DID YOU KNOW – ABOUT MUIRFIELD AND THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
• Muirfield Golf Club’s full title is The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
• Golf at Muirfield began in 1891 with 16 holes designed by Old Tom Morris. The course was extended to 18 holes for The Open Championship of 1892, the first time the course was used for the Championship. The winner that year was amateur Harold Hilton, playing in his first Open. Hilton is the only player in Championship history to win an Open on his first appearance at Muirfield.
• The Championship won by Hilton was the first to be contested over 72 holes. He won with a score of 305.
• The Open Championship returned to Muirfield in 1896 where Harry Vardon won the first of his record-breaking six titles, defeating J H Taylor in a play-off.
• The list of winners of The Open Championship at Muirfield include: Vardon (1896), James Braid (1901), Ted Ray (1912), Walter Hagen (1929), Sir Henry Cotton (1948), Gary Player (1959), Jack Nicklaus (1966), Lee Trevino (1972), Tom Watson (1980), Sir Nick Faldo (1987 and 1992) and Ernie Els (2002).
• Sir Nick Faldo is the only golfer to win The Open Championship twice at Muirfield. His 1987 triumph was his first Major Championship title, after making 18 straight pars in the final round to beat Paul Azinger and Rodger Davis by one shot. Els will try and emulate the Englishman, as the defending champion won his first Open at Muirfield in 2002.
• Open Championship history was created in the 2002 event at Muirfield where Els defeated Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington and Thomas Levet , in what was the first and so far only four man play-off. The only other play-off at Muirfield was in 1896 when Vardon beat Taylor.
• Faldo’s second win at Muirfield in 1992 saw him established the record for the lowest opening 36 holes in Open history, with rounds of 66-64 for a 130 total. This was matched by Brandt Snedeker at Royal Lytham & St Annes last year.
• Isao Aoki went into the record books by shooting the lowest round in an Open Championship played at Muirfield. He shot an eight under par round of 63 in round three of the 1980 Championship. He eventually tied 12th. At the time this was only the second 63 ever recorded in an Open. The first was by Mark Hayes at Turnberry in 1977.
• Muirfield will be staging it’s 16th Open Championship in 2013. This sees the course lie third on the all-time list of most used courses. St Andrews is top with 28 years and Prestwick comes next with 24.