A look at the list of Open Champions winning at Royal St George's includes the likes of Hagen, Locke, Norman and Lyle. So great players have risen to the top here at this course that first hosted the Open Championship in 1894 when John Henry Taylor outlasted the field to win by 1, his first of 5 titles. In the 126 years since, 13 more Opens have been played here with the last being in 2011.
The 2011 event saw the course play at Par 70 after trying a Par 71 setup for the 2003 Open. In 2011 it also played at its longest in history, having being lengthened to 7,211 yards, the second time the course exceeded 7000 yards. Darren Clarke closed out one of the most popular wins in Open Championship history at -5, edging Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by 3 shots, even after bogeying the last 2 holes.
We found an old media guide from the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's. Click here to download, it has a great deal of information on the course and previous Opens.
More information is yet to come on course changes for 2020, but we learned of work being done by Mackenzie & Ebert including penal bunkers at the 4th and 7th as well as some modifications around the green at 17 and bunkering changes at 18.
If history teaches us anything about how Royal St George's will play in 2020, here's what to expect:
- The par 4 1st will play over par, a tough starting hole
- The par 4 4th, that plays as a par 5 normally, will likely be the toughest par of the week
- The par 5 7th will offer a great eagle opportunity
- Numbers 15, 17 & 18, all par 4s, will offer a very tough finishing stretch
We will have more information and analysis on the 2020 Open Championship over the next several months, but we can all expect a serious challenge, wild weather off the east coast of England, and a great finish down the stretch!