Facts and figures for the British Open golf championship:

Event: 144th British Open

Dates: July 16-19

Site: St. Andrews (Old Course)

Length: 7,297 yards

Par: 36-36_72

Field: 156 (145 professionals, 9 amateurs)

Prize money: 6.3 million pounds ($9.8 million)

Winner's share: 1.15 million ($1.79 million)

Defending champion: Rory McIlroy

Last year: McIlroy went wire-to-wire at Royal Liverpool, building a six-shot lead going into the final round and closing with a 71 for a two-shot victory over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. He joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players with three majors at 25 or younger.

Last time at St. Andrews: Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa took advantage of the good end of the draw and beat the wind for a 67 in the second round that gave him a five-shot lead. He led over the final 48 holes, made only two bogeys on the weekend and closed with a seven-shot victory over Lee Westwood. Rory McIlroy tied a major championship record with a 63 in the opening round. In a gale the next day, he shot 80.

Open champions at St. Andrews: Tom Kidd (1873), Bob Martin (1876, 1885), Jamie Anderson (1879), Robert Ferguson (1882), Jack Burns (1888), Hugh Kirkaldy (1891), J.H. Taylor (1895, 1900), James Braid (1905, 1910), Jock Hutchison (1921), Bobby Jones (1927), Denny Shute (1933), Dick Burton (1939), Sam Snead (1946), Peter Thomson (1955), Bobby Locke (1957), Kel Nagle (1960), Tony Lema (1964), Jack Nicklaus (1970, 1978), Seve Ballesteros (1984), Nick Faldo (1990), John Daly (1995), Tiger Woods (2000, 2005), Louis Oosthuizen (2010).

Grand Slam: Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth is only the fourth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year. No one has ever won all four professional majors in the same year.

No Rors: Rory McIlroy withdrew with an ankle injury, the first time since Ben Hogan in 1954 that the defending champion was not in the field.

Farewell to Tom: Tom Watson is playing in his final British Open. He is the only player to win the Open on five courses — but never at St. Andrews.

Noteworthy: Rory McIlroy (26) and Jordan Spieth (21) have split the last four majors. The last time two players in their 20s shared four straight majors was Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen in 1921-22.

Quoteworthy: "Mostly St. Andrews is a mental and imagination test than any other. The others are great golf courses, but it's relatively obvious how to play. At St. Andrews, some of the places you aim the ball off the tee is completely bizarre." — Geoff Ogilvy.

Television (all times EDT): Thursday and Friday, 4 a.m. to 3 p.m., ESPN. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., ESPN. Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., ESPN.