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  • Pro Tip: The Open Championship Preview

    Updated: Jul 18, 2023
    Pro Tip: The Open Championship Preview

    The Masters will always hold a special place in the heart of Canadian golf fans – it’s the kick-off to spring, after all, with golf season in this country right around the corner. Plus, of course, Mike Weir’s Green Jacket triumph is an all-time memory for many.

    But The Open Championship, with its opening rounds happening on Canadian television in the middle of the night (there is nothing like coffee golf!) and its conclusion still leaving Canadians time to get their own 18 holes in the late-summer sunset makes this a special week, too.

    Not to mention, The Open Championship is the oldest golf tournament in the world – with plenty of history and a storied venue that’s undergone a lot of new changes on tap for 2023.

    Two Canadians are set to tee it up in 2023 at Royal Liverpool, with Corey Conners – the country’s top-ranked male golfer – and Nick Taylor, still riding high off his RBC Canadian Open triumph, both in the field.

    This year will mark Taylor’s Open Championship debut. Conners has played The Open three times’ prior, with his highest finish being a tie for 15th in 2021. He finished tied for 28th last year.

    Cam Smith will look to successfully defend his Open Championship title after his 20-under effort at St Andrews in 2022.

    Smith, who had won The Players Championship earlier in the season on the PGA Tour, came from four shots back to win after a final-round 64 – the lowest final-round score by any Open Championship winner at St Andrews and tied for the low round of the week. His back nine featured a run of five birdies in a row.

    “I knew it wasn't going to be too long before I got one of these,” Smith said. “I've knocked on the door, I think, maybe one too many times now. So, it's nice to get it done.”

    Cameron Young, a PGA Tour rookie, finished second at 19 under after making eagle on the par-4 18th finisher.

    Rory McIlory finished third. He was stuck in neutral for most of Sunday’s finale. He got to 18 under through 10 holes but didn’t make a single birdie coming in and watched as Smith pressed the gas pedal for the championship’s final nine holes.

    McIlroy was the last winner of The Open when it was contested at Royal Liverpool, in 2014. Tiger Woods, who will not be teeing it up this year as he continues to recovery from injury, won the previous Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. Before Woods’ win, Royal Liverpool hadn’t hosted an Open Championship since 1967.

    All of the game’s top-ranked golfers will be in the field at the final major championship of the season, including the three other major winners in 2023 – Jon Rahm (the Masters), Brooks Koepka (the PGA Championship), and Wyndham Clark (the U.S. Open). Scottie Scheffler, who remains as the No.1-ranked golfer in the world, will head into the week as the favourite – he remains in the midst of an all-time ball striking season and hasn’t finished outside the top-12 on the PGA Tour since October.

    Royal Liverpool (or, “Hoylake”) will play host to The Open Championship for the 13th time. A number of changes occurred as the club prepared to host this year’s Open, including a newly-built par-3 hole (the 17th). Changes to the storied club – there were 15 total – were overseen by Martin Ebert. Ebert advises on seven of the 10 Open Championship golf courses.

    Amongst the changes was a totally re-built par-3 17th hole plus the 10th hole being converted from a par 5 to a par 4. The overall par has been reduced from 72 to 71.

    The R&A announced in mid-July the prize fund for the 2023 Open Championship would increase by 18 percent over last year, and will now be $16.5 million (U.S.), with the winner receiving $3 million – the highest amount in tournament history. The attendance figure is also expected to be the largest of any Open Championship in history, with 260,000 fans set to be welcomed.

    Head to to play or wear what the Pro’s play!