British Open | Courses, History, Winners, List, & Facts

Courses

The Open Championship has always been played on links courses (mostly treeless golf courses that are built along a coast and retain the natural uneven terrain of their locations). From 1860 to 1870 the Open was played exclusively at Prestwick Golf Club. Since 1872 it has been played at a number of courses in rotation. Initially the three courses were Prestwick, St. Andrews, and Musselburgh, all located in Scotland. The nine courses in the current rotation are the Old Course at St. Andrews; Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland; Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland; the Ailsa Course at the Westin Turnberry Resort, outside Girvan, Scotland; Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland; Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England; Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England; Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England; and Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

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The Open is a unique event and is of great importance to professionals and amateur golfers alike, as well as to fans of golf. Unlike the play of other majors—which are typically contested in sunny locales in the United States—the outcome of the Open is often influenced by the weather. On a links course, morning and afternoon tee times can produce vastly different playing conditions, depending on the breeze that comes in off the sea. The weather is just one of the many unique features of the Open that combine with its long history and prestigious reputation to make it an event unparalleled in golf.

This author, who experienced a warm reception from his home crowd when he finished second to Tiger Woods at St. Andrews in 2005, looks forward to competing in the Open every year. To him, the Open is pure romance and theatre, and it truly is a special event that every golfer dreams of winning.

Colin MontgomerieThe Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

British Open winners

The table provides a list of Open winners.

British Open golf tournament—men

year

winner1

1Won by a U.K. golfer except as indicated.

2Tournament canceled because there was no award for the winner.

3Tournament canceled because of World War I.

4Tournament canceled because of World War II.

5Tournament canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

1860

Willie Park, Sr.

1861

Tom Morris, Sr.

1862

Tom Morris, Sr.

1863

Willie Park, Sr.

1864

Tom Morris, Sr.

1865

Andrew Strath

1866

Willie Park, Sr.

1867

Tom Morris, Sr.

1868

Tom Morris, Jr.

1869

Tom Morris, Jr.

1870

Tom Morris, Jr.

1871

not held2

1872

Tom Morris, Jr.

1873

Tom Kidd

1874

Mungo Park

1875

Willie Park, Sr.

1876

Bob Martin

1877

Jamie Anderson

1878

Jamie Anderson

1879

Jamie Anderson

1880

Bob Ferguson

1881

Bob Ferguson

1882

Bob Ferguson

1883

Willie Fernie

1884

Jack Simpson

1885

Bob Martin

1886

David Brown

1887

Willie Park, Jr.

1888

Jack Burns

1889

Wille Park, Jr.

1890

John Ball

1891

Hugh Kirkaldy

1892

Harold Hilton

1893

William Auchterlonie

1894

J.H. Taylor

1895

J.H. Taylor

1896

Harry Vardon

1897

Harold Hilton

1898

Harry Vardon

1899

Harry Vardon

1900

J.H. Taylor

1901

James Braid

1902

Sandy Herd

1903

Harry Vardon

1904

Jack White

1905

James Braid

1906

James Braid

1907

Arnaud Massy (France)

1908

James Braid

1909

J.H. Taylor

1910

James Braid

1911

Harry Vardon

1912

Ted Ray

1913

J.H. Taylor

1914

Harry Vardon

1915–19

not held3

1920

George Duncan

1921

Jock Hutchison (U.S.)

1922

Walter Hagen (U.S.)

1923

Arthur Havers

1924

Walter Hagen (U.S.)

1925

Jim Barnes (U.S.)

1926

Bobby Jones (U.S.)

1927

Bobby Jones (U.S.)

1928

Walter Hagen (U.S.)

1929

Walter Hagen (U.S.)

1930

Bobby Jones (U.S.)

1931

Tommy Armour (U.S.)

1932

Gene Sarazen (U.S.)

1933

Denny Shute (U.S.)

1934

Henry Cotton

1935

Alf Perry

1936

Alf Padgham

1937

Henry Cotton

1938

Reg Whitcombe

1939

Dick Burton

1940–45

not held4

1946

Sam Snead (U.S.)

1947

Fred Daly (Ire.)

1948

Henry Cotton

1949

Bobby Locke (S.Af.)

1950

Bobby Locke (S.Af.)

1951

Max Faulkner

1952

Bobby Locke (S.Af.)

1953

Ben Hogan (U.S.)

1954

Peter Thomson (Austl.)

1955

Peter Thomson (Austl.)

1956

Peter Thomson (Austl.)

1957

Bobby Locke (S.Af.)

1958

Peter Thomson (Austl.)

1959

Gary Player (S.Af.)

1960

Kel Nagle (Austl.)

1961

Arnold Palmer (U.S.)

1962

Arnold Palmer (U.S.)

1963

Bob Charles (N.Z.)

1964

Tony Lema (U.S.)

1965

Peter Thomson (Austl.)

1966

Jack Nicklaus (U.S.)

1967

Roberto de Vicenzo (Arg.)

1968

Gary Player (S.Af.)

1969

Tony Jacklin

1970

Jack Nicklaus (U.S.)

1971

Lee Trevino (U.S.)

1972

Lee Trevino (U.S.)

1973

Tom Weiskopf (U.S.)

1974

Gary Player (S.Af.)

1975

Tom Watson (U.S.)

1976

Johnny Miller (U.S.)

1977

Tom Watson (U.S.)

1978

Jack Nicklaus (U.S.)

1979

Seve Ballesteros (Spain)

1980

Tom Watson (U.S.)

1981

Bill Rogers (U.S.)

1982

Tom Watson (U.S.)

1983

Tom Watson (U.S.)

1984

Seve Ballesteros (Spain)

1985

Sandy Lyle

1986

Greg Norman (Austl.)

1987

Nick Faldo

1988

Seve Ballesteros (Spain)

1989

Mark Calcavecchia (U.S.)

1990

Nick Faldo

1991

Ian Baker-Finch (Austl.)

1992

Nick Faldo

1993

Greg Norman (Austl.)

1994

Nick Price (Zimb.)

1995

John Daly (U.S.)

1996

Tom Lehman (U.S.)

1997

Justin Leonard (U.S.)

1998

Mark O'Meara (U.S.)

1999

Paul Lawrie

2000

Tiger Woods (U.S.)

2001

David Duval (U.S.)

2002

Ernie Els (S.Af.)

2003

Ben Curtis (U.S.)

2004

Todd Hamilton (U.S.)

2005

Tiger Woods (U.S.)

2006

Tiger Woods (U.S.)

2007

Padraig Harrington (Ire.)

2008

Padraig Harrington (Ire.)

2009

Stewart Cink (U.S.)

2010

Louis Oosthuizen (S.Af.)

2011

Darren Clarke

2012

Ernie Els (S.Af.)

2013

Phil Mickelson (U.S.)

2014

Rory McIlroy

2015

Zach Johnson (U.S.)

2016

Henrik Stenson (Swed.)

2017

Jordan Spieth (U.S.)

2018

Francesco Molinari (Italy)

2019

Shane Lowry (Ire.)

2020

not held5

2021

Collin Morikawa (U.S.)

2022

Cameron Smith (Austl.)