

1009: Shane Lowry, Rickie Fowler, Robert MacIntyre

1020: Cameron Young, Si Woo Kim, Bryson DeChambeau

1231: Gary Woodland, Adrian Otaegui, Alexander Bjork

1242: Min Woo Lee, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Harrison Crowe

1253: Corey Conners, Billy Horschel, Alex Noren

1304: Tom Kim, Tom Hoge, Abraham Ancer

1326: Sahith Theegala, Emiliano Grillo, Dustin Johnson

1437: Keegan Bradley, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann

1448: Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas

1459: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose

1510: Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Tyrrell Hatton

1521: Phil Mickelson, Nick Taylor, Adam Schenk

What’s the weather forecast?

The weather is predicted to be mixed, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 19 degrees, with sunny spells, moderate winds and occasional showers.

What’s the golf course conditions like?

The Open is played in classic links golf conditions, with deep pot bunkers, few trees, undulating greens, rolling fairways and high fescue. With the wetter weather and less dry and hot conditions compared to 2022 at St. Andrews, the course will play softer.

This will probably see more drivers from the tee, increasing the chances of bringing into play the dangerous rough. So being straight off the tee at Royal Liverpool is a must. You won’t see as many Tiger-style fairway-finding stingers which he used to winning effect in dry conditions in 2006.

What are the changes made to the course?

There have been over a dozen significant changes made, mostly on the back nine. The overall par has changed from 72 to 71 and it’s now 7,383 yards for the event. Bunkers and fairways have been tweaked and new sand areas and tees have been created. The biggest change is the creation of a new par-3 17th (which replaced a par 4) and No. 10 now playing as a par 4 over 500 yards, instead of a 532-yard par 5.

Is Tiger playing?

Yes, but not the one you think. Tiger Woods announced in June he won’t be competing at this event after his right ankle fusion surgery back in April. But 19-year-old German amateur Tiger Christensen made it through Final Qualifying, where he tied Alex Fitzpatrick, brother of Matt, to make it into this year’s field.

Phil Mickelson will be in the field at Hoylake, earning an exemption as a past champion under the age of 60. He won his solo Open Championship in 2013 at Muirfield.

What is the format and how many players are in the field?

It’s a four-round, 72-hole stroke-play event, with a cut after 36 holes. There are 156 players in the field. The top 70 make the cut.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is the winner decided?

The Open has a four-hole aggregate playoff if players are tied at the end of four rounds. If players are still tied then, they play sudden death holes until a winner is determined.

What’s the prize money?

The total Open purse is $16.5 million, which is an increase of $2.5 million from 2022. The winner will receive $3 million, up more than $500,000 from Cameron Smith’s cheque last year. The runner-up gets $1,708,000, and third $1,095,000. 10th gets $340,500, and last place (70th) gets $37,800. Those who don’t make the cut will receive between $8,500 and $12,000.

What else does the winner get?

The winner receives 100 world ranking points as well as 600 FedEx Cup points.

What about the trophy?

The victor gets to lift the coveted and world famous Claret Jug, as well as being named ‘The Champion Golfer of the Year’. The Claret Jug was first awarded in 1873.

What’s the Silver Medal?

The Silver Medal is awarded to the leading amateur at The Open, as long as he completes all 72 holes.

Who conducts The Open?

The R&A (The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews). It’s one of the governing bodies of golf worldwide with its head office at St. Andrews.

Who has won The Open most times?

Harry Vardon holds the record with six. Four golfers have won the Open five times: James Braid, J.H. Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson. Walter Hagen and Bobby Locke have four wins. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Gary Player and Bobby Jones are among those with three wins.

What’s the most played course on The Open rota?

30 Opens have been played at St Andrews, six more than at Prestwick.

What other courses are currently on The Open rota?

Right now there are 10, with five of them Scottish: St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield. Four are in England: Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool, Royal St. George’s and Royal Lytham. The most recent course to join the rota is Northern Ireland‘s Royal Portrush.

Where will the next Open Championships be held?

2024: Royal Troon, Troon, Scotland
2025: Royal Portrush, Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
2026: Royal Birkdale, England

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