The 142nd British Open: Know Your Facts

Tomorrow marks the start of this year’s British Open and excitement for the event is at fever pitch. It is arguably the most famous Major of the year and is watched by millions of viewers. But how much is known about the historic course or its illustrious history?

Take a look at the fun and interesting facts which we have unearthed about this historic event and test your friends on their golfing logic. You can also tell us some interesting facts by posting on our official american golf Facebook page.

A Few Useful Facts...

  • This will be the 142nd British Open
  • The British Open is the oldest of golf’s four major tournaments, beginning on October 17, 1860
  • Tom Watson holds victories at the British Open on every golf course in Scotland apart from St. Andrews
  • No golfers have won the British Open at St. Andrews more than twice
  • Harry Vardon has the most British Open wins - 6
  • The most appearances at the British Open by a single golfer is 46, and that record is held by Gary Player
  • The British Open is the only major tournament held outside of the United States of America, instead being hosted at various golf courses in Scotland and Ireland every year
  • There has been six amateur victories at the British Open all prior to 1930
  • Only eight men participated in the first British Open
  • Royal St. George's was the first non-Scottish club to host the British Open
  • The British Open was cancelled between 1915-1920 and then again between 1940-1946 due to the World Wars
  • Jack Nicklaus has finished runner-up seven times, more than any other player
  • The oldest winner of the British Open came in 1867 when “Old” Tom Morris Sr. took the spoils at the age of 46 years and 99 days
  • “Young” Tom Morris Jr., son of “Old” Tom Morris Sr. interestingly became the youngest ever player to win the British Open at the age of 17 years and 5 months
  • This year’s prize money for winning the British Open currently stands at 5.25 million pounds (about $7.82 million), with the winners sharing 954,000 pounds (about $1.4 million)
  • Ernie Els is this year’s defending champion
  • Every winner of the British Open at Muirfield after World War II is in the World Golf Hall of Fame
  • The British Open is the only major that has not had a winner from the top 10 in the World Rankings over the last five years
  • The Muirfield golf course is 7,192 yards in length
  • Par: 36-35-71
  • Field of 156 golfers (149 professionals, 7 amateurs)