Royal Birkdale gets 2008 British Open

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Lancashire, England (Sports Network) - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews awarded the 2008 British Open to Royal Birkdale on Monday. The 137th British Open will be played July 17-20, 2008. "Royal Birkdale has endeared itself to all of the world's top golfers," said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of the R&A. "And we must remember that with his win there in 1961, Arnold Palmer is rightly credited with starting the renaissance of the Open. We are delighted to be returning in 2008."

Australian Peter Thomson captured the first British Open at Royal Birkdale in 1954. Palmer took the title seven years later and Thomson came back and won in 1965.

Lee Trevino won here in 1971, Johnny Miller in 1976 and five-time British Open winner Tom Watson hoisted one of his claret jugs here in 1983. Ian Baker-Finch captured the crown at Royal Birkdale in 1991 and Mark O'Meara collected his second major of 1998 at this venue.

"Almost 200,000 people watched Mark O'Meara winning in 1998 and we are delighted that the golfing public in Lancashire and the surrounding areas will again be given the opportunity of viewing 156 of the world's leading players in 2008," said David Hill, Director of Championships of the R&A.

Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland is the site for this year's third major championship. In 2005, the Old Course at St. Andrews will play host, followed by Royal Liverpool in 2006 and Carnoustie in 2007.

Last year, Ben Curtis shocked the golf world by winning the British Open at Royal St. George's Golf Club.

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