Open Championship: Preview, tee times, storylines, where to watch

Set your alarms, it’s time for the Open Championship once again, golf’s annual ritual of sleep deprivation and rainy links play. It’s going to be a gem once again, and we’ll be right here with you the whole way. Let’s get rolling with the big questions ...

Is it “Open Championship” or “British Open”?

Both! On the other side of the pond, they refer to this tournament as The Open or The Open Championship. Since we’ve got an Open of our own in America, many people call this particular tournament the British Open. Either works, though the Euros get testy if you use the B-word. Around here, we’re calling it The Open Championship. Why? Because that’s what they want. We’re not going to call you Steve if that’s not your name, Steve.

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What’s the story with the course?

The Open Championship returns to Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush for the first time in nearly 70 years. In that time, Northern Ireland suffered through a three-decade war and then 20 years of skeptical peace. (More on that here.) The course itself dates back to the 19th century, though with substantial improvements. It’s a windy, winding course, and the weather ought to be as much a factor as the slope of the greens. For more on the course, go here.

It's time. (Reuters)
It's time. (Reuters)

Who’s the favorite?

Native son Rory McIlroy, who grew up about an hour from the course and set the Portrush record at age 16 with a 61. (What were you doing at age 16?) Right behind him, odds-wise, is Golf Terminator Brooks Koepka, and further down in the mix, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, and other would-be challengers. Expect some unfamiliar names to top the leaderboard early — there are a ton of European players we don’t often see here — and a well-known one to survive the gauntlet. For a full rundown of odds, go here.

When does it start?

Soon! Middle of the night on the East Coast, middle of Wednesday evening on the West Coast. And then TV coverage runs for a good 14 hours after that each day. For all the tee times, go here. The TV coverage, all times Eastern:

Thursday: 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Golf Channel
Friday: 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Golf Channel)
Saturday: 5-7 a.m., Golf Channel; 7 a.m.-3 p.m., NBC
Sunday: 4-7 a.m., Golf Channel; 7 a.m.-2 p.m., NBC

How do I stay up?

We recommend some combination of coffee, Red Bull and toothpicks to hold your eyes open. It’s worth it.


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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