SANDWICH, England – Facts and figures for the British Open golf championship:
Event: 140th British Open
Dates: July 14-17
Site: Royal St. George's
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Length: 7,211 yards
Field: 156 players (151 professionals, five amateurs)
Prize money: 5 million British pounds (approximately $7.97 million)Winner's share: 900,000 pounds (approximately $1.43 million)
Defending champion: Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa
Last year: Oosthuizen had made only one cut in his eight previous majors before blowing away his competition at St. Andrews. He led over the final 48 holes, closing with a 1-under 71 for a seven-shot victory over Lee Westwood. Oosthuizen finished on 16-under 272 and became the first player since Tony Lema in 1964 to win his first major at the home of golf.
Last time at Royal St. George's: Ben Curtis, a PGA Tour rookie who was No. 396 in the world and making his first start in a major, closed with a 2-under 69 to win by one shot over Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh in 2003. Bjorn had a two-shot lead until taking three shots to get out of a bunker on the 16th hole and making double bogey.
Open champions at Royal St. George's: J.H. Taylor (1894), Harry Vardon (1899, 1911), Jack White (1904), Walter Hagen (1922, 1928), Henry Cotton (1934), Reg Whitcombe (1938), Bobby Locke (1949), Bill Rogers (1981), Sandy Lyle (1985), Greg Norman (1993), Ben Curtis (2003).
Key statistic: For the first time ever, the four major championship titles are held by players in their 20s.
Noteworthy: Royal St. George's was the first links in England to hold the British Open.
Quoteworthy: "The golf course doesn't always reward a good shot. So it's a little on the quirky side." — Justin Leonard.
Television (all times EDT): Thursday and Friday, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., ESPN. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., ESPN. Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., ESPN.