The last major of the British Open season begins, McIlroy is the favorite

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The last major of the British Open season has begun, McIlroy is the favorite

Illustration photo – Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy during training for the British Open.

Hoylake (Great Britain) – The last golf major of the British Open season starts today at the Royal Liverpool course in Hoylake. The title is defended by Australian Cameron Smith, who triumphed last year in St. Andrews and won his first Big Four tournament title.

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The odds-on favorite for 151 is Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who finished second at the US Open a month ago and won the Scottish Open last week, according to the bookies. The number two player in the world ranking dominated the British Open in 2014 and in the same season added his fourth major title to his collection at the PGA Championship.

The oldest golf tournament in the world is being played for record premiums this year. The winner collects three million dollars (about 66 million crowns) from a subsidy of 16.5 million. Smith collected 2.5 million dollars last year.