Facts and figures for the British Open golf championship

Facts and figures for the British Open, which starts Thursday in Southport, England:

Site: Royal Birkdale.

Length: 7,156 yards.

Par: 70.

Field: 156 players

Playoff (if necessary): 4 holes, aggregate score.

Prize money: $10,250,000.

Winner's share: $1,845,000.

Defending champion: Henrik Stenson.

Last year: In a duel that rates among the best in history, Henrik Stenson closed with a 63 to beat Phil Mickelson by three shots at Royal Troon. Stenson joined Johnny Miller as the only players to shoot 63 in the final round to win a major. He finished at 264 (20 under) to set the major championship scoring record. Stenson and Mickelson were so far ahead of everyone else that the next closest player to Mickelson was 11 shots back.

British Open champions at Royal Birkdale: Peter Thomson (1954, 1965), Arnold Palmer (1961), Lee Trevino (1971), Johnny Miller (1976), Tom Watson (1983), Ian Baker-Finch (1991), Mark O'Meara (1998), Padraig Harrington (2008).

Cashing in: The British Open is paying its prize money in American dollars instead of British pounds for the first time.

Key statistic: First-time winners have captures the last seven majors.

Noteworthy: Dustin Johnson has not played the weekend at a major since he tied for ninth last year at the British Open.

Quoteworthy: ''You get so excited for these tournaments. They're the biggest and best tournaments in the world. And ultimately my career is going to be defined by how I do in these tournaments.'' - Rory McIlroy.

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