The Open Championship recently took place on July 20 to 23. Prior to the event, The Open Championship odds had Rory McIlroy favored to win with John Rahm and Scottie Scheffler the second and third-place picks. But how did The Open Championship leaderboard really shape up, and what were the highlights of the weekend? Read on to find out and to learn more about Open Championship history.
The Majestic Venue
This year, the beautiful Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Wirral, England, served as the venue for The Open Championship. The club was founded in 1869 on what had previously been a racecourse, and 2023 marked the 13th time the golf club hosted The Open.
The par-72, 7,341-yard golf course has earned rave reviews for offering a challenging game, even though the course is relatively flat. One of the biggest obstacles golfers face when playing the course is that the holes located nearest the coastline meander through sand hills that add to the challenge by providing relentless natural hazards. Revamped for this year's tournament, the 17th hole was also very tight, making it difficult to come in at 3-par.
To further complicate play, weather can be unpredictable in the area. When the club hosted the tournament in 2006, a lack of wind required golfers to play strategically. In 2023, winds were strong, posing a threat for doglegs on numerous holes.
The Legacy of The Open Championship
The Open has a rich legacy that makes it crucial to the PGA and to the sport of golf as a whole. Established in 1860, it is the oldest championship in the world, and its place among the Majors means that it's a prestigious event that golf's top players are eager to win.
In the wake of the merger with LIV Golf, the PGA is in a time of change. At the same time, the continuation of The Open ties golf to its long history and is a reminder of all of the traditions that make the sport what it is today.
The Open Championship saw some of golf's lesser-known names really shine. Coming into The Open Championship, Brian Harman wasn't on anyone's list as the favored winner, but he went into the final round 5 strokes ahead and never gave anyone else a chance to catch up. It was the first time that any pro golfer had led by such a large margin going into the final day of The Open since 1934 when Henry Cotton managed to pull off such a commanding lead.
Harman's final score was a history maker. It was among the largest margins achieved by any American in Open Championship history, second only to the -8 stroke difference Tiger Woods achieved in 2000. In addition, Harman is only the third left-handed player to ever win the tournament, so he now joins the ranks of Bob Charles and Phil Mickelson, who won in 1963 and 2013, respectively.
Tom Kim also performed incredibly well. Around a year ago, Kim stepped into the spotlight when he came in third at the Genesis Scottish Open and continued to excel on the course afterward. In fact, he became the youngest person in the past 90 years to ever win two PGA Tour events. Unfortunately, he sustained an ankle injury a week before the Open, and many people believed he wouldn't be at his best, but he defied expectations by having the lowest score on Sunday's round at just 67.
Sepp Straka is another player who tends to fly under the radar, but he's told reporters he likes it that way. He played consistently well all weekend long, but amazed everyone during the last seven holes of Friday's back nine when he scored six birdies. The performance was enough to send him soaring up the leaderboard, and he held on to tie for second.
Memorable Moments and Shots
The 2023 Open Championship included a number of memorable moments.
On Thursday, Tommy Fleetwood, who grew up near the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, had a great run, making three birdies on the back nine. Another player who had a great day was Emiliano Grillo, who birdied five out of his final eight holes.
After a disappointing round on Thursday, Australian golfer Travis Smyth made history by scoring the first-ever hole-in-one on the challenging 17th hole.
Friday's most noteworthy moment was arguably when Harman scored an eagle on the par-5 18th hole with a 15-foot putt. Cameron Young captured attention on Saturday by scoring six birdies. Jon Rahm also had a great day, finishing out with a six of 63, the lowest score ever on a round in Open history.
On Sunday, Harman got off to a rough start with two bogeys, but he recovered with two back-to-back birdies to reposition himself with a 6-stroke lead. From there, he had a bogey on hole 13 and birdies at 14 and 15, followed by three par scores to seal his win.
Celebrating the Champions
At the end of the weekend, Open Championship leaderboard winners included Brian Harman at -13 and Tom Kim, Sepp Straka and Jason Day tied for second at -7. For his victory, The Open Championship payout for Harman was a whopping $3 million, and the second-place winners each received $1,084,625.
Tied for sixth with a score of -6, Rory McIlroy and Emiliano Grillo took home $551,250, while the eighth-ranked golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Cameron Young won $403,350. Rounding out the top 10 were Max Homa, Matthew Jordan and Tommy Fleetwood, tied at -4. They received winnings totaling $308,400. Congratulations to all the winners!
Get Inspired by The Open
The entire team here at Devereux once again wishes to congratulate this year's Open Championship winner, Brian Harman, and salute the achievements of all the golfers who participated. Seeing underdog players rise to the occasion and win historic, prestigious tournaments like The Open inspires us, and we hope the event also inspires you to get out, practice and enjoy the game of golf
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