The Open 2024 – Royal Troon Prepares to Host

The Open 2024 – Royal Troon Prepares to Host

25 April 2024

The Open Championship is set to visit Royal Troon for only the 3rd time since the turn of the millennium this July and on both previous occasions, the famous South Ayrshire links has provided two unforgettable stories.

We take a look back at what made the previous visits in 2016 & 2004 so memorable for golf fans and what we can expect to see this time around, at the 152nd edition of The Open.

In 2004, twenty years ago, American Todd Hamilton would lift the Claret Jug – his one and only Major win.

It’s fair to say that Hamilton was relatively unknown on this side of the pond, however, he was established on the Japan Golf Tour, with 11 wins to his name. He won his PGA tour card in 2003, at the age of 38, and would go on to win the Honda Classic in early 2004.

Todd Hamilton Wins The Open
Todd Hamilton with the Claret Jug | Image Golfweek

As the Open arrived in Troon, so did the world’s elite; Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen and Thomas Bjorn – who lost the previous edition in 2003 with that infamous meltdown in the greenside bunker on the 16th at Royal St.George’s.

Bjorn entered the final day with a 2 shot lead, which still stood as he arrived at the 16th tee. His tee shot to the par 3 would find the trap, costing Bjorn the biggest victory of his career.

That left it wide open for debutant Ben Curtis, who defied the odds to become the first debut winner of The Open Championship since Tom Watson in 1975.

It’s safe to say that when The Open arrived in Troon, nobody could foresee back-to-back wins for a rank outsider.

Hamilton took on that challenge and beat Ernie Els in a play-off, finishing on -10 to deliver yet another story that will live long in the memory of golf fans, who doesn’t love an underdog?

Hamilton would go on to make only 3 cuts at the next 14 Opens’ he played in, after his stunning victory before saying farewell to the Championship in 2018. He was duly honoured in 2016 when the Championship returned to Troon.

Mickelson v Stenson

The Open in 2016 delivered arguably the greatest ever final day of The Open Championship, with many including 5-Time winner Tom Watson, saying that the battle between Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson eclipsed the 1977 ‘Duel in the Sun’ along the road at Turnberry on the world-class Ailsa Championship course.

Both players went toe-to-toe in a gripping final group pairing, with Stenson shooting 63 against Mickelson’s 65 to give the Swede a 3 shot win on -20. Mickelson’s -17 would have been enough to win 95% of any other Open Championship ever played – a monumental battle from both players – who now star on the LIV Tour.

Mickelson and Stenson on final green at The Open
Mickelson and Stenson on the 18th green in 2016 | Image Golfweek

Stenson equalled the lowest ever final day round in Open history, a truly remarkable spectacle that may never be seen again – two of the world’s best battling shot for shot to win the most coveted prize in golf.

You can watch every shot of their epic final rounds below or read more here.

Who Will Win The Open in 2024?

This time around, there are so many potential stories that could unfold. Reigning Champion Brian Harman will look to retain his title that he won in style under quite horrendous conditions at Royal Liverpool last July.

Rory McIlroy will be a firm favourite, as we’ve come to expect, will he finally end his 10 year wait for a second Claret Jug? He completed the Home Nations Grand Slam last summer when he won the Genesis Scottish Open, and has the experience of playing Royal Troon and Dundonald Links on previous visits to South Ayrshire.

Jon Rahm of course could blow the field apart at any given time, whilst the sensation that is Ludvig Aberg has the game that could really suit the course. He finished second at The Masters, an unbelievable achievement in his first ever Major, especially round Augusta National.

The 18th green at Royal Troon overlooking the South Ayrshire coast | Image Shot Scope

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler of course cannot be dismissed, with four wins from five starts thus far in 2024 and a second Green Jacket to his name, a maiden win on British soil is surely within his grasp.

With the quality of the field and multiple Major Champions making their way to Troon, could we see someone add to their Major tally or will someone claim their first Major title?

Before the golfing world descends on Troon we have the USPGA and US Open to look forward to at Valhalla Golf Club & Pinehurst No.2 respectively.

Will last year’s US PGA and US Open Champions’ Brooks Koepka and Wyndham Clark be able to bring that form over the pond?

Time will tell, but somehow we know the ‘Postage Stamp’ will deliver drama.


Related Posts

Free Golf e-books

Did you know that 84% of missed putts over five feet finish short?

Or, that your typical drive is nearly 30 yards shorter than your Sunday best drive? These are just two intriguing statistics thrown up by Shot Scope’s performance tracking data platform.

Download our free guides for golfers now!

FREE e-books to lower your score