PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Facts and figures for the British Open golf championship:
Event: 148th Open Championship.
Dates: July 18-21.
Site: Royal Portrush.
The course: The club dates to a nine-hole course in 1888, expanding to 18 holes a year later. Harry Colt designed the Dunluce Links in 1929. Royal Portrush in 1951 hosted the only British Open not held in Scotland or England. To allow for the size of the championship, two holes from the Valley Links were used to create a new seventh and eighth holes on the Dunluce Links, while the previous 17th and 18th holes are now the site of the tented village.
Field: 156 players.
Playoff (if necessary): 3 holes, aggregate score.
Prize money: $10.75 million.
Winner’s share: $1,935,000.
Defending champion: Francesco Molinari.
Last year: Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win a major when he closed with a 2-under 69, playing the final 37 holes without a bogey at Carnoustie. A birdie on the final hole gave him a two-shot victory. Tiger Woods briefly had the lead on Sunday. Jordan Spieth had a share of the 54-hole lead and didn’t make a birdie in the final round. Seven players had a share of the lead at some point Sunday, and six were still tied on the back nine.
Last time at Royal Portrush: Max Faulkner built a six-shot lead through 54 holes and held on with a 74 for a two-shot victory over Antonio Cerda in the only British Open not held in Scotland or England.
Tiger Tales: Tiger Woods has played only three tournaments (two majors) and 10 rounds since he won the Masters.
Key statistic: Americans have a chance to sweep the majors for the first time since 1982.
Noteworthy: Support for a return to Royal Portrush began earlier in the decade when three players from Northern Ireland — Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke — won three of six majors.
Quoteworthy: “It’s hard to argue that this will be the finest piece of links land which The Open Championship is played. No other venue, I don’t think, has such pure links undulations throughout its 18 holes.” — European golf architect Martin Ebert.
Television (all times EDT): Thursday-Friday, 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 5-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 4-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (NBC).