Money Matters - Simplified

British Open celebrates 150th anniversary

St. Andrews, Scotland -- Golf's oldest tournament celebrates its 150th anniversary beginning Thursday with the playing of the first round of the British Open.

This year's milestone event will be contested at the sport's ancestral home, the Old Course at St. Andrews, where golf has been played since the 1400s. The stories lines will include the latest chapter in the comeback attempt of Tiger Woods.

Woods won the British Open each of the last two times it was played at St. Andrews. He defeated Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els by eight shots in 2000 and downed Colin Montgomerie by five shots in 2005.

Three other players -- J.H. Taylor in 1895 and 1900, James Braid in 1905 and 1910 and Jack Nicklaus in 1970 and 1978 -- have won this tournament twice on the Old Course. Woods would be the first to do so three times.

Woods, however, has yet to win since he became enveloped in a scandal last autumn that wrecked his marriage.

He will play the first two rounds of the tournament in the company of Camilo Villegas and Justin Rose, who comes into the event as the hottest golfer in the world with two victories on the PGA Tour over the last two months.

The 156-player field is expected to play through generally foul weather during the opening round Thursday and periods of rain and wind are in the forecast for the entire week.

Heavy rains Wednesday wiped out the anticipated Champions Challenge event, in which a collection of former titleholders had been scheduled to play a four-hole exhibition tournament to commemorate the Open's 150th birthday.

The first British Open was played in Prestwick, Scotland, the year before the start of the American Civil War.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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