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Rose Eyes Rare “Open” Double

142nd Open Championship - Round One - Getty Images
142nd Open Championship – Round One – Getty Images

GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — A month after winning the U.S. Open, Justin Rose is looking to accomplish something this week that only a handful of greats have done — winning the U.S. and British Opens in the same year.

Only six golfers have accomplished this in the century-plus history of major championship golf. The roster of that exclusive club includes Bobby Jones (twice; 1926 and 1930); Gene Sarazen (1932); Ben Hogan (1953); Lee Trevino (1971); Tom Watson (1982); and Tiger Woods (2000).

The British Open that starts Thursday is being held at Muirfield, the Scottish links course that is hosting its 16th Open championship. Woods is trying for his 15th major title — but first in five years. He trails Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors by four.

Rose’s win at the U.S. Open was the first by an Englishman at the tournament since Tony Jacklin in 1970, Another player to watch is Ernie Els, the defending British Open champion.

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, who use words like “fair” and “honest test,” which aren’t always heard on other links courses.

Luke Donald said of all the British Open venues, Muirfield “is probably one of the least quirky ones.” A rare bout of dry weather has invaded Scotland this year, causing Muirfield to play fast and firm.

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