HOYLAKE, England – Max Homa prepped by logging on to YouTube and watching Tiger Woods’s domination in 2006. Rickie Fowler said it would be a pretty good idea for him to do the same and soak in the memory of finishing second to Rory McIlroy in 2014. Adam Scott enjoyed a late Monday evening stroll alongside defending champion Cameron Smith to reacquaint him with a place where the vibes are good — he’s the only player in the field this week to finish top 10 in the last two Opens here.
Royal Liverpool is this week’s host of the 151st British Open and it has been nine years since it last hosted the championship when McIlroy prevailed. Before Woods won in 2006, the course had been out of the Open rotation since 1967, when Roberto de Vincenzo beat Jack Nicklaus by two shots. Count noted writer Bernard Darwin among the legions of fans of the course: “Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions.”
Indeed, it is a place where the cream typically rises to the top, including where Bobby Jones won the Open in 1930, as part of his unmatched Grand Slam year.
Shot-making and creativity, two features that have been on the endangered species list in the American game, will be at a premium this week. Here’s how some of the contenders have prepped for the unique challenge that awaits them.