Senior British Open

Winners, facts, trivia for the Senior Open Championship

Gary Player at the 1997 Senior British Open
Gary Player celebrates winning in 1997, one of three times he won the Senior British Open. Getty Images

The tournament's official name is The Senior Open Championship and it is run by the R&A (we'll primarily use "Senior British Open" on About.com, just as we primarily use "British Open," in order to distinguish it from the U.S. Senior Open). It is counted as one of the five majors on the Champions Tour.

The Senior British Open was first played in 1987. However, it wasn't until 2003 that the tournament was designated a major by the Champions Tour.

The winner of the Senior British Open receives a spot in the field for the following year's British Open.

2018 Tournament

  • When: July 26-29
  • Where: Old Course at St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland

2017 Tournament
At a tournament played in some terrible weather, Bernhard Langer notched his third major championship win on 2017 and the 10th of his career. He thus became the first golfer to reach double-digits in senior majors. Langer shot a final-round score of 72 to finish at 4-under 280. He was one of only two golfers to finish under par. The runner-up, Corey Pavin, was three behind.

2016 Senior British Open
Paul Broadhurst shot 68-68 on the weekend to win his first senior major championship and second European Senior Tour title. Broadhurst, who was bogey-free in the final round, finished at 11-under 277, two strokes better than runner-up Scott McCarron. Third-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez finished tied for third with a final-round 75 that includes two double-bogeys.

Official Website

Senior British Open Scoring Records

  • 72 holes: 263 - Tom Watson, Carl Mason, 2003
  • 18 holes: 62 - Jim Colbert, 2003

Senior British Open Golf Courses

The Senior British Open rotates among golf courses from year to year, however it does not yet have an established "Open rota" like the British Open does.

Also unlike the British Open, the Senior British Open has not been exclusively played on links courses.

From 1995-2004, the tournament was played in Northern Ireland all but one year, but hasn't visited Northern Ireland since.

The Ailsa Course at Turnberry was the site from 1987-1990 and continues as a frequent host course. Muirfield, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Sunningdale and Walton Heath are other courses currently in the mix.

Tournament Notes and Trivia

  • While the tournament was designated a Champions Tour major beginning in 2003, major championship status was not retroactively bestowed. That means winners prior to 2003 are not credited with a major by the Champions Tour.
  • When Russ Cochran won in 2011, both his sons were working the tournament as caddies. Older son Ryan was on the bag for Mike Goodes while Reed caddied for his father. Goodes finished tied for seventh.
  • Bob Charles played in every Senior British Open from the first in 1987 until 2010, 24 straight appearances. He won twice, in 1989 and 1993.
  • Gary Player (1988, 1990, 1997) and Tom Watson (2003, 2005, 2007) are the only 3-time winners of the tournament. Because his wins came prior to 2003, however, none of Player's wins are counted as Champions Tour majors. If the Champions Tour in the future decides to count those early Senior British Opens as majors, then Player's total of senior major victories would increase to nine, and he would surpass Jack Nicklaus (8) as the Champions Tour leader in majors.
  • Three golfers have won both the British Open and the Senior British Open: Player, Watson and Charles.
  • Bernhard Langer won by 13 shots in 2014, setting not just a tournament record for margin of victory, but a record for any of the senior majors.
  • Langer reached another milestone in winning the 2017 Senior Open: It was his 10th victory in a senior major. He became the first golfer to win at least 10 senior majors.

Senior British Open Winners

2017 - Bernhard Langer, 280
2016 - Paul Broadhurst, 277
2015 - Marco Dawson, 264
2014 - Bernhard Langer, 266
2013 - Mark Wiebe-p, 271
2012 - Fred Couples, 271
2011 - Russ Cochran, 276
2010 - Bernhard Langer, 279
2009 - Loren Roberts, 268
2008 - Bruce Vaughan, 278
2007 - Tom Watson, 284
2006 - Loren Roberts, 274
2005 - Tom Watson, 280
2004 - Pete Oakley, 284
2003 - Tom Watson, 263
2002 - Noboru Sugai, 281
2001 - Ian Stanley, 278
2000 - Christy O'Connor Jr., 275
1999 - Christy O'Connor Jr., 286
1998 - Brian Huggett, 283
1997 - Gary Player, 278
1996 - Brian Barnes, 277
1995 - Brian Barnes, 281
1994 - Tom Wargo, 280
1993 - Bob Charles, 291
1992 - John Fourie, 282
1991 - Bobby Verwey, 285
1990 - Gary Player, 280
1989 - Bob Charles, 269
1988 - Gary Player, 272
1987 - Neil Coles, 279