History meets future at golf’s original championship in Northern Ireland
Stuttgart/Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland. Traditional since 1860 and always innovative at the same time: from 18 to 21 July, The 148th Open will be held in Royal Portrush. After 68 years, golf' s original championship returns to Northern Ireland. In addition to the historic sporting return, the meeting between the Mercedes-Benz W187 from 1951 and the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined power consumption: 20.8-19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)1 is an encounter of the history and the future of mobility. The brand bearing the three-pointed star and tournament organiser The R&A are also presenting a new format in the Players’ Arrival.
The defending champion (the Champion Golfer of the Year) traditionally returns the iconic Claret Jug and presents it to The R&A, the organiser of The Open. The official "Return of the Claret Jug" ceremony on the Monday before the major championship marks the beginning of the week and is a special moment for the sport and the defending champion. This year, it is Francesco Molinari who will return the trophy in an all-electric Mercedes Benz EQC. The trophy was presented to the Italian national as the winner of The Open in the Scottish town of Carnoustie in 2018.
"Golf and Mercedes-Benz have a lot in common. For example, lightness, dynamics and emotions as well as a long tradition", says Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The new EQC and the historic W187 demonstrate how fascinating mobility has evolved since the last time The Open was held in Northern Ireland 68 years ago".
1 Power consumption and range were determined on the basis of Regulation (EC) No. 692/2008. Power consumption and range depend on the vehicle configuration.
Another highlight, and a new addition to the programme, is the Players’ Arrival. Mercedes Benz and The R&A welcome the players in front of the clubhouse. The Players’ Arrival is a special moment on each tournament day and will be put into practice for the first time at this year's The Open in Royal Portrush.
The arrival and welcoming of the players at The Open – the Players' Arrival – is part of the TV world feed for the global TV networks. In addition, the event can be watched on the The Open social media channels.
"Mercedes-Benz is great supporter of The Open and has been contributing to the development of golf for many years,", says Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. "We are excited with the new Players’ Arrival format which will show the players arriving at the course and preparing for the upcoming round."
Mercedes-Benz provides a fleet of more than 100 vehicles as official cars for players, officials and selected guests of the only European major championship. In addition to the general mobility service, every Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador has a new GLE at his or her disposal during the tournament week, which with its qualities stands for #AllKindsOfStrength.
The four participating Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors also unite #AllKindsOfStrength, which they intend to prove at the last major golf championship of the season. Haotong Li from China finished in third place at his very first The Open in 2017. The second-place finishers of 2014 and 2008 – Rickie Fowler (USA) and Ian Poulter (Great Britain) – intend to improve their results further at the 148th edition. Spaniard Jon Rahm has already finished in the top four at two major championships this year and is also among the contenders for the Claret Jug.
Since 1860, The Open requires #AllKindsOfStrength to become Champion Golfer of the Year. The venue changes each year, but the challenge remains the same. Due to the invariably open terrain on the coast, changing wind and weather conditions have a major influence on the game and demand everything of the players, from creativity and self-confidence to the willingness to take risks.