Golf Monthly takes an alphabetical look at some of the storylines around this year's Open Championship
A is for Amateur. In the Open’s history, only three amateurs have won the tournament, between six different years. They are: John Ball (1890) Harold Hilton (1892, 1897) and Bobby Jones (1926, 1927, 1930). Since Jones’ last victory, Frank Stranahan had the best finishes as an amateur, placing in second in 1947 and 1953.
B is for golf writer Bernard Darwin, who commented about the nature of Royal Liverpool: “Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions”.
C is for Harry Colt, the course architect who redesigned Royal Liverpool in the early 20th century, creating the design that we know today.
D is for Irishman Paul Dunne. The 21-year-old is the first Irish amateur to qualify for the Open via a strokeplay qualifier in 27 years, and will look to follow in Rory McIlroy‘s footsteps by winning the Silver Medal at Royal Liverpool.
E is for Erik Compton, the US Open runner-up, who is making his Open debut. The Norwegian-American, who has had two heart transplants, caught significant attention from the golfing community during the US Open.
F is for Rickie Fowler. The flashy American seems to be playing the best golf of his career, and he will look to continue his major success after tying for second in the US Open.
G is for Gary Player, who won his first of nine majors, including three Opens, in 1959. Player would go on to play in a record 46 consecutive Open Championships.
H is for Harry Vardon, who won the Open a record six times (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914).
I is for Mikko Ilonen, who recently won the Irish Open after leading the tournament wire-to-wire.
J is for John Singleton, a resin factory worker, who has qualified for the Open at Royal Liverpool, a five minutes drive away from his home in Wallasey. His second-round 66 earned him one of the final qualifying spots.
K is for Martin Kaymer, who is looking for his second major championship of the year, after dominating the US Open.
L is for Lee Westwood, who is still looking for his first major championship, after faltering from leading through 54 holes last year at Muirfield. The eight-time Ryder Cup participant would love to get his first major win at Hoylake.
M is for Rory McIlroy, who, along with Tiger Woods, is a favorite to win at Royal Liverpool, despite a winless 2014 PGA Tour.
N is for Nick Faldo, the last Englishman to win the Open. He won a total of three times (1987, 1990, 1992).
O is for Old Tom Morris (Tom Morris, Sr.). Old Tom won four of the first eight Open Championships, between 1860 and 1867, before his son (Young Tom Morris) won four championships in a row, between 1868 and 1872 (there was no tournament in 1871).
P is for Phil Mickleson, winner of the Open 2013, who will look to become the 17th player to repeat as the Open champion.
Q is for the Open Qualifying Series (OQS), which replaced International Final Qualifying, consisting of 10 events within the six major tours. Notable qualifiers through this process include John Senden, George Coetzee, Edoardo Molinari and Danny Willett.
R is for the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, the site of the 2014 Open Championship.
S is for Adam Scott, who has suffered serious heartbreak in each of the last two Open Championships. In 2012 he bogeyed his final four holes to lose to Ernie Els by one stroke, and in 2013 he held the lead through the final twelve holes, only to bogey four holes in a row and eventually sit in third, four shots behind Phil Mickleson.
T is for Tom Watson, the five time winner of the Open, who recently received an extension to his playing exemption from the R&A for the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrew’s. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Watson’s first Open victory.
U is for the United States, which has produced 12 of the last 19 Open Championship winners.
V is for Queen Victoria. Her son, the Duke of Connaught, gave the then-called Liverpool Hunt Club its royal designation, changing the name to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
W is for Willie Park, Sr. who won the inagural Open Championship in 1860, held at Prestwick Golf Club. He would go on to win four total times, between 1860 and 1875.
X is for the X-Factor, held by Tiger Woods, winner of the 2006 Open at Royal Liverpool. Woods is making his first appearance in a major since 2013, and will be looking for some magic, in pursuit of his first major championship since 2008.
Y is for Yardage. Royal Liverpool is playing at 7,350 yards, which is 372 yards longer than the 1947 Open, the first time it was held at Hoylake.
Z is for Fuzzy Zoeller, who finished third in the 1994 Open Championship at Turnberry. He held a 54-hole lead, after a third round 64, in which he missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have tied the record for lowest single round in the Open.