The British Open Tournament

History, Records and Facts About the Open Championship

Claret Jug photographed at St. Andrews
The British Open trophy every golfer wants: The Claret Jug at St. Andrews. Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The British Open golf tournament is one of the four major championships of men's professional golf. And it's the oldest, dating to 1860. And yes, for your sticklers out there, we'll say it: The correct and proper name for this major is "The Open Championship." We predominantly use British Open (and do most golfers in North America and many outside of the U.K.) as a way of distinguishing between the British and U.S. Opens and other national opens.

2018 British Open

2017 British Open

Jordan Spieth didn't make it easy on himself, but he won the tournament for his third victory in a major championship. Over the front nine of the final round, Spieth blew a 3-stroke lead. Then he dropped into second place after hitting one of the wildest shots any winner had hit in a major he won. But after that, Spieth played the next four holes in 5-under. Read more

Final Leaders
Jordan Spieth, 268
Matt Kuchar, 271
Haotong Li, 274
Rory McIlroy, 275
Rafa Cabrera-Bello, 275
Matthew Southgate, 276
Marc Leishman, 275
Alex Noren, 276
Branden Grace, 276
Brooks Koepka, 276
View Scores

Helpful FAQs for tournament week:

(More on Open FAQs below.)

Previous Opens at Royal Birkdale
The site of the 2017 Open is Royal Birkdale, which was first used for this major in 1954.

This will be the 10th time that Birkdale has hosted a British Open. The previous years, with tournament winners:

  • 2008 - Padraig Harrington
  • 1998 - Mark O'Meara
  • 1991 - Ian Baker-Finch
  • 1983 - Tom Watson
  • 1976 - Johnny Miller
  • 1971 - Lee Trevino
  • 1965 - Peter Thomson
  • 1961 - Arnold Palmer
  • 1954 - Peter Thomson

Previous Open Championships

2016 British Open
Henrik Stenson played one of the great final rounds in major championship history, shooting 63 to outduel Phil Mickelson and win the 2016 Open Championship.

Stenson's 63 tied the all-time major scoring record for men; his 20-under total tied the all-time major record for strokes under par; and his 264 set a new British Open scoring record - and an all-time record for any of the majors. Stenson did all that with Mickelson leading him, tied with him and chasing him all day - Mickelson himself shot 65, and tied the old Open scoring record of 267. Read more/view scores

2015 British Open
Zach Johnson won a 4-hole, aggregate score playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman to claim the Claret Jug. Johnson was the first of the three to finish in regulation, making a long birdie putt on the 72nd-hole to post 15-under 273. Leishman tied him and Oosthuizen, playing in the final group, birdied the last to make it a 3-way playoff. Jordan Spieth, trying to win his third major in a row, bogied the 17th hole to drop one behind, then missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would have tied the lead. In the playoff, Leishman quickly fell behind. Oosthuizen and Johnson both birdied the first hole, then Johnson went one in front with another birdie on the second extra hole. Johnson and Oosthuizen traded bogeys on the third playoff hole. On the last, Oosthuizen had a birdie putt to extend the playoff but it slid just by the cup.

British Open Past Champions
The British Open dates back to 1860, and you can see every champion through the years on this list.

Top 10 Golfers of All-Time at the British Open
Who knows - maybe the winner of this year's tournament will some day appear on this list. For now, these are the best golfers ever at playing the Open.

British Open Golf Tournament - Facts, Figures, Trivia

British Open Records
Wondering about the oldest and youngest winners? The tournament scoring record? Browse through some of the British Open records.

British Open FAQ
Here we tackle some of the most common questions we are asked about the Open. Click on the link above to view them all, or pick one of these popular entries:

British Open Golf Courses
What links have hosted the Open Championship? Here's the list of every golf course used as a site for the championship.

Future Sites

  • 2018: Carnoustie
  • 2019: Royal Portrush
  • 2020: Royal St. George's