The Open Championship: Wikis


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The Open Championship
The Open Championship.svg
Tournament information
Location  United Kingdom
Established 1860
Course(s) Old Course at St Andrews 2010
Par 72 in 2010
Yardage 7,279 in 2010
Tour(s) PGA Tour
PGA European Tour
Japan Golf Tour
Format Stroke play
Purse £4,200,000
(approx. $6,850,000)
(approx. 4,850,000)
Month played July
Tournament record score
Aggregate 267 Greg Norman (1993)
To-par -19* Tiger Woods (2000)
*record for all majors
Current champion
United States Stewart Cink
Current tournament

The Open Championship, or simply The Open (often referred to as the British Open outside the UK), is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is the only "major" held outside the USA and is administered by the R&A, which is the governing body of golf outside the USA and Mexico. The Open is played on the weekend of the third Friday in July. It is the third major to take place each year, following The Masters and the U.S. Open, but before the PGA Championship.

The event takes place every year on one of nine historic links courses in Scotland or England (the event has been held once in Northern Ireland, but Royal Portrush is no longer on the rota, or "rotation"). In 2009, The Open will have a prize fund of £4.2 million (at the time of the announcement in July 2008, approximately 5.25 million or $8.3 million), with £750,000 going to the winner.[1] Historically, The Open's prize money was consistently the least of the four majors; from 2002 to 2008, it was the highest. Uniquely among the four Major championships, the Open features a four hole playoff for all golfers tied at the end of regulation, with the playoff continuing into sudden death holes if players remain tied after four holes.



The Open Championship was first played on 17 October, 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, Scotland. The inaugural tournament was restricted to professionals, and attracted a field of eight Scottish golfers,[2] who played three rounds of Prestwick's twelve-hole course in a single day. Willie Park Senior won with a score of 174, beating the favourite, Old Tom Morris, by two strokes. The following year the tournament was opened to amateurs; eight of them joined ten professionals in the field.

Prestwick Golf Club, the venue for the first open in 1860.
Willie Park, Snr. wearing the Championship Belt, the winner's prize at the Open from 1860 to 1870.

Originally, the trophy presented to the event's winner was the Champion's Belt, a red leather belt with a silver buckle. There was no prize money in the first three Opens. In 1863, a prize fund of £10 (then $50) was introduced, which was shared between the second- third- and fourth-placed professionals, with the Champion still just getting to keep the belt for a year. In 1864 Old Tom Morris won the first Champion's cash prize of £6. By 2004, the winner's cheque had increased one hundred and twenty thousandfold to £720,000, or perhaps two thousandfold after allowing for inflation. The Champions Belt was retired in 1870, when Young Tom Morris was allowed to keep it for winning the tournament three consecutive times. It was then replaced by the present trophy, The Golf Champion Trophy, better known by its popular name of The Claret Jug.

Prestwick Golf Club administered The Open from 1860 to 1870. In 1871, it agreed to organise it jointly with The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. In 1892 the event was doubled in length from 36 to 72 holes, that is four rounds of what was by then the standard complement of 18 holes. In the same year the prize fund reached £100. 1894 was the first year the Open was held outwith Scotland, at the Royal St George's Golf Club, in England. Because of an increasing number of entrants, a cut was introduced after two rounds in 1898. In 1920 full responsibility for The Open Championship was handed over to The Royal & Ancient Golf Club.

The early winners were all Scottish professionals, who in those days worked as greenkeepers, clubmakers, and caddies to supplement their modest winnings from championships and challenge matches. The Open has always been dominated by professionals, with only six victories by amateurs, all of which occurred between 1890 and 1930. The last of these was Bobby Jones's third Open and part of his celebrated Grand Slam. Jones was one of six Americans who won The Open between the First and Second World Wars, the first of whom had been Walter Hagen in 1922. These Americans and the French winner of the 1907 Open, Arnaud Massy, were the only winners from outside Scotland and England up to 1939.

The first post-World War II winner was the American Sam Snead, in 1946. In 1947, Fred Daly of Northern Ireland was victorious. While there have been many English and Scottish champions, Daly was the only winner from Ireland until the 2007 victory by the Republic's Pádraig Harrington. There has never been a Welsh champion. In the early postwar years The Open was dominated by golfers from the Commonwealth, with South African Bobby Locke and Australian Peter Thomson winning the Claret Jug in nine of the 11 championships from 1948 and 1958 between them. During this period, The Open often had a schedule conflict with the match-play PGA Championship, which meant that Ben Hogan, the best American golfer at this time, competed in The Open just once, in 1953 at Carnoustie, a tournament he won.

Another South African, Gary Player was Champion in 1959. This was at the beginning of the "Big Three" era in professional golf, the three players in question being Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Palmer first competed in 1960, when he came second to the little known Australian Kel Nagle, but he won the two following years. While he was far from being the first American to become Open Champion, he was the first that many Americans saw win the tournament on television, and his charismatic success is often credited with persuading leading American golfers to make The Open an integral part of their schedule, rather than an optional extra. The improvement of trans-Atlantic travel also increased American participation.

Nicklaus' victories came in 1966, 1970 and 1978. This tally of three wins is not very remarkable, and indeed he won all of the other three majors more often, but it greatly understates how prominent he was at the tournament throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He finished in the top five 16 times, which is tied most in Open history with John Henry Taylor and easily the most in the postwar era. This included seven second places. Nicklaus holds the records for most rounds under par (61) and most aggregates under par (14). At Turnberry in 1977 he was involved in one of the most celebrated contests in golf history, when his duel with Tom Watson went to the final shot before Watson emerged as the champion for the second time.

Watson won five Opens, more than anyone else has since the 1950s, but his final win in 1983 brought down the curtain on an era of U.S. domination. In the next 11 years there was only one American winner, with the others coming from Europe and the Commonwealth. The European winners of this era, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, who was the first Scottish winner in over half a century, and the Englishman Nick Faldo, were also leading lights among the group of players who began to get the better of the Americans in the Ryder Cup during this period.

In 1995, The Open became part of the PGA Tour's official schedule. John Daly's playoff win over Italian Costantino Rocca began another era of American domination. Tiger Woods has won three Championships to date, two at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005, and one at Hoylake in 2006. There was a dramatic moment at St Andrews in 2000, as the ageing Jack Nicklaus waved farewell to the crowds, while the young challenger to his crown (as the greatest golfer of all time) watched from a nearby tee; Nicklaus afterwards decided to play in the 2005 Open when the R&A announced St. Andrews as the venue, giving his final farewell to the fans at the Home of Golf. In 2002, all Open wins before 1995 were retroactively classified as PGA Tour wins. Recent years have been notable for the number of wins by previously obscure golfers, including Paul Lawrie's playoff win after the epic 72nd-hole collapse of Jean Van de Velde in 1999, Ben Curtis in 2003 and Todd Hamilton in 2004. In 2007 the Europeans finally broke an eight year drought in the majors when Pádraig Harrington of the Republic of Ireland defeated Sergio García by one stroke in a four-hole playoff. In 2008 at Royal Birkdale Harrington retained the Claret Jug with a final round of 69 to win the tournament by four shots from Ian Poulter, with a total of 283 (+3) after 72 holes. In 2009, 59-year-old Tom Watson turned in one of the most remarkable performances ever seen at The Open. Leading the tournament through 71 holes and needing just a par on the last hole to win, Watson bogeyed, setting up a four-hole playoff, which he would lose by six shots to Stewart Cink.


There are several medals and trophies that are, or have been, given out for various achievements during The Open Championship.[3]

  • Challenge Belt – awarded to the winner from 1860 until 1870 when Young Tom Morris won the belt outright.
  • The Golf Champion Trophy (commonly known as the Claret Jug) – replaced the Challenge Belt and has been awarded to the winner since 1873.
  • Gold medal – awarded to the winner. First given out in 1872 when the Claret Jug was not yet ready, but since awarded to all champions.
  • Silver medal – awarded since 1949 to the highest finishing amateur.
  • Bronze medal – awarded since 1972 to all other amateurs playing in the final round.

The Professional Golfers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland also mark the achievements of their own members in the Open.

  • Ryle Memorial Medal – awarded since 1901 to the winner if he is a PGA member.[4]
  • Braid Taylor Memorial Medal – awarded since 1966 to the highest finishing PGA member.[5]
  • Tooting Bec Cup – awarded since 1924 to the PGA member who records the lowest single round during the championship.[6]

Tour status

It has been an official event on the PGA Tour since 1995, which means that the prize money won in The Open by PGA Tour members is included on the official money list. In addition, all Open Championships before 1995 have been retroactively classified as PGA Tour wins, and the list of leading winners on the PGA Tour has been adjusted to reflect this. The European Tour has recognised The Open as an official event since its first official season in 1972 and it is also an official money event on the Japan Golf Tour.

Host courses

From 1860-70, The Open Championship was organised by and played at Prestwick Golf Club. Since it was revived in 1872 after a lapse of one year, it has always been played at a number of courses in rotation. Initially there were three courses in the rotation, namely Prestwick, St Andrews, and Musselburgh. In 1893 Royal St George's and Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake were invited to join the rotation. Since then a handful of further clubs have been added, and a few have been dropped. The common factor in the venues for The Open is that they have always been links courses. In more recent times the rotation has generally followed the pattern of being played in Scotland and England alternately. The general interruption to this pattern is the Old Course at St Andrews, which hosts the event every five years or so. There is, however, no strict rule and the host is appointed by the R&A around five years in advance. There is a map showing the locations of the venues here (there are thirteen dots for the fourteen courses; two of the courses are in the town of Sandwich). The Open is usually played in Scotland, North West England, or Kent in South East England. It has never been played in Wales, or in seven of the nine regions of England (all except the North West and South East), and it has only been played in Northern Ireland once.

The course rotation in the rota has been (for years ending in):

  • (0,5) - Scotland - Scotland - (Old Course at St Andrews, every fifth year)
  • (1,6) - England - England
  • (2,7) - Scotland - Scotland
  • (3,8) - England - England
  • (4,9) - Scotland - Scotland

Although the schedule for 2011 and 2012 does not follow this pattern. There are nine courses in the current rota, five in Scotland and four in England:

Courses in Scotland:

  • Old Course at St Andrews: In 1873 the "Home of Golf" became the second course to host the Open. Nowadays, it does so more often than any other course. Since 1990 it has been scheduled every fifth year. The 2010 Open will be held at St. Andrews.
  • Carnoustie Golf Links, Championship Course: The Royal Burgh of Carnoustie first hosted The Open in 1931, and it rejoined the rotation by hosting The Open in 1999 after an absence of 24 years and again in 2007.
  • Muirfield: Muirfield is a private course which was built for The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, one of the trio of clubs which ran The Open in the 1870s and 1880s. It first staged The Championship in 1892, just nine months after it had been built. Muirfield will host The Open in 2013.
  • The Turnberry Resort, Ailsa Course: A course on the southwest coast of Scotland which hosted The Open in 1977, 1986, 1994, and 2009.[7]
  • Royal Troon Golf Club, Old Course: This southwestern Scottish course has been in the rotation since 1923.

Courses in England:

  • Royal St George's Golf Club: This course is in the town of Sandwich in the county of Kent in southeast England. In 1894 it became the first Open venue outside Scotland. The Open will be held at Royal St George's in 2011.
  • Royal Birkdale Golf Club: This course in northwest England has been in the rotation since 1954. Royal Birkdale hosted The Open in 2008.
  • Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club: Also in northwest England, this course first hosted The Open in 1926, and entered the rotation in 1952. The 2012 Open will be held at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
  • Royal Liverpool Golf Club: The home of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, which is often referred to simply as "Hoylake", joined the rotation in 1897 and hosted ten Opens up to 1967. After a 39 year absence from the rotation, it hosted in 2006.

Courses which are no longer in the rotation:

  • Scotland - Prestwick Golf Club: The founder club was dropped from the rotation in 1925, by which time it had hosted twenty-four Opens.
  • Scotland - Musselburgh Links: Musselburgh is a public course which was used by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. When that club built Muirfield, Musselburgh dropped out of the rotation.
  • England - Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club: This course in the town of Deal in Kent hosted the Open in 1909 and 1920. Although situated in Deal, the course is very close to Royal St George's in Sandwich, on the current rota. In fact, the 11th tee at Royal Cinque Ports is closer to the clubhouse at Royal St George's than it is to the clubhouse of Royal Cinque Ports.
  • England - Prince's Golf Club: Prince's hosted its only Open in 1932. The course is in Sandwich, Kent, and is adjacent to Royal St George's on the current rota.
  • Northern Ireland - Royal Portrush Golf Club: The 1951 Open was staged at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, the only Open not played in Scotland or England.

Exemptions and qualifying events

The field for the Open is 156, and golfers may gain a place in three ways. Around two thirds of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions. The rest of the field is made up of players who were successful in "Local Qualifying" and those who came through "International Qualifying".

There are over thirty exemption categories. Among the more significant are:

  • The top 50 on the Official World Golf Rankings. This key sweep up category means that no member of the current elite of world golf will be excluded.
  • The top 30 in the previous season's PGA Tour money list and European Tour Race to Dubai (which replaced the Order of Merit starting in 2009). Most but not all of these players will also be in the World top 50.
  • All previous Open Champions who will be age 60 or under on the final day of the tournament.
  • All players who have won one of the other three majors in the previous five years.
  • The top 10 from the previous year's Open Championship.

Among other things, the additional exemption categories ensure that the six largest regular (i.e., under-50) men's tours are represented,[8] and that there are some amateur competitors. Full details of all the exemption categories for the 2009 Open can be found here. Effective with the 2010 Open, The R&A added a new exemption category in direct response to the high finishes of Greg Norman, then 53, in 2008 (tied for third) and Tom Watson, at the time nearly 60, in 2009 (lost a playoff). A past Open champion who finishes in the top 10, including ties, will be exempt for the following five years. This new exemption will not currently affect Norman, who will still be under 60 when it expires, but will allow Watson to play in The Open through 2014 if he so chooses.[9]

Local Qualifying is the traditional way for non-exempt players to win a place at The Open. It comprises sixteen 18-hole "Regional Qualifying" competitions around Britain and Ireland a week and a half before the event,[1] with successful competitors moving on to the four 36-hole "Local Final Qualifying" tournaments a few days later.[2] There are now twelve places available through Local Qualifying, though there used to be far more.

Local Qualifying is open to players from all over the world, and it used to attract some big names. In order to make it easier for professionals from outside Britain and Ireland to compete for a place, the R&A introduced International Qualifying in 2004. This comprises five 36-hole qualifying events, one each in Africa, Australasia, Asia, America and Europe. Only players who have a rating in the Official World Golf Rankings may enter, which is a more stringent standard than for Local Qualifying. Thirty-six places are available in International Qualifying. Eligible players may choose whether to enter local qualifying or international qualifying, but they may not enter both. For full details on qualification see here.

Tournament name

In Britain, the tournament is best known by its official title, The Open Championship. The tournament's website[10] uses only this name, while UK media generally refer to the Open (with "the" in lower case).[11][12]

Outside the UK, the tournament is generally called the "British Open", in part to distinguish the tournament from another of the four majors that has an 'open' format, the U.S. Open, but mainly because other nations with similar 'open' format golf events refer to their own nation's open event as "the open." The PGA Tour refers to the tournament as the British Open,[13] as do many media outlets in the United States, such as SportsTicker and the Associated Press.[14][15]


  • Oldest winner: Old Tom Morris (46 years, 99 days), 1867.
  • Youngest winner: Young Tom Morris (17 years, 181 days), 1868.[16]
  • Most victories: 6, Harry Vardon (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914).
  • Lowest absolute 72-hole score: 267, Greg Norman (66-68-69-64), 1993.
  • Lowest 72-hole score in relation to par: -19, Tiger Woods (67-66-67-69, 269), 2000 (a record for all major championships).
    • Norman's 1993 score was -13. Par at Royal St George's, the site of the 1993 Open, was 70, as opposed to the par 72 of The Old Course at St Andrews, the 2000 site. In fact, the to-par record broken by Woods was not held by Norman, but by Nick Faldo, who shot -18 at The Old Course in 1990.
  • Greatest victory margin: 13 strokes, Old Tom Morris, 1862. This remained a record for all majors until 2000, when Woods won the U.S. Open by 15 strokes at Pebble Beach. However, Old Tom's 13-stroke margin was achieved over just 36 holes.
  • Lowest 18-hole score: 63 – Mark Hayes, 2nd round, 1977; Isao Aoki, 3rd, 1980; Greg Norman, 2nd, 1986; Paul Broadhurst, 3rd, 1990; Jodie Mudd, 4th, 1991; Nick Faldo, 2nd, 1993; Payne Stewart, 4th, 1993.

There is an extensive records section on the official site here.


Year Venue Champion Country Winning Score 1st Prize
2010 St Andrews
2009 Turnberry Stewart Cink  United States 278 (-2)PO £ 750 000
2008 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Pádraig Harrington (2)  Ireland 283 (+3) £ 750 000
2007 Carnoustie Golf Links Pádraig Harrington  Ireland 277 (–7)PO £ 750 000
2006 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Tiger Woods (3)  United States 270 (–18) £ 720 000
2005 St Andrews Tiger Woods (2)  United States 274 (–14) £ 720 000
2004 Royal Troon Golf Club Todd Hamilton  United States 274 (–10)PO £ 720 000
2003 Royal St George's Golf Club Ben Curtis  United States 283 (–1) £ 700 000
2002 Muirfield Ernie Els  South Africa 278 (–6)PO £ 700 000
2001 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club David Duval  United States 274 (–10) £ 600 000
2000 St Andrews Tiger Woods  United States 269 (–19) £ 500 000
1999 Carnoustie Golf Links Paul Lawrie  Scotland 290 (+6)PO £ 350 000
1998 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Mark O'Meara  United States 280 (E)PO £ 300 000
1997 Royal Troon Golf Club Justin Leonard  United States 272 (–12) £ 250 000
1996 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Tom Lehman  United States 271 (–13) £ 200 000
1995 St Andrews John Daly  United States 282 (–6)PO £ 125 000
1994 Turnberry Nick Price  Zimbabwe 268 (–12) £ 110 000
1993 Royal St George's Golf Club Greg Norman (2)  Australia 267 (–13) £ 100 000
1992 Muirfield Nick Faldo (3)  England 272 (–12) £ 95 000
1991 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Ian Baker-Finch  Australia 272 (–8) £ 90 000
1990 St Andrews Nick Faldo (2)  England 270 (–18) £ 85 000
1989 Royal Troon Golf Club Mark Calcavecchia  United States 275 (–13)PO £ 80 000
1988 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Seve Ballesteros (3)  Spain 273 (–11) £ 80 000
1987 Muirfield Nick Faldo  England 279 (–5) £ 75 000
1986 Turnberry Greg Norman  Australia 280 (E) £ 70 000
1985 Royal St George's Golf Club Sandy Lyle  Scotland 282 (+2) £ 65 000
1984 St Andrews Seve Ballesteros (2)  Spain 276 (–12) £ 55 000
1983 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Tom Watson (5)  United States 275 (–9) £ 40 000
1982 Royal Troon Golf Club Tom Watson (4)  United States 284 (–4) £ 32 000
1981 Royal St George's Golf Club Bill Rogers  United States 276 (–4) £ 25 000
1980 Muirfield Tom Watson (3)  United States 271 (–13) £ 25 000
1979 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Seve Ballesteros  Spain 283 (–1) £ 15 000
1978 St Andrews Jack Nicklaus (3)  United States 281 (–7) £ 12 500
1977 Turnberry Tom Watson (2)  United States 268 (–12) £ 10 000
1976 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Johnny Miller  United States 279 (–9) £ 7 500
1975 Carnoustie Golf Links Tom Watson  United States 279 (–5)PO £ 7 500
1974 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Gary Player (3)  South Africa 282 (–2) £ 5 500
1973 Royal Troon Golf Club Tom Weiskopf  United States 276 (–12) £ 5 500
1972 Muirfield Lee Trevino (2)  United States 278 (–6) £ 5 500
1971 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Lee Trevino  United States 278 (–10) £ 5 500
1970 St Andrews Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 283 (–5)PO £ 5 250
1969 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Tony Jacklin  England 280 (–4) £ 4 250
1968 Carnoustie Golf Links Gary Player (2)  South Africa 289 (+1) £ 3 000
1967 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 278 (–10) £ 2 100
1966 Muirfield Jack Nicklaus  United States 282 (+2) £ 2 100
1965 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Peter Thomson (5)  Australia 285 (–3) £ 1 750
1964 St Andrews Tony Lema  United States 279 (–9) £ 1 500
1963 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Bob Charles  New Zealand 277 (–7)PO £ 1 500
1962 Royal Troon Golf Club Arnold Palmer (2)  United States 276 (–12) £ 1 400
1961 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Arnold Palmer  United States 284 (–4) £ 1 400
1960 St Andrews Kel Nagle  Australia 278 (–10) £ 1 250
1959 Muirfield Gary Player  South Africa 284 (E) £ 1 000
1958 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Peter Thomson (4)  Australia 274 (–10)PO £ 1 000
1957 St Andrews Bobby Locke (4)  South Africa 279 (–9) £ 1 000
1956 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Peter Thomson (3)  Australia 286 (–2) £ 1 000
1955 St Andrews Peter Thomson (2)  Australia 281 (–7) £ 1 000
1954 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Peter Thomson  Australia 283 (–5) £750
1953 Carnoustie Golf Links Ben Hogan  United States 282 (–6) £500
1952 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Bobby Locke (3)  South Africa 287 (–1) £300
1951 Royal Portrush Golf Club Max Faulkner  England 285 (–3) £300
1950 Royal Troon Golf Club Bobby Locke (2)  South Africa 279 (–9) £300
1949 Royal St George's Golf Club Bobby Locke  South Africa 283 (–5) £300
1948 Muirfield Henry Cotton (3)  England 288 (E) £150
1947 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Fred Daly  Northern Ireland 293 (+5) £150
1946 St Andrews Sam Snead  United States 290 (+2) £150
1940–1945: No Championships because of World War II
1939 St Andrews Richard Burton  England 290 £100
1938 Royal St George's Golf Club Reg Whitcombe  England 295 £100
1937 Carnoustie Golf Links Henry Cotton (2)  England 290 £100
1936 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Alf Padgham  England 287 £100
1935 Muirfield Alf Perry  England 283 £100
1934 Royal St George's Golf Club Henry Cotton  England 283 £100
1933 St Andrews Denny Shute  United States 292PO £100
1932 Prince's Golf Club Gene Sarazen  United States 283 £100
1931 Carnoustie Golf Links Tommy Armour  United States 296 £100
1930 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Bobby Jones (Am) (3)  United States 291 Am – £100
1929 Muirfield Walter Hagen (4)  United States 292 £100
1928 Royal St George's Golf Club Walter Hagen (3)  United States 292 £100
1927 St Andrews Bobby Jones (Am) (2)  United States 285 Am - £100
1926 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Bobby Jones (Am)  United States 291 Am – £75
1925 Prestwick Golf Club Jim Barnes  United States 300 £75
1924 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Walter Hagen (2)  United States 301 £75
1923 Royal Troon Golf Club Arthur Havers  England 295 £75
1922 Royal St George's Golf Club Walter Hagen  United States 300 £75
1921 St Andrews Jock Hutchison  United States 296PO £75
1920 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club George Duncan  Scotland 303 £75
1915–1919: No Championships because of World War I
1914 Prestwick Golf Club Harry Vardon (6)  England 306 £50
1913 Royal Liverpool Golf Club John Henry Taylor (5)  England 304 £50
1912 Muirfield Ted Ray  England 295 £50
1911 Royal St George's Golf Club Harry Vardon (5)  England 303PO £50
1910 St Andrews James Braid (5)  Scotland 299 £50
1909 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club John Henry Taylor (4)  England 291 £30
1908 Prestwick Golf Club James Braid (4)  Scotland 291 £30
1907 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Arnaud Massy  France 312 £30
1906 Muirfield James Braid (3)  Scotland 300 £30
1905 St Andrews James Braid (2)  Scotland 318 £30
1904 Royal St George's Golf Club Jack White  Scotland 296 £30
1903 Prestwick Golf Club Harry Vardon (4)  England 300 £30
1902 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Sandy Herd  Scotland 307 £30
1901 Muirfield James Braid  Scotland 309 £30
1900 St. Andrews John Henry Taylor (3)  England 309 £30
1899 Royal St George's Golf Club Harry Vardon (3)  England 310 £30
1898 Prestwick Golf Club Harry Vardon (2)  England 307 £30
1897 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Harold Hilton (Am) (2)  England 314 Am – £30
1896 Muirfield Harry Vardon  England 316 PO £30
1895 St Andrews John Henry Taylor (2)  England 332 £30
1894 Royal St George's Golf Club John Henry Taylor  England 326 £30
1893 Prestwick Golf Club William Auchterlonie  Scotland 322 £30
1892 Muirfield Harold Hilton (Am)  England 305 (Am)
1891 St Andrews Hugh Kirkaldy  Scotland 166 £10
1890 Prestwick Golf Club John Ball (Am)  England 164 Am – £8
1889 Musselburgh Links Willie Park, Jnr (2)  Scotland 155PO £8
1888 St Andrews Jack Burns  Scotland 171 £10
1887 Prestwick Golf Club Willie Park, Jnr  Scotland 161 £10
1886 Musselburgh Links David Brown  Scotland 157 £10
1885 St Andrews Bob Martin (2)  Scotland 171 £10
1884 Prestwick Golf Club Jack Simpson  Scotland 160 £10
1883 Musselburgh Links Willie Fernie  Scotland 159PO £10
1882 St Andrews Bob Ferguson (3)  Scotland 171 £10
1881 Prestwick Golf Club Bob Ferguson (2)  Scotland 170 £10
1880 Musselburgh Links Bob Ferguson  Scotland 162 £10
1879 St Andrews Jamie Anderson (3)  Scotland 169 £10
1878 Prestwick Golf Club Jamie Anderson (2)  Scotland 157 £10
1877 Musselburgh Links Jamie Anderson  Scotland 160 £10
1876 St Andrews Bob Martin  Scotland 176 £10
1875 Prestwick Golf Club Willie Park, Snr (4)  Scotland 166 £6
1874 Musselburgh Links Mungo Park  Scotland 159 £6
1873 St Andrews Tom Kidd  Scotland 179 £6
1872 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Jnr (4)  Scotland 166 £6
1871 No Championship
1870 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Jnr (3)  Scotland 149 £6
1869 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Jnr (2)  Scotland 154 £6
1868 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Jnr  Scotland 157 £6
1867 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Snr (4)  Scotland 170 £6
1866 Prestwick Golf Club Willie Park, Snr (3)  Scotland 169 £6
1865 Prestwick Golf Club Andrew Strath  Scotland 162 £6
1864 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Snr (3)  Scotland 167 £6
1863 Prestwick Golf Club Willie Park, Snr (2)  Scotland 168 -
1862 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Snr (2)  Scotland 163 -
1861 Prestwick Golf Club Tom Morris, Snr  Scotland 163 -
1860 Prestwick Golf Club Willie Park, Snr  Scotland 174 -

National summary

Rank Nation Wins Winners
T1  Scotland 42 22
 United States 42 27
3  England 27 14
4  Australia 9 4
5  South Africa 8 3
6  Spain 3 1
7  Ireland 2 1
T8  Argentina 1 1
 France 1 1
 New Zealand 1 1
 Northern Ireland 1 1
 Zimbabwe 1 1

Multiple winners

Twenty-six players have won more than one Open Championship, to 2009 inclusive:

Back-to-back winners

Future sites

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Prize money for Open Champion remains at £750,000". The R&A. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  2. ^ "The Open Championship - More Scottish than British". PGA Tour official website. Retrieved 2008-12-05. "When the very first Open Championship was held in 1860, it was an entirely Scottish affair." 
  3. ^ "Claret Jug". Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  4. ^ "Ryle Memorial Medal". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Braid Taylor Memorial Medal". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  6. ^ "Tooting Bec Cup". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  7. ^ Turnberry to host the 2009 Open
  8. ^ Before 2009, these tours—specifically the U.S. PGA, European, Japan, Asian, Australasia, and Sunshine Tours—were the six full members of the trade body of the main professional men's tours, the International Federation of PGA Tours. In 2009, the Federation expanded to include 11 new members, including all six of the world's major women's tours.
  9. ^ Harig, Bob (2009-11-16). "Exemption applies to past Open champs". Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  10. ^ "The Open Championship". 
  11. ^ "Birkdale 'will provide Open test'". BBC Sport. 29 April 2008. 
  12. ^ "The top ten best shots at the Open". The Times. 20 July 2007. 
  13. ^ "British Open Tournament". 
  14. ^ Malley, Frank (2006-07-24). "Woods gives blueprint for success at British Open". SportsTicker. 
  15. ^ Newberry, Paul (2006-07-24). "Through the tears, Woods hoists the claret jug for the second year in a row". Associated Press. 
  16. ^ Some sources still give 17 years, 5 months and 8 days (or 17 years, 161 days), but his birth certificate was discovered in 2006. See Notes: Young Tom Morris gets 20 days older,, 1 August 2006.

External links

Simple English

The Open Championship - often known as the British Open outside the United Kingdom and Ireland - is the oldest of the four major championships in men's golf. The event is hosted annually by one of several prestigious golf clubs in the United Kingdom and is administered by The R&A regardless of its location. In 2008 it takes place at Royal Birkdale.


YearVenueChampionCountryWinning Score1st Prize
2008Royal Birkdale Golf ClubPádraig Harrington (2) 283 (+3)£ 750 000
2007Carnoustie Golf Links Pádraig Harrington277 (-7)PO£ 750 000
2006Royal Liverpool Golf ClubTiger Woods (3) 270 (-18)£ 720 000
2005St AndrewsTiger Woods (2) 274 (-14)£ 720 000
2004Royal Troon Golf ClubTodd Hamilton274 (-10)PO£ 720 000
2003Royal St George's Golf ClubBen Curtis283 (-1)£ 700 000
2002MuirfieldErnie Els278 (-6)PO£ 700 000
2001Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubDavid Duval274 (-10)£ 600 000
2000St AndrewsTiger Woods269 (-19)£ 500 000
1999Carnoustie Golf LinksPaul Lawrie290 (+6)PO£ 350 000
1998Royal Birkdale Golf ClubMark O'Meara280 (E)PO£ 300 000
1997Royal Troon Golf ClubJustin Leonard272 (-12)£ 250 000
1996Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubTom Lehman271 (-13)£ 200 000
1995St AndrewsJohn Daly282 (-6)PO£ 125 000
1994TurnberryNick PriceTemplate:ZWE268 (-12)£ 110 000
1993Royal St George's Golf ClubGreg Norman (2)267 (-13)£ 100 000
1992MuirfieldNick Faldo (3) 272 (-12)£ 95 000
1991Royal Birkdale Golf ClubIan Baker-Finch272 (-8)£ 90 000
1990St AndrewsNick Faldo (2) 270 (-18)£ 85 000
1989Royal Troon Golf ClubMark Calcavecchia275 (-13)PO£ 80 000
1988Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubSeve Ballesteros (3) 273 (-11)£ 80 000
1987MuirfieldNick Faldo279 (-5)£ 75 000
1986TurnberryGreg Norman280 (E)£ 70 000
1985Royal St George's Golf ClubSandy Lyle282 (+2)£ 65 000
1984St AndrewsSeve Ballesteros (2)276 (-12)£ 55 000
1983Royal Birkdale Golf ClubTom Watson (5) 275 (-9)£ 40 000
1982Royal Troon Golf ClubTom Watson (4) 284 (-4)£ 32 000
1981Royal St George's Golf ClubBill Rogers276 (-4)£ 25 000
1980MuirfieldTom Watson (3) 271 (-13)£ 25 000
1979Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubSeve Ballesteros283 (-1)£ 15 000
1978St AndrewsJack Nicklaus (3)281 (-7)£ 12 500
1977TurnberryTom Watson (2)268 (-12)£ 10 000
1976Royal Birkdale Golf ClubJohnny Miller279 (-9)£ 7 500
1975Carnoustie Golf LinksTom Watson279 (-5)PO£ 7 500
1974Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubGary Player (3)282 (-2)£ 5 500
1973Royal Troon Golf ClubTom Weiskopf276 (-12)£ 5 500
1972MuirfieldLee Trevino (2)278 (-6)£ 5 500
1971Royal Birkdale Golf ClubLee Trevino278 (-10)£ 5 500
1970St AndrewsJack Nicklaus (2)283 (-5)PO£ 5 250
1969Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubTony Jacklin280 (-4)£ 4 250
1968Carnoustie Golf LinksGary Player (2)289 (+1)£ 3 000
1967Royal Liverpool Golf ClubRoberto DeVicenzo278 (-10)£ 2 100
1966MuirfieldJack Nicklaus282 (+2)£ 2 100
1965Royal Birkdale Golf ClubPeter Thomson (5)285 (-3)£ 1 750
1964St AndrewsTony Lema279 (-9)£ 1 500
1963Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubBob Charles277 (-7)PO£ 1 500
1962Royal Troon Golf ClubArnold Palmer (2)276 (-12)£ 1 400
1961Royal Birkdale Golf ClubArnold Palmer284 (-4)£ 1 400
1960St AndrewsKel Nagle278 (-10)£ 1 250
1959MuirfieldGary Player284 (E)£ 1 000
1958Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubPeter Thomson (4)274 (-10)PO£ 1 000
1957St AndrewsBobby Locke (4)279 (-9)£ 1 000
1956Royal Liverpool Golf ClubPeter Thomson (3)286 (-2)£ 1 000
1955St AndrewsPeter Thomson (2)281 (-7)£ 1 000
1954Royal Birkdale Golf ClubPeter Thomson283 (-5)£750
1953Carnoustie Golf LinksBen Hogan282 (-6)£500
1952Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubBobby Locke (3)287 (-1)£300
1951Royal Portrush Golf ClubMax Faulkner285 (-3)£300
1950Royal Troon Golf ClubBobby Locke (2)279 (-9)£300
1949Royal St George's Golf ClubBobby Locke283 (-5)£300
1948MuirfieldHenry Cotton (3)288 (E)£150
1947Royal Liverpool Golf ClubFred Daly293 (+5)£150
1946St AndrewsSam Snead290 (+2)£150
1940-1945: No Championships due to World War II
1939St AndrewsRichard Burton290£100
1938Royal St George's Golf ClubReg Whitcombe295£100
1937Carnoustie Golf LinksHenry Cotton (2)290£100
1936Royal Liverpool Golf ClubAlf Padgham287£100
1935MuirfieldAlf Perry283£100
1934Royal St George's Golf ClubHenry Cotton283£100
1933St AndrewsDenny Shute292PO£100
1932Prince's Golf ClubGene Sarazen283£100
1931Carnoustie Golf LinksTommy Armour (nat)296£100
1930Royal Liverpool Golf ClubBobby Jones (Am) (3)291Am - £100
1929MuirfieldWalter Hagen (4)292£100
1928Royal St George's Golf ClubWalter Hagen (3)292£100
1927St AndrewsBobby Jones (Am) (2)285Am - £100
1926Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf ClubBobby Jones (Am)291Am - £75
1925Prestwick Golf ClubJim Barnes (nat)300£75
1924Royal Liverpool Golf ClubWalter Hagen (2)301£75
1923Royal Troon Golf ClubArthur Havers295£75
1922Royal St George's Golf ClubWalter Hagen300£75
1921St AndrewsJock Hutchison (nat)296PO£75
1920Royal Cinque Ports Golf ClubGeorge Duncan303£75
1915-1919: No Championships due to World War I
1914Prestwick Golf ClubHarry Vardon (6) Jersey306£50
1913Royal Liverpool Golf ClubJohn Henry Taylor (5)304£50
1912MuirfieldTed Ray Jersey295£50
1911Royal St George's Golf ClubHarry Vardon (5) Jersey303PO£50
1910St AndrewsJames Braid (5)299£50
1909Royal Cinque Ports Golf ClubJohn Henry Taylor (4)291£30
1908Prestwick Golf ClubJames Braid (4)291£30
1907Royal Liverpool Golf ClubArnaud Massy312£30
1906MuirfieldJames Braid (3)300£30
1905St AndrewsJames Braid (2)318£30
1904Royal St George's Golf ClubJack White296£30
1903Prestwick Golf ClubHarry Vardon (4) Jersey300£30
1902Royal Liverpool Golf ClubSandy Herd307£30
1901MuirfieldJames Braid309£30
1900St. AndrewsJohn Henry Taylor (3)309£30
1899Royal St George's Golf ClubHarry Vardon (3) Jersey310£30
1898Prestwick Golf ClubHarry Vardon (2) Jersey307£30
1897Royal Liverpool Golf ClubHarold Hilton (Am) (2)314Am - £30
1896MuirfieldHarry Vardon Jersey316 PO£30
1895St AndrewsJohn Henry Taylor (2)332£30
1894Royal St George's Golf ClubJohn Henry Taylor326£30
1893Prestwick Golf ClubWilliam Auchterlonie322£30
1892MuirfieldHarold Hilton (Am)305(Am)
1891St AndrewsHugh Kirkaldy166£10
1890Prestwick Golf ClubJohn Ball (Am)164Am - £8
1889Musselburgh LinksWillie Park, Jnr (2)155PO£8
1888St AndrewsJack Burns171£10
1887Prestwick Golf ClubWillie Park, Jnr161£10
1886Musselburgh LinksDavid Brown157£10
1885St AndrewsBob Martin (2)171£10
1884Prestwick Golf ClubJack Simpson160£10
1883Musselburgh LinksWillie Fernie159PO£10
1882St AndrewsBob Ferguson (3)171£10
1881Prestwick Golf ClubBob Ferguson (2)170£10
1880Musselburgh LinksBob Ferguson162£10
1879St AndrewsJamie Anderson (3)169£10
1878Prestwick Golf ClubJamie Anderson (2)157£10
1877Musselburgh LinksJamie Anderson160£10
1876St AndrewsBob Martin176£10
1875Prestwick Golf ClubWillie Park, Snr (4)166£6
1874Musselburgh LinksMungo Park159£6
1873St AndrewsTom Kidd179£6
1872Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Jnr (4)166£6
1871No Championship
1870Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Jnr (3)149£6
1869Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Jnr (2)154£6
1868Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Jnr157£6
1867Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Snr (4)170£6
1866Prestwick Golf ClubWillie Park, Snr (3)169£6
1865Prestwick Golf ClubAndrew Strath162£6
1864Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Snr (3)167£6
1863Prestwick Golf ClubWillie Park, Snr (2)168-
1862Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Snr (2)163-
1861Prestwick Golf ClubTom Morris, Snr163-
1860Prestwick Golf ClubWillie Park, Snr174-

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