The Open Championship

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The Open Championship
Open Championship logo 2014.png
Tournament information
Location United Kingdom
Established 1860, 154 years ago
Course(s) 2014:
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Merseyside, England
Par 72 in 2014
Length 7,218 yd (6,600 m) in 2014
Organized by The R&A
Tour(s) European Tour
PGA Tour
Japan Golf Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund £5.4 million
6.5 million   (est.)
$9.2 million   (est.)
Month played July
Tournament record score
Aggregate 267 Greg Norman (1993)
To par −19 Tiger Woods (2000)
Current champion
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
2014 Open Championship

The Open Championship, or simply The Open (often referred to as the British Open), is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is administered by The R&A and is the only major held outside the United States. It is currently the third major of the calendar year, following The Masters and the U.S. Open, and preceding the PGA Championship. The current champion is Rory McIlroy, who won the 143rd Open in 2014. The 2015 Open will take place on the Old Course at St Andrews from 16–19 July.


The Open was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The inaugural tournament was restricted to professionals and attracted a field of eight golfers who played three rounds of Prestwick's twelve-hole course in a single day. Willie Park, Sr. won with a score of 174, beating 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, site of the first Open Championship in 1860.
Willie Park, Sr. wearing the Challenge Belt, the winner's prize at The Open from 1860 to 1870.

Originally, the trophy presented to the event's winner was the Challenge Belt, a red leather belt with a silver buckle. The Challenge Belt was retired in 1870, when Young Tom Morris was allowed to keep it for winning the tournament three consecutive times. Because no trophy was available, the tournament was cancelled in 1871. In 1872, after Young Tom Morris won again for a fourth time in a row, he was awarded a medal. The present trophy, The Golf Champion Trophy, better known by its popular name of the Claret Jug, was then created.

Prestwick administered The Open from 1860 to 1870. In 1871, it agreed to organise it jointly with The Royal and 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, four rounds of what was by then the standard complement of 18 holes. The 1894 Open was the first held outside 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' 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, Northern Ireland's Fred Daly was victorious. While there have been many English and Scottish champions, Daly was the only winner from Ireland until the 2007 victory by 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 eight 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. Although his tally of three wins is not very remarkable, and indeed he won all of the other three majors more often, it greatly understates how prominent Nicklaus was at the tournament throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He finished runner-up seven times, which is the record. He had a total of sixteen top-5 finishes, which is tied most in Open history with John Henry Taylor and easily the most in the postwar era. Nicklaus also 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 with a record score of 268 (12 under par).

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.

Logo of The Open Championship from 1995 through 2002. Prior to this, the championship did not have an official logo beyond the Claret Jug.

In 1995, 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 watched from a nearby tee. Nicklaus later decided to play in The Open for one final time in 2005, when the R&A announced St Andrews as the venue, giving his final farewell to the fans at the Home of Golf.

There have also been wins by previously little known golfers, including Paul Lawrie's playoff win after the 72nd-hole collapse of Jean van de Velde in 1999, Ben Curtis in 2003 and Todd Hamilton in 2004.

Logo of The Open Championship from 2003 through 2014.

In 2007, the Europeans finally broke an eight-year drought in the majors when Pádraig Harrington of Ireland defeated Sergio García by one stroke in a four-hole playoff at Carnoustie. Harrington retained the Championship in 2008.

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 become the oldest ever winner of a major championship, Watson bogeyed, setting up a four-hole playoff, which he would lose to Stewart Cink.


The Open is a 72-hole stroke play tournament contested over 4 days. The winner is the golfer who completes the 72 holes in the fewest number of strokes. Currently 156 players compete. Most of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions while further places are given to players who are successful in a number of qualifying events. There is a cut after 36 holes after which only the leading 70 players and those tying for 70th place play in the final 36 holes. In the event of a tie after 72 holes, those players contest a playoff. This consists of an extra four holes and, if two or more players are still tied, continues with further holes until a there is a winner.

Since the Open moved to a Sunday finish in 1980 it has been played in the middle of July, starting on the Thursday between the 14th and 20th. It had a scheduled Saturday finish from 1966 until 1979, with the first round on Wednesday. Prior to 1966, the final two rounds were scheduled for Friday. Before 1926, the four rounds were played in two days.

Trophies and medals[edit]

There are a number of medals and trophies that are, or have been, given for various achievements during The Open.[1]

  • The Challenge Belt – awarded to the winner from 1860 until 1870 when Young Tom Morris won the belt outright by winning the Championship three years in a row.
  • The Golf Champion Trophy (commonly known as the Claret Jug) – replaced the Challenge Belt and has been awarded to the winner since 1873 although Young Tom Morris, the winner in 1872, is the first name engraved on it.
  • Gold medal – awarded to the winner. First given out in 1872 when the Claret Jug was not yet ready, and since awarded to all champions.
  • Silver medal – awarded since 1949 to the leading amateur, provided they play in the final round.
  • 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.[2]
  • Braid Taylor Memorial Medal – awarded since 1966 to the highest finishing PGA member.[3]
  • Tooting Bec Cup – awarded since 1924 to the PGA member who records the lowest single round during the championship.[4]

The Braid Taylor Memorial Medal and the Tooting Bec Cup are restricted to members born in, or with a parent or parents born in, the UK or Republic of Ireland.

Host courses[edit]

The Open Championship venues in Scotland. The 2015 host course (Old Course at St Andrews) is shown in green.
The Open Championship venues in England.
The Open Championship venue (Royal Portrush) in Northern Ireland.

The common factor in the venues for The Open is that they are always links courses. The Open has always been played in Scotland, North West England, or Kent in South East England except for a single occasion when it was played in Northern Ireland.

From 1860 to 1870 The Open was organised by and played at Prestwick Golf Club. From its revival in 1872 until 1891 it was played on three courses in rotation: Prestwick, The Old Course at St Andrews, and Musselburgh Links. In 1892 the newly built Muirfield replaced Musselburgh in the rotation. In 1893 two English courses, Royal St George's and Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, were invited to join the rotation with Royal St George's being allocated the 1894 Open and Royal Liverpool having the 1897 event.[5] At a meeting in 1907 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club became the sixth course on the rota, being allocated the 1909 Open. With three courses in both England and Scotland, the meeting also agreed that the Championship was to be played in England and Scotland alternately.[6] The alternation of venues in England and Scotland continued until the Second World War.

The rotation of the six courses was reinstated after the First World War with Royal Cinque Ports hosting the first post-war Open in 1920. It had been chosen as the venue for the cancelled 1915 Open.[7] In 1923 Troon was used instead of Muirfield when "some doubts exists as to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers being desirous of their course being used for the event".[8] Muirfield returned as the venue in 1929. Serious overcrowding problems at Prestwick in 1925 meant that the course was never again used for the Open and was replaced by Carnoustie as the third Scottish course. While Royal St George's and Royal Liverpool continued to be used at six year intervals the third English course varied. After Royal Cinque Ports in 1920, Royal Lytham was used in 1926 and then Prince's in 1932. Royal Cinque Ports was intended as the venue in 1938 but in February of that year abnormal high tides caused severe flooding to the course leaving it like "an inland sea several feet deep"[9] and the venue was switched to Royal St George's.[10] Birkdale was chosen as the venue for 1940, although the event was cancelled because of the Second World War.[11]

There are nine courses in the current rota, five in Scotland and four in England. In recent times the Old Course has hosted the Open every five years. The remaining eight courses host the Open roughly every 10 years but the gaps between hosting Opens may be longer or shorter than this. In 2014, it was announced by The R&A that Royal Portrush would be returning to the active rotation, possibly in 2019.[12]

From 1894 (when it was first played in England) to 2014, it has been played 60 times in Scotland, 49 times in England and once in Northern Ireland. It was not until 2011 and 2012 that England hosted consecutive Opens.

Country Course Known as Locality First Open Most recent
Active rotation
 Scotland Old Course at St Andrews St Andrews St Andrews, Fife 1873 2010
Muirfield Muirfield Gullane, East Lothian 1892 2013
Royal Troon Golf Club Troon Troon, South Ayrshire 1923 2004
Carnoustie Golf Links Carnoustie Carnoustie, Angus 1931 2007
Turnberry Resort, Ailsa Course Turnberry Turnberry, South Ayrshire 1977 2009
 England Royal St George's Golf Club Royal St George's Sandwich, Kent 1894 2011
Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hoylake Hoylake, Merseyside 1897 2014
Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Royal Lytham Lytham St Annes, Lancashire 1926 2012
Royal Birkdale Golf Club Royal Birkdale Southport, Merseyside 1954 2008
 Northern Ireland Royal Portrush Golf Club Royal Portrush Portrush, County Antrim 1951
 Scotland Prestwick Golf Club Prestwick Prestwick, South Ayrshire 1860 1925
Musselburgh Links Musselburgh Musselburgh, East Lothian 1874 1889
 England Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Deal Deal, Kent 1909 1920
Prince's Golf Club Prince's Sandwich, Kent 1932

Future venues[edit]

Year Edition Course Town County Country Dates
2015 144th Old Course at St Andrews St Andrews Fife Scotland 16–19 July
2016 145th Royal Troon Golf Club Troon Ayrshire Scotland 14–17 July
2017 146th Royal Birkdale Golf Club Southport Merseyside England 20–23 July
2018 147th Carnoustie Golf Links Carnoustie Angus Scotland 19–22 July


Royal Portrush Golf Club has been confirmed as a possible future venue, although the earliest it could be held there is 2019.[12]

Exemptions and qualifying events[edit]

The field for the Open is 156, and golfers may gain a place in a number of ways.[14] Most of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions.[15] Further places are given to players who are successful in The Open Qualifying Series.[16] Any remaining places (known as alternates) are made available to the highest ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking two weeks before The Open.

There are currently 32 exemption categories.[17] Among the more significant are:

  • The top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking. This category means that no member of the current elite of world golf will be excluded.
  • The top 30 in the previous season's European Tour Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour FedEx Cup. Most 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. Each year a number of past champions choose not to compete.
  • 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.
  • Any past Open champions who have finished in the top 10 in the previous five years.
  • The winners of The Amateur Championship and the U.S. Amateur

Further exemptions are given to winners and other leading finishers in a number of important tournaments around the world, to leading money winners in the major tours and to recent Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup players. The latest winners of a few major amateur events are also given exemptions. They must remain amateurs to take advantage of this exemption.

Local Qualifying is the traditional way for non-exempt players to win a place at The Open. In 2012 it comprised fourteen 18-hole "Regional Qualifying" competitions around Britain and Ireland on 25 June with successful competitors moving on to the four 36-hole "Local Final Qualifying" tournaments on 3 July. There are currently 12 places available through Local Qualifying, though there used to be far more.

International Final Qualifying 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 Ranking may enter, which is a more stringent standard than for Local Qualifying. 28 places were available through International Final Qualifying in 2012. The R&A introduced International Final Qualifying in 2004 in order to make it easier for professionals from outside Britain and Ireland to compete for a place.

In 2012, 115 of the field qualified through the exemption categories, 12 through Local Qualifying, 28 through International Final Qualifying and 1 as an alternate. A further 14 players qualified through the exemption categories but did not compete in the event. This was because the players chose not to enter, dropped out for personal reason, were injured or who had qualified as amateurs but had turned professional.

For 2014, qualifying was dramatically changed. Ten events from the various tours (PGA, Sunshine, European, Japan, Asian, Australasian) known as the Open Qualifying Series replace International Final Qualifying.

Tournament name[edit]

In Britain the tournament is best known by its official title, The Open Championship. The British media generally refer to it as the Open (with "the" in lower case) [18][19][20] or as The Open Championship (with each word capitalized).

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". Until 2014, the PGA Tour referred to the tournament as the British Open,[21] and many American media outlets continue to do so.[22][23] However, in 2014, with the new Open Qualifying Series that selects players for the Open through finishes earned in various PGA Tour events, the PGA Tour has taken to referring to the event as The Open Championship for the first time. U.S. television rights-holder ESPN/ABC referred to the event as the British Open until 2004. For the 2005 event at St Andrews, ESPN/ABC began referring to the tournament as The Open Championship, and have done so ever since.

Tour status[edit]

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.

Prize money[edit]

The 2014 Open had a total prize money fund of £5.4 million and a first prize of £975,000. At the time of the Open these equated to about $9.2 million and $1.666 million respectively. The other three Major Championships in 2014 had prize money of $9 or $10 million and first prizes of $1.62 or $1.8 million, so that all four majors had broadly similar prize money. Prize money is given to all professionals who make the cut and, since the number of professionals making the cut changes from year to year, the total prize money varies somewhat from the advertised number (currently £5.4 million).

There was no prize money in the first three Opens. In 1863, a prize fund of £10 was introduced, which was shared between the second- third- and fourth-placed professionals, with the Champion keeping the belt for a year. In 1864 Old Tom Morris won the first Champion's cash prize of £6.



Year Dates Venue Champion Country Winning
Runner(s)-up First
2014 17–20 Jul Royal Liverpool Rory McIlroy  Northern Ireland 271 (−17) 2 Rickie Fowler, Sergio García £975,000
2013 18–21 Jul Muirfield Phil Mickelson  United States 281 (−3) 3 Henrik Stenson £945,000
2012 19–22 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Ernie Els (2)  South Africa 273 (−7) 1 Adam Scott £900,000
2011 14–17 Jul Royal St George's Darren Clarke  Northern Ireland 275 (−5) 3 Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson £900,000
2010 15–18 Jul St Andrews Louis Oosthuizen  South Africa 272 (−16) 7 Lee Westwood £850,000
2009 16–19 Jul Turnberry Stewart Cink  United States 278 (−2) Playoff Tom Watson £750,000
2008 17–20 Jul Royal Birkdale Pádraig Harrington (2)  Ireland 283 (+3) 4 Ian Poulter £750,000
2007 19–22 Jul Carnoustie Pádraig Harrington  Ireland 277 (−7) Playoff Sergio García £750,000
2006 20–23 Jul Royal Liverpool Tiger Woods (3)  United States 270 (−18) 2 Chris DiMarco £720,000
2005 14–17 Jul St Andrews Tiger Woods (2)  United States 274 (−14) 5 Colin Montgomerie £720,000
2004 15–18 Jul Royal Troon Todd Hamilton  United States 274 (−10) Playoff Ernie Els £720,000
2003 17–20 Jul Royal St George's Ben Curtis  United States 283 (−1) 1 Thomas Bjørn, Vijay Singh £700,000
2002 18–21 Jul Muirfield Ernie Els  South Africa 278 (−6) Playoff Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington,
Thomas Levet
2001 19–22 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes David Duval  United States 274 (−10) 3 Niclas Fasth £600,000
2000 20–23 Jul St Andrews Tiger Woods  United States 269 (−19) 8 Thomas Bjørn, Ernie Els £500,000
1999 15–18 Jul Carnoustie Paul Lawrie  Scotland 290 (+6) Playoff Justin Leonard, Jean van de Velde £350,000
1998 16–19 Jul Royal Birkdale Mark O'Meara  United States 280 (E) Playoff Brian Watts £300,000
1997 17–20 Jul Royal Troon Justin Leonard  United States 272 (−12) 3 Darren Clarke, Jesper Parnevik £250,000
1996 18–21 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Tom Lehman  United States 271 (−13) 2 Ernie Els, Mark McCumber £200,000
1995 20–23 Jul St Andrews John Daly  United States 282 (−6) Playoff Constantino Rocca £125,000
1994 14–17 Jul Turnberry Nick Price  Zimbabwe 268 (−12) 1 Jesper Parnevik £110,000
1993 15–18 Jul Royal St George's Greg Norman (2)  Australia 267 (−13) 2 Nick Faldo £100,000
1992 16–19 Jul Muirfield Nick Faldo (3)  England 272 (−12) 1 John Cook £95,000
1991 18–21 Jul Royal Birkdale Ian Baker-Finch  Australia 272 (−8) 2 Mike Harwood £90,000
1990 19–22 Jul St Andrews Nick Faldo (2)  England 270 (−18) 5 Mark McNulty, Payne Stewart £85,000
1989 20–23 Jul Royal Troon Mark Calcavecchia  United States 275 (−13) Playoff Wayne Grady, Greg Norman £80,000
1988 14–18 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Seve Ballesteros (3)  Spain 273 (−11) 2 Nick Price £80,000
1987 16–19 Jul Muirfield Nick Faldo  England 279 (−5) 1 Paul Azinger, Rodger Davis £75,000
1986 17–20 Jul Turnberry Greg Norman  Australia 280 (E) 5 Gordon J. Brand £70,000
1985 18–21 Jul Royal St George's Sandy Lyle  Scotland 282 (+2) 1 Payne Stewart £65,000
1984 19–22 Jul St Andrews Seve Ballesteros (2)  Spain 276 (−12) 2 Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson £55,000
1983 14–17 Jul Royal Birkdale Tom Watson (5)  United States 275 (−9) 1 Andy Bean, Hale Irwin £40,000
1982 15–18 Jul Royal Troon Tom Watson (4)  United States 284 (−4) 1 Peter Oosterhuis, Nick Price £32,000
1981 16–19 Jul Royal St George's Bill Rogers  United States 276 (−4) 4 Bernhard Langer £25,000
1980 17–20 Jul Muirfield Tom Watson (3)  United States 271 (−13) 4 Lee Trevino £25,000
1979 18–21 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Seve Ballesteros  Spain 283 (−1) 3 Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus £15,000
1978 12–15 Jul St Andrews Jack Nicklaus (3)  United States 281 (−7) 2 Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd,
Tom Kite, Simon Owen
1977 6–9 Jul Turnberry Tom Watson (2)  United States 268 (−12) 1 Jack Nicklaus £10,000
1976 7–10 Jul Royal Birkdale Johnny Miller  United States 279 (−9) 6 Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus £7,500
1975 9–13 Jul Carnoustie Tom Watson  United States 279 (−5) Playoff Jack Newton £7,500
1974 10–13 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Gary Player (3)  South Africa 282 (−2) 4 Peter Oosterhuis £5,500
1973 11–14 Jul Troon Tom Weiskopf  United States 276 (−12) 3 Neil Coles, Johnny Miller £5,500
1972 12–15 Jul Muirfield Lee Trevino (2)  United States 278 (−6) 1 Jack Nicklaus £5,500
1971 7–10 Jul Royal Birkdale Lee Trevino  United States 278 (−10) 1 Lu Liang-Huan £5,500
1970 8–12 Jul St Andrews Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 283 (−5) Playoff Doug Sanders £5,250
1969 9–12 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Tony Jacklin  England 280 (−4) 2 Bob Charles £4,250
1968 10–13 Jul Carnoustie Gary Player (2)  South Africa 289 (+1) 2 Bob Charles, Jack Nicklaus £3,000
1967 12–15 Jul Royal Liverpool Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 278 (−10) 2 Jack Nicklaus £2,100
1966 6–9 Jul Muirfield Jack Nicklaus  United States 282 (−2) 1 Doug Sanders, Dave Thomas £2,100
1965 7–9 Jul Royal Birkdale Peter Thomson (5)  Australia 285 (−3) 2 Brian Huggett, Christy O'Connor Snr £1,750
1964 8–10 Jul St Andrews Tony Lema  United States 279 (−9) 5 Jack Nicklaus £1,500
1963 10–13 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Bob Charles  New Zealand 277 (−7) Playoff Phil Rodgers £1,500
1962 11–13 Jul Troon Arnold Palmer (2)  United States 276 (−12) 6 Kel Nagle £1,400
1961 12–15 Jul Royal Birkdale Arnold Palmer  United States 284 (−4) 1 Dai Rees £1,400
1960 6–9 Jul St Andrews Kel Nagle  Australia 278 (−10) 1 Arnold Palmer £1,250
1959 1–3 Jul Muirfield Gary Player  South Africa 284 (E) 2 Fred Bullock, Flory Van Donck £1,000
1958 2–5 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Peter Thomson (4)  Australia 278 (−10) Playoff Dave Thomas £1,000
1957 3–5 Jul St Andrews Bobby Locke (4)  South Africa 279 (−9) 3 Peter Thomson £1,000
1956 4–6 Jul Royal Liverpool Peter Thomson (3)  Australia 286 (−2) 3 Flory Van Donck £1,000
1955 6–8 Jul St Andrews Peter Thomson (2)  Australia 281 (−7) 2 John Fallon £1,000
1954 7–9 Jul Royal Birkdale Peter Thomson  Australia 283 (−5) 1 Bobby Locke, Dai Rees, Syd Scott £750
1953 8–10 Jul Carnoustie Ben Hogan  United States 282 (−6) 4 Antonio Cerdá, Dai Rees,
Frank Stranahan (a), Peter Thomson
1952 9–11 Jul Royal Lytham & St Annes Bobby Locke (3)  South Africa 287 (−1) 1 Peter Thomson £300
1951 4–6 Jul Royal Portrush Max Faulkner  England 285 (−3) 2 Antonio Cerdá £300
1950 5–7 Jul Troon Bobby Locke (2)  South Africa 279 (−9) 2 Roberto de Vicenzo £300
1949 6–9 Jul Royal St George's Bobby Locke  South Africa 283 (−5) Playoff Harry Bradshaw £300
1948 30 Jun – 2 Jul Muirfield Henry Cotton (3)  England 288 (E) 5 Fred Daly £150
1947 2–4 Jul Royal Liverpool Fred Daly  Northern Ireland 293 (+5) 1 Reg Horne, Frank Stranahan (a) £150
1946 3–5 Jul St Andrews Sam Snead  United States 290 (+2) 4 Johnny Bulla, Bobby Locke £150
1940–45: No Championships because of World War II
1939 5–7 Jul St Andrews Dick Burton  England 290 (−2) 2 Johnny Bulla £100
1938 6–8 Jul Royal St George's Reg Whitcombe  England 295 (+15) 2 Jimmy Adams £100
1937 7–9 Jul Carnoustie Henry Cotton (2)  England 290 2 Reg Whitcombe £100
1936 25–27 Jun Royal Liverpool Alf Padgham  England 287 1 Jimmy Adams £100
1935 26–28 Jun Muirfield Alf Perry  England 283 4 Alf Padgham £100
1934 27–29 Jun Royal St George's Henry Cotton  England 283 5 Sid Brews £100
1933 5–8 Jul St Andrews Denny Shute  United States 292 Playoff Craig Wood £100
1932 8–10 Jun Prince's Gene Sarazen  United States 283 5 Macdonald Smith £100
1931 3–5 Jun Carnoustie Tommy Armour  Scotland
 United States
296 1 José Jurado £100
1930 18–20 Jun Royal Liverpool Bobby Jones (a) (3)  United States 291 2 Leo Diegel, Macdonald Smith £100
1929 8–10 May Muirfield Walter Hagen (4)  United States 292 6 Johnny Farrell £75
1928 9–11 May Royal St George's Walter Hagen (3)  United States 292 2 Gene Sarazen £75
1927 13–15 Jul St Andrews Bobby Jones (a) (2)  United States 285 6 Aubrey Boomer, Fred Robson £75
1926 23–25 Jun Royal Lytham & St Annes Bobby Jones (a)  United States 291 2 Al Watrous £75
1925 25–26 Jun Prestwick Jim Barnes  England 300 1 Archie Compston, Ted Ray £75
1924 26–27 Jun Royal Liverpool Walter Hagen (2)  United States 301 1 Ernest Whitcombe £75
1923 14–15 Jun Troon Arthur Havers  England 295 1 Walter Hagen £75
1922 22–23 Jun Royal St George's Walter Hagen  United States 300 1 Jim Barnes, George Duncan £75
1921 23–25 Jun St Andrews Jock Hutchison  Scotland
 United States
296 Playoff Roger Wethered (a) £75
1920 30 Jun – 1 Jul Royal Cinque Ports George Duncan  Scotland 303 2 Sandy Herd £75
1915–19: No Championships because of World War I
1914 18–19 Jun Prestwick Harry Vardon (6)  Jersey 306 3 J.H. Taylor £50
1913 23–24 Jun Royal Liverpool J.H. Taylor (5)  England 304 8 Ted Ray £50
1912 24–25 Jun Muirfield Ted Ray  Jersey 295 4 Harry Vardon £50
1911 26–30 Jun Royal St George's Harry Vardon (5)  Jersey 303 Playoff Arnaud Massy £50
1910 21–24 Jun St Andrews James Braid (5)  Scotland 299 4 Sandy Herd £50
1909 10–11 Jun Royal Cinque Ports J.H. Taylor (4)  England 291 6 Tom Ball, James Braid £50
1908 18–19 Jun Prestwick James Braid (4)  Scotland 291 8 Tom Ball £50
1907 20–21 Jun Royal Liverpool Arnaud Massy  France 312 2 J.H. Taylor £50
1906 13–15 Jun Muirfield James Braid (3)  Scotland 300 4 J.H. Taylor £50
1905 7–9 Jun St Andrews James Braid (2)  Scotland 318 5 Rowland Jones, J.H. Taylor £50
1904 8–10 Jun Royal St George's Jack White  Scotland 296 1 James Braid, J.H. Taylor £50
1903 10–11 Jun Prestwick Harry Vardon (4)  Jersey 300 6 Tom Vardon £50
1902 4–5 Jun Royal Liverpool Sandy Herd  Scotland 307 1 James Braid, Harry Vardon £50
1901 5–6 Jun Muirfield James Braid  Scotland 309 3 Harry Vardon £50
1900 6–7 Jun St Andrews J.H. Taylor (3)  England 309 8 Harry Vardon £50
1899 7–8 Jun St George's Harry Vardon (3)  Jersey 310 5 Jack White £30
1898 8–9 Jun Prestwick Harry Vardon (2)  Jersey 307 1 Willie Park, Jnr £30
1897 19–20 May Royal Liverpool Harold Hilton (a) (2)  England 314 1 James Braid £30
1896 10–11,13 Jun Muirfield Harry Vardon  Jersey 316 Playoff J.H. Taylor £30
1895 12–13 Jun St Andrews J.H. Taylor (2)  England 322 4 Sandy Herd £30
1894 11–12 Jun St George's J.H. Taylor  England 326 5 Douglas Rolland £30
1893 31 Aug – 1 Sep Prestwick William Auchterlonie  Scotland 322 2 Johnny Laidlay (a) £30
1892 22–23 Sep Muirfield Harold Hilton (a)  England 305 3 John Ball (a), Sandy Herd,
Hugh Kirkaldy
1891 6–7 Oct St Andrews Hugh Kirkaldy  Scotland 166 2 Willie Fernie, Andrew Kirkaldy £10
1890 11 Sep Prestwick John Ball (a)  England 164 3 Willie Fernie, Archie Simpson £13
1889 8,11 Nov Musselburgh Willie Park, Jnr (2)  Scotland 155 Playoff Andrew Kirkaldy £8
1888 6,8 Oct St Andrews Jack Burns  Scotland 171 1 David Anderson, Jr., Ben Sayers £8
1887 16 Sep Prestwick Willie Park, Jnr  Scotland 161 1 Bob Martin £8
1886 5 Nov Musselburgh David Brown  Scotland 157 2 Willie Campbell £8
1885 3 Oct St Andrews Bob Martin (2)  Scotland 171 1 Archie Simpson £10
1884 3 Oct Prestwick Jack Simpson  Scotland 160 4 Willie Fernie, Douglas Rolland £8
1883 16–17 Nov Musselburgh Willie Fernie  Scotland 159 Playoff Bob Ferguson £8
1882 30 Sep St Andrews Bob Ferguson (3)  Scotland 171 3 Willie Fernie £12
1881 14 Oct Prestwick Bob Ferguson (2)  Scotland 170 3 Jamie Anderson £8
1880 9 Apr Musselburgh Bob Ferguson  Scotland 162 5 Peter Paxton £8
1879 27,29 Sep St Andrews Jamie Anderson (3)  Scotland 169 3 Jamie Allan, Andrew Kirkaldy £10
1878 4 Oct Prestwick Jamie Anderson (2)  Scotland 157 2 Bob Kirk £8
1877 6 Apr Musselburgh Jamie Anderson  Scotland 160 2 Bob Pringle £8
1876 30 Sep, 2 Oct St Andrews Bob Martin  Scotland 176 Playoff Davie Strath £10
1875 10 Sep Prestwick Willie Park, Snr (4)  Scotland 166 2 Bob Martin £8
1874 10 Apr Musselburgh Mungo Park  Scotland 159 2 Tom Morris, Jnr £8
1873 4 Oct St Andrews Tom Kidd  Scotland 179 1 Jamie Anderson £11
1872 13 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Jnr (4)  Scotland 166 3 Davie Strath £8
1871 No Championship
1870 15 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Jnr (3)  Scotland 149 12 Bob Kirk, Davie Strath £6
1869 16 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Jnr (2)  Scotland 157 11 Bob Kirk £6
1868 23 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Jnr  Scotland 154 3 Tom Morris, Snr £6
1867 26 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Snr (4)  Scotland 170 2 Willie Park, Snr £7
1866 13 Sep Prestwick Willie Park, Snr (3)  Scotland 169 2 Davie Park £6
1865 14 Sep Prestwick Andrew Strath  Scotland 162 2 Willie Park, Snr £8
1864 16 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Snr (3)  Scotland 167 2 Andrew Strath £6
1863 18 Sep Prestwick Willie Park, Snr (2)  Scotland 168 2 Tom Morris, Snr -
1862 11 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Snr (2)  Scotland 163 13 Willie Park, Snr -
1861 26 Sep Prestwick Tom Morris, Snr  Scotland 163 4 Willie Park, Snr -
1860 17 Oct Prestwick Willie Park, Snr  Scotland 174 2 Tom Morris, Snr -

(a) denotes amateur
"Dates" column includes all days on which play took place or was planned to take place, including any playoffs

Silver Medal winners[edit]

Since 1949, the Silver Medal is awarded to the leading amateur, provided that the player completes all 72 holes.[26] In the 66 Championships from 1949 to 2014, it has been won by 42 players on 48 occasions. Frank Stranahan won it four times in the first five years (and was also the low amateur in 1947), while Joe Carr, Michael Bonallack and Peter McEvoy each won it twice. The medal has gone unawarded 18 times.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Claret Jug". Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ryle Memorial Medal". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Braid Taylor Memorial Medal". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Tooting Bec Cup". Professional Golfers' Association. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Open Golf Championship". The Times. 10 July 1893. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "The Open Championship". The Times. 18 November 1907. p. 12. 
  7. ^ "The Golf Championship - Official announcement". The Times. 14 April 1915. p. 16. 
  8. ^ "The Championships". The Times. 22 May 1922. p. 22. 
  9. ^ "Gales and snow - Damage on east coast - Widespread flooding". The Times. 14 February 1938. p. 12. 
  10. ^ "Golf - The Open and Amateur Championships - New Conditions". The Times. 12 February 1938. p. 4. 
  11. ^ "Golf Championships for 1940". The Times. 21 January 1939. p. 4. 
  12. ^ a b "The Open: Press conference confirms Royal Portrush". BBC News. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Future Venues". Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Open Championship Entry Form". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Exemption Categories". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Qualification". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Exempt players page". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  18. ^ "The Open Championship". 
  19. ^ "Birkdale 'will provide Open test'". BBC Sport. 29 April 2008. 
  20. ^ Spiers, Graham (20 July 2007). "The top ten best shots at the Open". The Times (London). Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "British Open Tournament". 
  22. ^ Malley, Frank (24 July 2006). "Woods gives blueprint for success at British Open". SportsTicker. 
  23. ^ Newberry, Paul (24 July 2006). "Through the tears, Woods hoists the claret jug for the second year in a row". Associated Press. 
  24. ^ See Notes: Young Tom Morris gets 20 days older,, 1 August 2006.
  25. ^ "Did you know number 50". The Open Championship. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  26. ^ "Tom Lewis joins an elite group as Silver Medal winner". 17 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 

External links[edit]