Golf

The majesty of Muirfield

Published 1110 GMT (1910 HKT) July 17, 2013
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Harry Vardon still holds the record for the most British Open triumphs, securing six between 1896 and 1914. He is also credited with sparking an explosion of interest in the game in the United States after embarking on three playing tours in the early 20th century. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/file
Vardon, referred to as the "God of golf" by another multiple British Open winner, Peter Thompson, also invented the grip that 90 percent of golfers use today. He managed to reach the pinnacle of golf despite his faltering health, spending long spells in sanitariums until 1910 after being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1903. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/file
Vardon was born and raised in Jersey, a British outpost off the coast of Northern France, and was friends with Ted Ray (right), seven years his junior, who was also from the island and won two major championships, including the British Open, during his career. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/file
When Tom Watson went into a playoff with Stewart Cink at Turnberry in 2009 he was on the verge of pulling level with Vardon's haul of six titles. But Cink defeated the then 59-year-old Watson, and it appears unlikely the 2014 United States Ryder Cup captain will get another chance. Steve Powell/Getty Images/file
Australian Peter Thompson (L) can also boast five British Open titles, winning three times in a row during the 1950s. He says no-one will match his six titles. Hulton Archive/Getty Images/file
Vardon's first Open triumph was at Muirfield, the setting for this year's championship. South Africa's Ernie Els (red shirt) won the last time it was held at the course, in 2002, and he is defending champion after winning at Royal Lytham & St Annes in England. Harry How/Getty Images/file