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The 151st Open: Hole-by-hole guide to Royal Liverpool and how weather could prove a key factor

The layout has changed since The Open was last held at Royal Liverpool in 2014, including the addition of a new par-three 17th hole; Watch The 151st Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf, with coverage beginning on Thursday at 6.30am

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Wayne Riley and Iona Stephen take a look at the Royal Liverpool course ahead of the 2023 Open Championship at Hoylake

How is the weather expected to impact The Open and what has changed at Royal Liverpool since 2014? We take a hole-by-hole look at this week's major venue.

First (Royal), 459 yards, par four: The tee shot has to be threaded between bunkers and the approach hit to a heavily contoured green which is 40 yards long and protected by a group of bunkers.

Second (Stand), 453 yards, par four: A new tee was built for the 2014 Open which added 18 yards to the length of the hole. An accurate tee shot is required to give the best approach to another heavily guarded green.

United States' Scottie Scheffler plays out of a bunker on the 2nd green during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, Tuesday, July 18, 2023. The Open starts Thursday, July 20. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Image: Scottie Scheffler playing out of a bunker by the second green at Royal Liverpool

Third (Course), 426 yards, par four: Usually a daunting opening hole for the members, with the clubhouse left and out-of-bounds all the way down the right-hand side of the fairway, which also comes into play on the second shot as
the hole takes a 90-degree turn to the right.

Fourth (Road), 367 yards, par four: The shortest par four on the course presents a good birdie opportunity. The out-of-bounds to the back and left of the green is unlikely to come into play for players attacking the pin with a short iron.

Fifth (Long), 520 yards, par five: Another good birdie chance on the only par five on the front nine. A tee shot to the corner of the dog-leg will allow players to go for the green in two, although three bunkers lie in wait to the right of the fairway.

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Speaking on the range at Royal Liverpool, Rory McIlroy suggests his focus has already transferred to preparing for The Open less than 24 hours after winning the Scottish Open

Sixth (New), 201 yards, par three: The first par three requires an accurate tee shot to a long and narrow green which slopes from back to front and is guarded by bunkers on both sides.

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Seventh (Telegraph), 481 yards, par four: A new tee for the 2014 Open added 27 yards. The best tee shot is down the right of the fairway, but that also brings heavy rough and heather into play. Par will be a welcome score here.

Eighth (Briars), 436 yards, par four: Picking the line for the blind tee shot will be crucial, with the fairway protected by gorse on the left and a bunker on the right. The green is surrounded by four bunkers but is a large target.

What to watch on Sky Sports this week

The 151st Open – July 20 to 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports Golf
Fourth Men’s Ashes Test – July 19 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Premier League Summer Series – from July 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Hungarian Grand Prix – July 21 to 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports F1
F1 Juniors: Hungarian GP – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Mix
World Matchplay Darts – July 17 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Women’s World Matchplay Darts – July 22 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action

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Ninth (Dowie), 218 yards, par three: A second difficult par three on the front nine, even though the bunker on the right of the green has been reduced in size. There is no bail out on the left of the green either, with a gully waiting to catch errant tee shots and leaving a treacherous chip.

Tenth (Far), 507 yards, par four: A par five for the members becomes a tough par four for the championship, with the cavernous bunker to the right of the green the place to avoid.

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11th (Punch Bowl), 392 yards, par four: The best approach is from the left side of the fairway to a green which has seen a bunker removed from the back but the ones at the front repositioned to encroach more on the putting surface.

12th (Dee), 449 yards, par four: The bunkers on the corner of the dog-leg are likely to see a lot of traffic, leaving a difficult approach to the raised green which slopes markedly from back to front.

13th (Alps), 194 yards, par three: The narrow green is set at an angle to the tee and requires an accurate tee shot, particularly to the back-left hole location. The only bunker is very deep and causes problems when the pin is on the front.

14th (Hilbre), 454 yards, par four: A similar hole to the 12th which requires the approach to be hit to a narrow green sitting at a slight angle to the fairway. Tiger Woods holed out with a four iron for an eagle in round two in 2006.

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Niall Horan joined Sky Sports in the Open Zone to discuss his golf game and how he organises his world tours to allow him to play as much golf as possible

15th (Field), 620 yards, par five: Previously the 16th hole, the 15th has been significantly lengthened since Rory McIlroy's win in 2014. Three bunkers on the left must be avoided off the tee, while the approach has to avoid another three bunkers left of the green.

16th (Lake), 461 yards, par four: Formerly the 17th, the 16th is a challenging long par four, particularly if played into the prevailing wind. Bunkers either side of the fairway frame the landing area and more sand beside the long and undulating green makes for a difficult approach.

17th (Little Eye), 136 yards, par three: A brand new hole which will likely divide opinion due to the deep bunkers surrounding a raised "infinity" green which offers stunning views across the estuary.

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The remodelled 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has caused a lot of discussion between players this week with Jordan Spieth suggesting it could cause carnage and Matt Fitzpatrick refusing to comment anything other than 'interesting' about the par 3

18th (Dun), 609 yards, par five: Out-of-bounds all the way down the right-hand side of the sharp dog-leg makes for a daunting tee shot. Bailing out to the left will leave a much longer approach to a green protected by five bunkers.

How much will the weather disrupt The Open?

Monday's practice round was briefly halted due to the threat of lightning, with heavy showers both that morning and the following day. The forecast is largely settled for Wednesday's final practice day and the opening two rounds, with only occasional light showers and winds gusting no more than 20 miles per hour.

The weather is set to worsen again over the weekend, with heavy rain expected on Saturday and further showers on Sunday, leaving players hoping that forecast changes over the coming days.

Watch The 151st Open throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the opening round begins on Thursday from 6.30am on Sky Sports Golf.

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