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Latest Ernie Els Items
The practice round schedule posted each day at Muirfield is not the only way to determine how players are getting ready for the British Open.
There are no tricks at Muirfield. There are hardly any blind shots. Most of the bunkers are in plain view from the tee. That's one of the reasons that Muirfield is a favorite of so many players.
Two dozen cameras were in position Monday morning to capture the first big moment of this British Open, only they weren't anywhere near the golf course. They waited in the driveway as a silver station wagon pulled through the gate and stopped in front of the clubhouse at Muirfield.
Now it's up to the 43-year-old South African to reclaim the silver prize, and that doesn't figure to be easy. He won the last time the Open was played at Muirfield in 2002. He has more top 10s in the British Open than any other major. But he has this piece of history working against him — the last major champion in his 40s to successfully defend his title was Old Tom Morris, and that was 151 years ago.
Fresh off a Scottish Open victory, Phil Mickelson showed up at Muirfield for the first time in 11 years and didn't take long to figure out his strategy for the British Open. He wants to keep it as simple as possible and try to make easy pars.
The first order of business at the British Open was for Ernie Els to hand over the claret jug.
A capsule look at the 15 previous British Opens held at Muirfield Golf Club, where the 142nd British Open will be played July 18-21:
Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson endured frustrating second rounds at the Scottish Open as the tournament's headline acts were upstaged by some lesser-knowns on Friday.
Facts and figures for the British Open golf championship: