Golfers Who Have Won the British Open

'Champion Golfer of the Year' at Every Open Championship

Padraig Harrington - British Open Winners
Padraig Harrington celebrates his second consecutive Open Championship win in 2008.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The Open Championship—often called the British Open by Americans—has been contested since 1860, when Willie Park Sr. won the inaugural event. Little did he, or the other seven golfers who competed, know that the tournament that year at Prestwick would grow to become golf's oldest and arguably most prestigious major championship.

Most Frequent Winners

Park and the man he beat in that first British Open by two strokes, Old Tom Morris, are among those golfers who have won the Open Championship multiple times, but they did not win the most titles.

That honor goes to Harry Vardon, who earned six Open titles. 

In 2009 at the age of 59, Tom Watson nearly equaled Vardon's achievement. He was tied with Stewart Cink at the end of regulation but lost the playoff that would have given him his sixth title.

A complete list of those with more than one victory follows:

  • 6 wins - Harry Vardon, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914
  • 5 wins - James Braid, 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910
  • 5 wins - J.H. Taylor, 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913
  • 5 wins - Peter Thomson, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965
  • 5 wins - Tom Watson, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983
  • 4 wins - Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris, Willie Park Sr., Walter Hagen, Bobby Locke
  • 3 wins - Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods
  • 2 wins - Bob Martin, Willie Park Jr., Harold Hilton, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els

    British Open Champions

    Here are all the winners in Open Championship history. Amateurs who have won are indicated by "a."

    2018 - Francesco Molinari
    2017 - Jordan Spieth
    2016 - Henrik Stenson
    2015 - Zach Johnson
    2014 - Rory McIlroy
    2013 - Phil Mickelson
    2012 - Ernie Els
    2011 - Darren Clarke
    2010 - Louis Oosthuizen
    2009 - Stewart Cink
    2008 - Padraig Harrington
    2007 - Padraig Harrington
    2006 - Tiger Woods
    2005 - Tiger Woods
    2004 - Todd Hamilton
    2003 - Ben Curtis
    2002 - Ernie Els
    2001 - David Duval
    2000 - Tiger Woods
    1999 - Paul Lawrie
    1998 - Mark O'Meara
    1997 - Justin Leonard
    1996 - Tom Lehman
    1995 - John Daly
    1994 - Nick Price
    1993 - Greg Norman
    1992 - Nick Faldo
    1991 - Ian Baker-Finch
    1990 - Nick Faldo
    1989 - Mark Calcavecchia
    1988 - Seve Ballesteros
    1987 - Nick Faldo
    1986 - Greg Norman
    1985 - Sandy Lyle
    1984 - Seve Ballesteros
    1983 - Tom Watson
    1982 - Tom Watson
    1981 - Bill Rogers
    1980 - Tom Watson
    1979 - Seve Ballesteros
    1978 - Jack Nicklaus
    1977 - Tom Watson
    1976 - Johnny Miller
    1975 - Tom Watson
    1974 - Gary Player
    1973 - Tom Weiskopf
    1972 - Lee Trevino
    1971 - Lee Trevino
    1970 - Jack Nicklaus
    1969 - Tony Jacklin
    1968 - Gary Player
    1967 - Roberto de Vicenzo
    1966 - Jack Nicklaus
    1965 - Peter Thomson
    1964 - Tony Lema
    1963 - Bob Charles
    1962 - Arnold Palmer
    1961 - Arnold Palmer
    1960 - Kel Nagle
    1959 - Gary Player
    1958 - Peter Thomson
    1957 - Bobby Locke
    1956 - Peter Thomson
    1955 - Peter Thomson
    1954 - Peter Thomson
    1953 - Ben Hogan
    1952 - Bobby Locke
    1951 - Max Faulkner
    1950 - Bobby Locke
    1949 - Bobby Locke
    1948 - Henry Cotton
    1947 - Fred Daly
    1946 - Sam Snead
    1940–45 - Not played
    1939 - Richard Burton
    1938 - R.A.

    "Reg" Whitcombe
    1937 - Henry Cotton
    1936 - Alf Padgham
    1935 - Alf Perry
    1934 - Henry Cotton
    1933 - Denny Shute
    1932 - Gene Sarazen
    1931 - Tommy Armour
    1930 - Bobby Jones (a)
    1929 - Walter Hagen
    1928 - Walter Hagen
    1927 - Bobby Jones (a)
    1926 - Bobby Jones (a)
    1925 - Jim Barnes
    1924 - Walter Hagen
    1923 - Arthur Havers
    1922 - Walter Hagen
    1921 - Jock Hutchison
    1920 - George Duncan
    1915–19 - Not played
    1914 - Harry Vardon
    1913 - J.H. Taylor
    1912 - Ted Ray
    1911 - Harry Vardon
    1910 - James Braid
    1909 - J.H. Taylor
    1908 - James Braid
    1907 - Arnaud Massy
    1906 - James Braid
    1905 - James Braid
    1904 - Jack White
    1903 - Harry Vardon
    1902 - Sandy Herd
    1901 - James Braid
    1900 - J.H. Taylor
    1899 - Harry Vardon
    1898 - Harry Vardon
    1897 - Harold "Hal" Hilton (a)
    1896 - Harry Vardon
    1895 - J.H. Taylor
    1894 - J.H. Taylor
    1893 - William Auchterlonie
    1892 - Harold "Hal" Hilton (a)
    1891 - Hugh Kirkaldy
    1890 - John Ball (a)
    1889 - Willie Park Jr.
    1888 - Jack Burns
    1887 - Willie Park Jr.
    1886 - David Brown
    1885 - Bob Martin
    1884 - Jack Simpson
    1883 - Willie Fernie
    1882 - Bob Ferguson
    1881 - Bob Ferguson
    1880 - Bob Ferguson
    1879 - Jamie Anderson
    1878 - Jamie Anderson
    1877 - Jamie Anderson
    1876 - Bob Martin
    1875 - Willie Park Sr.
    1874 - Mungo Park
    1873 - Tom Kidd
    1872 - Young Tom Morris
    1871 - Not played
    1870 - Young Tom Morris
    1869 - Young Tom Morris
    1868 - Young Tom Morris
    1867 - Old Tom Morris
    1866 - Willie Park Sr.


    1865 - Andrew Strath
    1864 - Old Tom Morris
    1863 - Willie Park Sr.
    1862 - Old Tom Morris
    1861 - Old Tom Morris
    1860 - Willie Park Sr.