Every venue visited by The Open has a tremendous history of championship golf. In 2017, Royal Birkdale will host the Open, and Carnoustie will host the championship in 2018. The R&A made the announcement along with Tom Watson at The Greenbrier.
Padraig Harrington won The Open at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale in 2008. The ’07 Open was perhaps Sergio Garcia’s best opportunity to win a major, but he lost to Harrington in a playoff. In ’08, Harrington fired a four-under 32 on the back nine to defeat Ian Poulter by four strokes. Padraig’s hot streak continued at the 2008 PGA Championship where he claimed his third major victory in a little over a year.
The list of champions at Royal Birkdale includes Arnold Palmer (1961), Lee Trevino (1971), Johnny Miller (1976), Ian Baker-Finch (1991), and Mark O’Meara (1998).
Ben Hogan won The Open at Carnoustie in 1953 to complete the “Hogan Slam,” which included the Masters and the U.S. Open. He did not play in the PGA Championship that year because of the pain in his legs from the 1949 car crash that almost ended his life.
The list of champions at Carnoustie includes Gary Player (1968) and Tom Watson (1975). Watson won four more Open Championships, and is considered the greatest links player of all-time.
At the press conference, Watson said, “I am delighted to see The Open returning to two great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie.” He added, “I know both courses are held in high regard by the players, and I certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf.”
Information on the announcement can be found at theopen.com.