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British Open gets underway today

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — A brief look at the 148th British Open, which started early Thursday morning:

Site: Royal Portrush.

Length: 7,344.

Par: 71.

Field: 156 players.

Playoff (if necessary): 3 holes, aggregate score.

Prize money: $10.75 million.

Winner’s share: $1,935,000.

Defending champion: Francesco Molinari.

Last time at Royal Portrush: Max Faulkner built a six-shot lead through 54 holes and held on with a 74 for a two-shot victory over Antonio Cerda in the only British Open not held in Scotland or England.

Tiger Tales: Tiger Woods has played only three tournaments (two majors) and 10 rounds since he won the Masters.

Key statistic: Americans have a chance to sweep the majors for the first time since 1982.

Noteworthy: The R&A says 237,500 tickets have been sold for the week, the second most in British Open history behind St. Andrews.

Quoteworthy: “No matter what happens this week, if I win or whoever else wins, having the Open back in this country is a massive thing for golf. And I think it will be a massive thing for the country.” — Rory McIlroy

Television (all times EDT): Thursday-Friday, 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 5-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 4-7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (NBC).

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