London - Facts and figures for the British Open, which starts Thursday in Southport, England:
Site: Royal Birkdale
Length: 7 156 yards
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