The 149th Open Championship
Royal St George’s Golf Club
Sunday 11 July – Sunday 18 July 2021
The 2021 Open Championship at The Royal St George’s Golf Club will be The 149th Open Championship and 15th time it has been played at the top-ranked Sandwich course in Kent. Over the 4 tournament days, 15th – 18th July 2021, The Open will see the world’s best golfers do battle over a course that last held The Open in 2011 by Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke.
Originally due to take place over 16th – 19th July 2020, The 149th Open at Royal St George’s was moved on a year due to The Covid 19 Pandemic. Meaning that The Open Championships due to take place on The Old Course at St Andrews, Royal Liverpool Golf Club and Royal Troon Golf Club were also moved on a year.
Revered as one of the best in England, The R&A will set the golf course up to provide an excellent challenge for its competitors who will join from across the world. With tickets in short supply and crowds reduced to 32,000 each day, this looks set to be one of the most anticipated and most watched for years.
We called it on Thursday and unfortunately for Louis Oosthuizen, in professional golf, first, second and even third round leads don’t always guarantee a win. In fact, they seldom do.
Louis Oosthuizen played near flawless golf for the bulk of the opening 3 rounds at The 2021 Open Championship and he’s done so in numerous majors before, winning one and finishing runner up no less than 6 times. The story for the smooth swinging South African was the same in the glorious Kent sunshine this weekend.
Simply speaking, there just wasn’t not enough gas left in the tank for Louis and with the depth of quality at the top end of The Open Leaderboard, there was bound to be someone else come through the pack to claim the Claret Jug.
It was great to see Jordan Spieth back in the hunt at a major championship.
Jon Rahm further cemented his place among the elite of the game with a 3rd place finish.
Brooks was there or there abouts as always. Standard. at a major championship.
But it was Collin Morikawa (who in fairness was Louis’ closest competitor heading into the final round) who had the goods to get the job done at Royal St George’s.
The young American went bogey free on one of The Open’s toughest tracks, shooting 66 to finish 2 shots clear of Jordan Spieth (did we mention how good it is to see Jordan back in the fold at the biggest events in golf by the way?) and one ahead of Jon Rahm who romped home with 4 birdies in his last 6 holes to eventually come up 4 shots shy of winning back to back majors.
Collin Morikawa though…
He’s competed in 8 major championships.
He’s won 2 of them and had another Top 10 to add to that.
He’s the real deal and a fitting champion for the return of The Open Championship which of course took a year off in 2020 due to COVID.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2021
It was so good to have golf’s oldest major back on the calendar and as quickly as it came and went, the consolation for us golf fans is that next summer, for the 150th staging of the most historic event in golf, we’re back in St Andrews!
That’s right…the 2022 Open Championship will take to the St Andrews Old Course next summer, and we hope to see lots of you there as travel restrictions continue to ease, and more of us can get out and enjoy events like The Open.
32,000 spectators were at Royal St George’s today to see Morikawa clai the Claret Jug, and the numbers of fans enjoying the amazing weather in Kent were similarly high pretty much all week.
Here’s to another great Open Championship, here’s to Collin Morikawa, and here’s to seeing lots of you guys at St Andrews in 2022!
Bryson DeChambeau hit a shank.
Justin Thomas missed a casual one-foot “tap-in”.
Rory played some Jekyll & Hyde golf. His front and back nines were of the chalk and cheese variety. He even chucked a club!
Needless to say, there was plenty of great golf too (more on that later) but despite all of that, Royal St George’s remained the real star of the show in the 149th Open Championship.
In fairness, with the weather the players have been blessed with over the opening 3/4s of The Open, most courses would look fairly enticing, but when you have the best players in the world, playing arguably the best course in England at arguably golf’s greatest event…golfing heaven right?
They often call Saturday at a major championship “moving day”, but late in the afternoon on Day 3 of The 2021 Open Championship, there were more shakers than there were “movers”.
Robert Macintyre fired in a -5 round of 65, Jason Kokrak was one shy of that with a -4 66 as was Kevin Streelman…but even the best of that trio is (at the time of writing) 7 shots off the lead.
The most ominous presence on the leaderboard late on Saturday for the overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen?
Without a doubt that title goes to Jordan Spieth.
The young Texan who of course already has 3 majors to his name, including the 2017 Open Championship, has been in resurgent form I of late when compared to the last couple of years he’s endured on the course, and definitely looks like the most likely to stop Louis Oosthuizen from claiming his 2nd major championship.
Louis swing 😍 #TheOpen
— Your Golf Travel (@yourgolftravel) July 17, 2021
Speaking of Louis though…
6 runner up finishes in majors ✅
A 3rd place finish at the 2020 US Open and a couple of other Top 10s ✅
A Claret Jug already in the trophy cabinet ✅
We said (based on just the maths really) at the close of play on Thursday that Louis wouldn’t win.
Now, Royal St George’s and the game of golf in general (how good has it been to have The Open back in our lives and crowds back enjoying the game we all love??) will be the real winners this week, but (again…at the time of writing) the further into this amazing Open Championship we get, the more it does look like Louis, 11 years removed from his maiden major championship win, might just be about to double his tally.
We can’t wait for Open Championship Sunday, and we hope all of you guys heading to Royal St George’s to watch it live have an amazing day on the links.
Record score, hole in one & a tribute to a golfing legend.
Louis Oosthuizen, Jon Rahm & Shane Lowry, what a match that was to follow on Friday, a 64 accompanied by two 65s. The 2010 Champion Golfer of the year set a new 36 hole record with opening rounds of 64 and 65 to lead the pack by two shots going into the weekend.
Oosthuizen started well with a birdie on the opening hole then really then got into his stride with a brilliant spell between the 12th and the 14th. After two birdies and an eagle, he would drop his first shot of the Championship at 16 but save par on 17 with a clutch putt to stay two ahead of Collin Morikawa. The American looked impressive, his putting can be a weakness but his iron play was so good that he was often putting from inside 10 feet.
Elsewhere on the course the 6ft 9in Open debutant Jonathan ‘Jigger’ Thomson was struggling to make the cut after a dropped shot on 15. The tallest player to feature in golf’s oldest major struck a wonderful tee shot on 16 which landed perfectly on the edge of the green, bounced, and rolled into the cup to spark joyous celebrations for the first ace of the week. Thomson, who came through Final Qualifying at his home club Hollinwell will be paired with our very own Lee Westwood on Saturday.
Friday also saw Jackie, the wife of Peter Alliss, along with other members of his family attend Royal St George’s for the legendary ‘Voice of Golf’ to receive a special tribute.
“On behalf of the R&A I would now like to pay tribute to somebody who is sadly not with us today – the great Peter Alliss,” read an announcement made on the first tee.
“As the voice of golf for the best part of 60 years, Peter brought us so much joy, humor and insight to the millions of us watching on television. As a player and commentator, Peter made an indelible mark on The Open and we’ll all miss his uniquely wise, warm and witty commentary.”
Finally, after a 2-year wait since Shane Lowery’s epic win at Royal Portrush in 2019, just after 6:30am local time, The Open was back!
Royal St George’s was the scene and the world’s best were chomping at the bit to get back into action at arguably the most prestigious event in golf.
The oldest major championship in the game.
The most historic.
The most unique, owing to the fact that it’s played exclusively on the world’s best links courses located in the British Isles.
Ummm…you’re not going to get much of a nicer day on the links at Royal St George’s. The wind was relatively calm. The sun was shining. The course was in immaculate condition. Subsequently, the scoring was healthy.
Leading the way is a familiar face in the early stages of major championships and also a former Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen. He’s already polished off one major at the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews. Will he bag another…we’re going to go with the maths and say no. Sorry Louis.
The leaderboard early on before Oosthuizen’s birdie on 16 to claim the outright lead.
How about our Chief Holiday Officer Lee Westwood? Urrgghhh…+1. Not ideal. But going by the old adage that “you can’t win a tournament on day one, but you can lose one”, we’ll keep our fingers optimistically crossed for Westy to pop his major cherry.
Rory? Meh…another not so disastrous but defo not so good start. Rory’s opening round in every major he has won has seen him at the top, or within a whisker of the top of the pile. He’s not out of it, but his opening round was typically (in reference to recent seasons since his last major win) not all that.
DJ isn’t far off. He’s under par and has previous at Royal St George’s…not the best kind of previous though. He “did a DJ” in 2011, hitting a 4 iron out of bounds for no real reason whatsoever when firmly in contention against Darren Clarke coming down the stretch. Having said that, it’s fair to say he’s a different player these days having got that monkey off his back at the 2016 US Open, and subsequently beasting it at the 2020 Masters. A score in the 60s in Round 2 and he’s right there heading into the weekend.
Justin Thomas might be one of the surprise Friday evening departures after Round 1, but his bestie , the resurgent Jordan Spieth had a banger, firing in a -5 65. He’s obviously got major championship pedigree and is looking much more like the guy who obtained that status a few years back. Open no. 2 for the Texan? We wouldn’t bet against him.
We could go on and on about the big names in the running after Round 1 of The 2021 Open Championship, but we’ll leave it here: Isn’t it just so bloody good to have golf’s grandest event back on the TV, or even back on the course if you were lucky enough to attend Round 1 at Royal St Georges?
We enjoyed welcoming all of the YGT clients who made the trip to Sandwich today, and look forward to seeing more of you tomorrow.
Here’s to the Claret Jug. Here’s to crowds being back. Here’s to golf. Here’s to any bloody excuse going to plonk yourself in front of the TV for 12+ hours of live action from The Open.
Who’s up for some links golf?!
About Royal St George’s
Perched upon the towering sand dunes, overlooking Sandwich Bay, Royal St George’s is a masterpiece of English golf. It seems as though the ground it is built upon was made for spectacular golf courses, with Princes and Royal Cinque Ports, both also Open hosts, flowing over the same dramatic stretch of Kent coast. The layout at Royal St George’s, known by many as ‘Sandwich’, is among the best links designs in the world.
Each and every hole on this epic course presents a unique challenge, with a host of features that contribute the character of the place, including the deepest bunker in the UK on the par-4 4th. It is that character that makes both professionals and amateurs alike fall in love with Royal St George’s, undoubted one of the best venues to host the Open Championship. After hosting the prestigious tournament 14 times, the course has become a bucket list play for many golfers and was listed at 22nd on Golf Digest’s ‘World 100 Greatest Golf Courses’ 2018.
Past Open Championships at Royal St George’s
As the fourth most used venue in the illustrious history of The Open Championship, Royal St George’s has seen many of golf’s greatest players battle it out upon its legendary dunes. The history of The Open at Sandwich dates back over a century, to when it was first played there in 1894, back then it was known just as ‘St George’s’ before gaining royal patronage in 1902.
Between the two World Wars, in 1922 and 1928, Royal St George’s saw the rise of Walter Hagen, as he came across from America to win the Claret Jug both times. Years later, in 1985, the now historic links witnessed Sandy Lyle become the first Scotsman to win The Open in over 50 years. The next time the tournament came to the dunes at St George’s was in 1993 when Greg ‘The Shark’ Norman won his second, and final, major championship.
The most recent and perhaps most famous Open Championship to be held at Royal St George’s was in 2011. The fan favourite Northern Irishman, Darren Clarke, battled the conditions in Sandwich Bay and managed to maintain his form through all four rounds, leading to a surprising and memorable victory for the then 42-year-old. The world’s best again head to the legendary links of Royal St George’s in 2021, when it will host its 15th Open Championship.
|2011||Darren Clarke||Northern Ireland||-5|
|1949||Bobby Locke||South Africa||-5|
|1938||Reg Whitcombe||England||295 gross|
|1934||Henry Cotton||England||283 gross|
|1928||Walter Hagen||USA||292 gross|
|1922||Walter Hagen||USA||300 gross|
|1911||Harry Vardon||Jersey||303 gross|
|1904||Jack White||Scotland||296 gross|
|1899||Harry Varden||Jersey||310 gross|
|1894||John H. Taylor||England||326 gross|
Hospitality at The 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s
Your Golf Travel clients will be experiencing a range of hospitality options at Royal St George’s using inspiration from The Open expert craftsmen.
Engravers at The Open
Engravers offers an exclusive and polished experience, situated at the heart of the action overlooking the tricky Par 3 16th hole that cost Thomas Bjørn the 2003 title and where Tom Watson managed an ace in 2011.
You and your guests will be treated to the finest cuisine throughout the day including mid-morning champagne and canapés and a four-course à la carte lunch.
Scorers at The Open
Situated close to the the famous yellow leaderboard on the 18th hole, inside the popular Spectator Village, Scorers offers luxury and relaxation with easy access to the course.
Choose to watch the action unfold on the TV screens in the private garden or upgrade to Scorers Premium for your own private table, available for up to 10 guests per table.
Caddies at The Open
Situated on a lower level private balcony of the Origins Pavilion, overlooking the 16th green, Caddies provides informal style with a comfortable base whilst still offering a host of premium benefits.
The delicious grazing buffet allows the flexibility to watch the action from the course or when hunger strikes watch from the balcony.