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Hoylake's champions

The Open Championship: Hoylake’s champions

We take a look back at the most memorable Open Championships from years gone by at Royal Liverpool, recalling the best of Hoylake's champions
 

Royal Liverpool has hosted the Open Championship on 12 previous occasions – only Royal St. George’s has held the event more in England.

And the Wirral venue has played host to some unforgettable championships and some unforgettable champions.

Hoylake was first established in 1869 by Robert Chambers and George Morris and was awarded royal status two years later. Legendary golf course architect Harry Colt redesigned the course in the early 20th century.

“We know that there will be tremendous excitement among golf fans at its return to Royal Liverpool,” said Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive of the 2023 renewal.

“Its famous links has a cherished history and has produced a revered group of champion golfers, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy most recently.”

We looked back on some of those memorable Open moments at Royal Liverpool and Hoylake’s champions…

hoylake's champions

Hoylake’s Champions

1897 – Amateur hour for Harold Hilton

Just the second Open to be held in England, the 1897 Open Championship was won by amateur Harold Hilton at his home club.

The Englishman finished one shot ahead of James Braid, who would go on to become a five-time Open champion and renowned course architect.

Hilton carded rounds of 80, 75, 84, and 75 to cash in the £30 winner’s prize and his second Claret Jug was the third Open won by an amateur.

1930 – Bobby Jones seals the Open hat-trick

Bobby Jones won the Open at Hoylake in 1930 in the same year he won the British Amateur Championship, emulating the achievement of John Ball in 1890.

Despite shooting a 75 in the final round on Merseyside, Jones finished two shots clear of Leo Diegel and Macdonald Smith – he is still the last amateur to win the Open.

Quite incredibly, Jones went on to win the US Open in July, then the US Amateur Championship in September, as he completed the Grand Slam.

1967 – Roberto De Vicenzo beats Nicklaus to win first major title

The 96th Open Championship was won by Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo. After this tournament, the Open adopted a second 54-hole cut until 1985.

With rounds of 70, 71, 67, and 70, De Vicenzo beat the great Jack Nicklaus by two shots to secure the only major title of his career and one of his seven PGA Tour titles.

At 44-years-old, De Vicenzo became golf’s oldest major winner before he was eclipsed by Lee Trevino at the 1984 PGA Championship.

hoylake's champions

2006 – Tiger releases emotion after winning third Claret Jug

Tiger Woods’ third win at the Open Championship in 2006 was his first major title since the death of his father Earl in May.

This was the first time the Open was played at Hoylake in 39 years and the first time a player successfully defended their Open crown since Tom Watson in 1983.

Woods carded a final-round 67 to finish on 18-under-par, two shots ahead of Chris DiMarco and five shots ahead of Ernie Els.

2014 – Rory finally wins his Claret Jug

Rory McIlroy had a chequered past at the Open Championship before winning at Royal Liverpool in 2014 – making one top 10 in six previous appearances.

McIlroy was largely in control throughout the final round, fending off Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia by two shots, with the Spaniard still looking for his long-awaited major title at that stage.

This started a three-tournament winning streak which culminated in wins at the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship.

What do you make of Hoylake’s champions and who will be next to lift the Claret Jug at the historic venue? Let us know with a tweet.

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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