British Open FAQ

Answering common questions about the Open Championship Tournament

Open Championship flags
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Below are frequently asked questions about the British Open golf tournament. Click on one of the questions to find the answer. You can find plenty of related material on our British Open Records and British Open Winners page.

Can I enter a British Open qualifier?
Yes, the Open Championship is an open, after all.

What is the British Open cut rule?
The current rule, plus a little history about the cut over the decades.

What is the playoff format?
The format has changed over time; here is the current format for extra holes plus some history.

What is the Open rota?
The "rotation" of golf courses in use for the Open Championship.

How did the Claret Jug become the British Open trophy?
The answer dates back to the 1870s and Young Tom Morris.

Which golfer has won the most British Open titles?
One golfer won this championship six times.

Who was the first American to win the British Open?
It didn't happen until 1921. Or 1922. Depending on how you look at things.

What are the British Open scoring records?
The records for 9, 18 and 72 holes, plus strokes under par.

More British Open FAQs

But Wait, There's More ...

Who was first golfer to win the Open 2, 3 and 4 times?
Old Tom Morris was the first golfer to win the British Open twice, the first to win it three times, and the first to win it four times.

Old Tom's wins were in 1861, 1862, 1864 and 1867.

Who was the first 5-time winner of the Open Championship?
James Braid was the first to reach five wins, earning his fifth in 1910. All of Braid's victories happened between 1901 and 1910.

Who was the first non-Scot to win the British Open?
Scottish golfers dominated the early history of golf.

The first British Open, in 1860, was won by a Scotsman. So was the second. And the third, fourth and fifth. In fact, the first 29 times the British Open was played, a golfer from Scotland was the winner.

It wasn't until the 1890 British Open, the 30th one played, that a non-Scot won the Open Championship. And that winner was Englishman John Ball.

Who was the first non-Brit to win the British Open?
British golfers won every Open played from 1860 through 1906. But in 1907, Frenchman Arnaud Massy became the first non-British champion.

Who was the first to break 70 in a British Open?
James Braid shot 69 in the third round of the 1904 Open, the first golfer to record a sub-70 round.

Which golfer played in the most British Opens?
The golfer with the most starts in the Open Championship is Gary Player. Player made 46 appearances in the tournament.

What golf course has been the site of the most British Opens?
This answer won't surprise anyone: The Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted the British Open more times than any other golf course, a total of 29 times through the 2015 Open Championship.

While the most-common host course is not a surprise, the course at No. 2 on the list might be: Runner-up to The Old Course is Prestwick Golf Club, which hasn't hosted at British Open since 1925 but hosted the tournament 24 times up to that point.

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