The 2013 Open - Muirfield |
From July 18th through July 21st, the eyes of the golf world will once again be turned to Muirfield. This historic course, located in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland, will be hosting its 15th Open Championship, and its first since 2002.
About The Course
When Muirfield first opened in 1891 it consisted of just 16 holes, designed by Old Tom Morris. However, it was renovated quickly to 18 holes and hosted its first Open Championship just a year later in 1892. Since that time, Muirfield has undergone many renovations, mostly by way of lengthening the course. As recently as the winters of 2011 and 2012, the course was altered to add a few greenside bunkers, and lengthened a bit to allow for more championship caliber pin placements. The current length of the course is 7245 yards.
Past Opens at Muirfield
Since hosting its first Open Championship in 1892, Muirfield has been in the regular rotation for the event. Past winners include: Harold Hilton - 1892 Harry Vardon - 1896 James Braid - 1901 & 1906 Ted Ray - 1912 Walter Hagen - 1929 Alf Perry - 1935 Henry Cotton - 1948 Gary Player - 1959 Jack Nicklaus - 1966 Lee Trevino - 1972 Tom Watson - 1980 Nick Faldo - 1987 & 1992 Ernie Els - 2002
The Storm of 2002
Perhaps the most famous thing to take place at Muirfield in recent history is not a particular golfer or shot, but the weather that wreaked havoc on the course on Saturday of the 2002 Open. That day, golfers faced gale force winds and temperatures that dropped to just 5 degrees. The day saw twice as many scores in the 80's as in the 60's. Those who were able to pull off scores in the low 70's or high 60's that day saw themselves skyrocket up the leaderboard. However, those who could not deal with the weather as well, which was true for most, fell dramatically. Colin Montgomerie, for example, began the third round tied for 9th place at four under par. After shooting 84 on Saturday, twenty strokes worse than his round the day before, Montgomerie finished the tournament in 82nd place.
Uniqueness of Muirfield
One feature of Muirfield that makes this course uniquely challenging to golfers is the layout of the holes. While most links style courses are laid out in an out and back format, Muirfield is laid out in two loops, one clockwise and one counter-clockwise. This layout insures that if the wind is blowing, it will be blowing from every direction. With the traditional layout a golfer will deal with the wind from one direction on the way out, and the other direction on the way back in. At Muirfield, the holes are laid out in such a way that the wind will not be coming from the same direction for more than three consecutive holes.
One of the most historic and storied courses on the tour today, Muirield is sure to provide a challenging and entertaining venue for the Open Championship once again in 2013.
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