GOLF

The Open Championship Returns At Historic Royal St. George’s Golf Club

Jul 12, 2021, 3:04 PM

Tony Finau of the USA reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championshi...

Tony Finau of the USA reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The oldest golf tournament in the world is returning this year for the first time since 2019 following a year absence due to the global pandemic that denied proceedings in 2020.

Utah’s Tony Finau is the only player in the field with local ties to the state and is hopeful to return to the form that saw him finish in lone third at the 2019 Open Championship; his best major finish to date.

Finau enters the tournament having missed the cut at his previous two PGA Tour events. It is the second time this season that Finau has missed consecutive cuts.

Royal St. George’s Golf Club

However, links golf has historically been kind to Finau who prides himself in controlling the golf ball with precision and power.

Finau has never missed the cut at The Open, rather, he has finished inside the top 30 in every attempt throughout his career. His best finish came in 2019 when he ended in third, the year prior in 2018 he finished in a tie for ninth. His worst finish at The Open was in 2017 when he finished in a tie for 27th.

This year’s venue, Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England has hosted The Open Championship on 14 occasions. The most recent coming in 2011 when Northern Ireland native Darren Clarke won the only major of his career. Only St. Andrews, Prestwick, and Muirfield have hosted more Open Championships than Royal St. Georges since it debuted on the world stage in 1894.

 

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Since 2011, however, the course has undergone some reconstruction. Multiple bunkers have been restored to their older, more rustic look. Patches of rough left of the fifth fairway have also been restored to the original, bare, sand that was present in photographs during World War II.

Bumps & Mounds

The most notable aspect of Royal St. Georges lies in and amongst the fairways. The bumps and mounds that infest the short grass send golf balls flying in a myriad of directions. Good shots have been seen to catch unlucky bounces, and bad shots can find their way back into promising positions.

The unknown may be a key reason in explaining the multiple surprise winners at Royal St. Georges in the past.

Fortunately, Finau enters the tournament in need of some luck. His form must improve if he hopes to continue his streak of success at The Open Championship. After taking two weeks off to work on his game privately, Finau enters this year’s Open Championship with the intent of challenging for one of golf’s most prized possessions; the Claret Jug.

 

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The Open Championship Returns At Historic Royal St. George’s Golf Club