The British Open

History, Records and Facts about the Open Championship Golf Tournament

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

Welcome to the home of the British Open golf tournament - more properly called the Open Championship - on About.com. The British Open golf tournament is one of the four golf majors, and the oldest, dating back to the 1860s.

2017 British Open

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

Top Finishers
Henrik Stenson, 264
Phil Mickelson, 267
JB Holmes, 278
Steve Stricker, 279
Rory McIlroy, 280
Tyrrell Hatton, 280
Sergio Garcia, 280
Andrew Johnston, 281

Royal Troon's History (Plus Photos)

The 2016 Open takes place at Royal Troon in Scotland. Take a tour of Troon's history, which includes photos plus whether you can play the course if you visit.

This is the ninth time Troon has been the site of the Open Championship. Here are the previous eight, along with the winners of each (click the year to view a recap and final scores):

  • 1923 - Arthur Havers
  • 1950 - Bobby Locke
  • 1962 - Arnold Palmer
  • 1973 - Tom Weiskopf
  • 1982 - Tom Watson
  • 1989 - Mark Calcavecchia
  • 1997 - Justin Leonard
  • 2004 - Todd Hamilton

Helpful FAQs for tournament week:

    (More on Open FAQs below.)

    Recent British Opens

    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. Read more/View final scores

    2014 Tournament

    Rory McIlroy took a 6-shot lead into the final round, then shot a steady 71 to win by two strokes. It is McIlroy's first British Open win, but his third overall major championship victory. At age 25, he is the third-youngest golfer to record three wins in majors since 1934 (when the advent of The Masters created the four professional majors as they exist today).

    McIlroy also became the seventh golfer in Open history to win wire-to-wire without ties at the end of any rounds. He took the first-round lead with a 66, shot another 66 in Round 2, added a 68 in the third, and closed with a 71. His final score of 271 was 17-under par. Recap/Scores

    British Open Golf Tournament - Facts, Figures, Trivia

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

    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:

    10 Best Golfers Ever in the British Open
    In the long history of the Open Championship, which golfers have played it best? Here is our ranking of the 10 best-ever in the tournament, counted down from No. 10 to No. 1.

    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

    • 2017: Royal Birkdale
    • 2018: Carnoustie
    • 2019: Royal Portrush