Senior Open Championship

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The Senior Open Championship
Senior Open Championship 2019 logo.png
Tournament information
Location United Kingdom
Established1987, 32 years ago
Course(s)Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club,
Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England
Par70 (2019)
Length6,948 yards (6,353 m) (2019)
Organized byThe R&A
Tour(s)European Senior Tour
PGA Tour Champions
FormatStroke play
Prize fund£1.5 million
$1.91 million
1.67 million
Month playedJuly
Tournament record score
Aggregate263 Tom Watson (2003)
To par−18 Bernhard Langer (2014)
Current champion
Germany Bernhard Langer
Lytham & St Annes is located in England
Lytham & St Annes
Lytham &
St Annes
Location in England

The Senior Open Championship, or simply The Senior Open (and originally known as the Senior British Open) is a professional golf tournament for players aged 50 and over. It is run by The R&A, the same body that organises The Open Championship. Prize money won in the event is official money on both PGA Tour Champions (formerly the Senior PGA Tour and Champions Tour) and the European Senior Tour. The purse, which is fixed in United States dollars, was $2 million in 2011, with a winner's share of $315,600.[1] For sponsorship reasons, it is currently known as The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.

The tournament was first held 32 years ago in 1987 and became part of the European Seniors Tour schedule in 1992. It is younger than the PGA Seniors Championship, which started in 1957, as well as the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship. In late 2002 it was designated as the fifth major championship on the Champions Tour schedule.[2] Winners before 2003 were not retroactively designated as Champions Tour major winners until late 2018.[3][4][5] Winners gain entry into the following season's Open Championship. The event is usually held the week following The Open Championship, although in 1991 it was held the week before the Open and in 1998 it was held in August, three weeks after the Open.

The 2018 Senior Open was held at St Andrews for the first time, a decision which was heavily influenced by five-time Open champion Tom Watson.[6]

The field[edit]

The standard field size is 144 players and an 18-hole qualifying round is held at the championship course on the Monday before the tournament, with a minimum of 24 places available. If fewer than 120 exempt players enter, the field is filled to 144 with more high finishers from qualifying. If more than 120 exempt players enter, the top 24 finishers earn entry even if it causes the field to expand beyond 144.[7]


Year Winner Country Venue Score To par Margin
of victory
The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex
2019 Bernhard Langer (4)  Germany Royal Lytham 274 −6 2 strokes England Paul Broadhurst
2018 Miguel Ángel Jiménez  Spain St Andrews 276 −12 1 stroke Germany Bernhard Langer
2017 Bernhard Langer (3)  Germany Royal Porthcawl 280 −4 3 strokes United States Corey Pavin
2016 Paul Broadhurst  England Carnoustie 277 −11 2 strokes United States Scott McCarron
2015 Marco Dawson  United States Sunningdale 264 −16 1 stroke Germany Bernhard Langer
2014 Bernhard Langer (2)  Germany Royal Porthcawl 266 −18 13 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie
2013 Mark Wiebe  United States Royal Birkdale 271 −9 Playoff Germany Bernhard Langer
The Senior Open Championship
2012 Fred Couples  United States Turnberry 271 −9 2 strokes United States Gary Hallberg
2011 Russ Cochran  United States Walton Heath 276 −12 2 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard
2010 Bernhard Langer  Germany Carnoustie 279 −5 1 stroke United States Corey Pavin
2009 Loren Roberts (2)  United States Sunningdale 268 −12 Playoff United States Fred Funk
South Africa Mark McNulty
2008 Bruce Vaughan  United States Royal Troon 278 −6 Playoff United States John Cook
The Senior Open Championship presented by Aberdeen Asset Management
2007 Tom Watson (3)  United States Muirfield 284 E 1 stroke Australia Stewart Ginn
United States Mark O'Meara
The Senior British Open Championship presented by Aberdeen Asset Management
2006 Loren Roberts  United States Turnberry 274 −6 Playoff Argentina Eduardo Romero
2005 Tom Watson (2)  United States Royal Aberdeen 280 −4 Playoff Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
The Senior British Open Championship presented by MasterCard
2004 Pete Oakley  United States Royal Portrush 284 −4 1 stroke United States Tom Kite
Argentina Eduardo Romero
Senior British Open presented by MasterCard
2003 Tom Watson  United States Turnberry 263 −17 Playoff England Carl Mason
2002 Noboru Sugai  Japan Royal County Down 281 −3 2 strokes Canada John Irwin
2001 Ian Stanley  Australia 278 −6 Playoff New Zealand Bob Charles
2000 Christy O'Connor Jnr (2)  Ireland 275 −9 2 strokes South Africa John Bland
Senior British Open
1999 Christy O'Connor Jnr  Ireland Royal Portrush 282 −6 3 strokes South Africa John Bland
1998 Brian Huggett  Wales 283 −5 Playoff Northern Ireland Eddie Polland
1997 Gary Player (3)  South Africa 278 −10 Playoff South Africa John Bland
1996 Brian Barnes (2)  Scotland 277 −11 3 strokes New Zealand Bob Charles
United States David Oakley
1995 Brian Barnes  Scotland 281 −7 Playoff United States Bob Murphy
1994 Tom Wargo  United States Royal Lytham 280 −8 2 strokes New Zealand Bob Charles
United States Doug Dalziel
1993 Bob Charles (2)  New Zealand 291 +7 1 stroke England Tommy Horton
South Africa Gary Player
1992 John Fourie  South Africa 282 −2 3 strokes New Zealand Bob Charles
England Neil Coles
Seniors' British Open
1991 Bobby Verwey  South Africa Royal Lytham 285 +1 1 stroke New Zealand Bob Charles
England Tommy Horton
Volvo Seniors' British Open
1990 Gary Player (2)  South Africa Turnberry 280 E 1 stroke United States Deane Beman
England Brian Waites
1989 Bob Charles  New Zealand 269 −11 7 strokes United States Billy Casper
1988 Gary Player  South Africa 272 −8 1 stroke United States Billy Casper
Seniors' British Open
1987 Neil Coles  England Turnberry 279 −1 1 stroke New Zealand Bob Charles


  • 2013: Wiebe beat Langer with a par at the fifth extra hole. Play was suspended because of darkness after two holes of the playoff and the pair returned on Monday morning to complete it.
  • 2009: Roberts beat McNulty with a par at the third extra hole. Funk was eliminated at the first extra hole where Roberts and McNulty had birdies.
  • 2008: Vaughan beat Cook with a birdie at the first extra hole.
  • 2006: Roberts beat Romero with a par at the first extra hole.
  • 2005: Watson beat Smyth with a par at the third extra hole.
  • 2003: Watson beat Mason with a par at the second extra hole.
  • 2001: Stanley beat Charles with a par at the first extra hole.
  • 1998: Huggett beat Polland with a par at the first extra hole.
  • 1997: Player beat Bland with a birdie at the second extra hole.
  • 1995: Barnes beat Murphy with an eagle at the third extra hole.

Multiple winners[edit]

Seven players have multiple victories in the Senior Open Championship:

Winners of both the Open and Senior Open[edit]

Three players have won both The Open Championship and the Senior Open, the professional majors run by the R&A.

Player Open Championship Senior Open
South Africa Gary Player 1959, 1968, 1974 1988, 1990, 1997
New Zealand Bob Charles 1963 1989, 1993
United States Tom Watson 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983 2003, 2005, 2007

Future venues[edit]

Year Course Town County Country Dates
2020 Sunningdale Sunningdale Berkshire England 23–26 July



  1. ^ "Senior Open Championship: results". PGA Tour. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  2. ^ Senior British Open now a Major
  3. ^ Senior British Open elevated to Senior Major
  4. ^ "PGA Tour Champions recognizes Gary Player's Senior British Open wins as major titles". Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Herrington, Ryan (21 December 2018). "How well do you remember what happened in golf in 2018? Take our quiz". Golf Digest. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. ^ Inglis, Martin (3 February 2016). "Tom Watson plays key role as Senior Open heads to St Andrews". bunkered.
  7. ^ "The Senior Open Championship 2017 – Entry Form" (PDF). European Senior Tour. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Sunningdale Golf Club to host 2020 Senior Open presented by Rolex". European Tour. 19 March 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°44′58″N 3°01′05″W / 53.7495°N 3.018°W / 53.7495; -3.018