Visionary Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle transports the Claret Jug
Mercedes-Benz incorporates e-mobility into the shuttle service
Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler is one of this year's Championship favourites
Brand Ambassador Haotong Li, PGA Tour professional and currently the most successful Chinese player, celebrates his début at The Open
Championship organiser, The R&A, again offers a host of digital possibilities for fans in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz
Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England – As the world's best players tee off this week for the start of The 146th Open, it will also simultaneously represent the starting point for pioneering activities of the organiser, The R&A, realised in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz. Even though The Open will be played for what is already the 146th time, making it an outstanding and unique tradition in the world of golf, the Championship surprises with many innovations.
Traditionally, the iconic trophy, the Claret Jug, is returned to the site of the competition by last year's Champion at the start of the Championship week. A world première for Henrik Stenson: He was the first to be chauffeured to The Open in the visionary Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle. That is where he presented the trophy to Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. The four Championship rounds to be played will decide who will have the privilege of calling the Claret Jug his own for the next 12 months. During The Open, the players will be shuttled in electric vehicles, among others. The spectators also have a chance to enjoy the official shuttle service. In cooperation with The R&A, each day one of the attending visitors will be drawn as the lucky winner of a shuttle trip in an S 500 e (combined fuel consumption: 2.8 l/100 km; combined CO₂ emissions: 65 g/km; power consumption combined: 13.5 kWh/100 km).
The Open brings together the best players in the world to England’s Royal Birkdale Golf Club, this year's Championship venue. Mercedes-Benz Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler figures he has a chance to win. "I am really looking forward to The Open. It is the only Major Championship on European soil and thus something very special for us players based on that alone. And the atmosphere with tens of thousands of fans does its part as well. I can hardly wait for it to start", says the PGA Tour pro excitedly. Haotong Li from China celebrates his début this year. Even though he didn't pick up golf until the age of eleven, he now, a mere ten years later, competes against the best in the world.
"The participation of these two young and ambitious players from the USA and China wonderfully reflects our global focus and our aspiration", explains Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "In addition, we are delighted with the visionary cooperation with our partner The R&A: e‑mobility and connectivity are two key future topics of our brand. By having our Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle pull up at The Open, we are providing a look ahead to the mobility of tomorrow".
“As one of the world’s foremost sporting events, we are always working hard to ensure that we are ahead of the curve with new innovations and technologies”, said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, The R&A’s Executive Director - Championships. “In light of the growing global focus on sustainability, we realise that it is essential for major sport events to also take this matter seriously and to use it as a platform for innovation. We are delighted that Mercedes-Benz has chosen to showcase these exciting new vehicle technologies at The Open and we are already discussing what else might be possible in the years ahead”.
The R&A is committed to continually advancing and developing the digital possibilities around The Open for the benefit of spectators and fans and is a pioneer in golf in this regard. A dedicated Wi-Fi network is available across the entire golf course and The Open App will provide direct access to live content and updates. An interactive course guide also allows fans to track their favourite players around Royal Birkdale providing live video streaming, live scoring and video highlights. The digital experience is further complemented by a wide range of social media activities, offering fans around the world the opportunity to follow the action and excitement.