Mark O'Meara is looking forward to returning to Royal Birkdale
The 60-year-old American won the Claret Jug at the Southport venue in 1998 – one of two majors he won.
And O’Meara is relishing the opportunity to return to the scene of his greatest triumph.
He said: “When you come back to a place where you have had some fond memories, and I have had quite a few at Royal Birkdale, it makes it even more special.
“Having The Open back at Royal Birkdale is going to be really cool. I always dreamed of winning The Open as a young man.
Mark O'Meara lifted the famous Claret Jug in 1998 at Royal Birkdale
“The chance to hoist the Claret Jug and be the Champion Golfer of the Year, all those things come into play when you come and play in this great championship.
“If I only had one major, this would have been the one that I would have wanted.”
O’Meara added: “I believe that golf was meant to be played links-style.
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“That‚ is the way it all started.
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“One minute you can be playing in benign conditions and the next very difficult conditions.
“But I always liked the creativity part of it, where you had to create shots.”