The Open Preview

The 141st Open Championship returns to Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club in Lancashire for the first time since 2001 and we take a look at those in contention, Golfposer's competition, outfits we can expect to see and much more!

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It is the event on the golfing calendar that almost everyone looks forward to the most and the Open Championship 2012 begins early tomorrow morning with an incredibly strong field of golfers set for a tough four days of golf - bidding for the famous Claret Jug trophy which Darren Clarke won by three strokes last year. It is the first time since 2001 that the Lancashire Links course of Royal Lytham & St Annes is hosting the world's best golfers and the 7086 yard, par 70 course will provide the ultimate test of accuracy this weekend. Featuring nothing short of 206 bunkers and with the rough branded as 'unplayable in places' by Tiger Woods earlier this week, this famous golf course is relatively short but fraught with danger.

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Tiger himself this year returns to the Open Championship field having missed 2011 through injury and is the favourite amongst many to claim the beautiful Claret Jug trophy for the fourth time. This season, Woods currently sits first the FedEx Cup standings with three PGA tour wins - including that fantastic victory at the Memorial in June which prompted many to claim the Tiger of old had returned. That question still goes unanswered after a few surprise missed cuts in 2012, but you can quite simply never write off one of the most gifted golfers ever to play the game.

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Englishman Lee Westwood is another who many would love to see win his first major trophy - having come so close with five top 3 major finishes in the past four years. The Druh Belts ambassador currently sits at World Number Three and has had a solid season so far and we think Lee should be right in with a chance come this Sunday!

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Youthful Puma sensation Rickie Fowler has had a great year on the PGA tour so far, with five top 10 finishes including his maiden tour victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Rickie finished T14 in 2010 and T5 in 2011 at the Open and many fancy him to go one better this year and win his first major! One thing is for sure, Rickie will brighten up the course this week with his vibrant Puma Golf outfits - a preview of which can be found above!

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World Number One Luke Donald has one of the best short games in the field and earlier he told of how the late Seve Ballesteros would provide much inspiration for him this week, with Seve's spectacular short game the crucial factor in his first Open Championship win (and first major win) back in 1979 - at Royal Lytham & St Annes of all places. Is it written in the stars for Luke to win his first Claret Jug and first major title in the same manner this weekend, 33 years on?

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Luke himself wears the luxury performance range RLX by Ralph Lauren - who are also official patrons of the Open Championship 2012. RLX apparel is the ultimate in designer golf with technical fabrics and well designed shirts, however there are also some top quality pieces from Polo Golf created especially for the Open Championship! Available online are a range of limited editon The Open golf shirts, Ralph Lauren golf jackets and golf caps each donning an embroidered Claret Jug trophy, but you will have to be quick as sizes are running low on these popular pieces!

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Other players who have a great chance of victory this weekend include Oakley's Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer, who wears the very latest Hugo Boss Green Label collection. Zach Johnson and Francesco Molinari are another few in-form golfers to look out for this week and above is a selection of key groupings and their tee off times (to view the full list of tee off times, click here). The action kicks off at 6.19am tomorrow with HD television coverage on the BBC from 9.00am.

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Golfposer are once again running a fantastic competition online in which you have the chance to win £100 worth of vouchers simply by predicting your winner of the Open Championship 2012. Who do you fancy to take home the famous Claret Jug trophy come Sunday evening? Let us know for your chance to win!

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