The Open Championship, which is also known as the British Open, and The Open, will be teeing off this Thursday, July 14th and concluding on Sunday, July 17th. This is the oldest golf tournament on the planet as it was founded back in 1860 at Scotland’s Prestwick Golf Club and this will be its 150th edition.
The event, which is typically the fourth and final major golf tournament of the year, is now rotated annually at a different coastal club in Scotland, Northern Ireland or England with this summer’s contest taking place at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The par-72 course, which is regarded as the oldest in the world, is 7,305 yards in total length or 6,680 meters.
Technically, The Open consists of the world’s top pro and amateur golfers, but it generally features a small number of amateurs. Last year’s winner was Collin Morikawa as he took the tournament and the Claret Jug with a 265 score at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England.
Golfers play 18 holes per day for four days with the top 70 making the cut after the first 36 holes. If the tournament is tied after 72 holes, there is a three-hole playoff held to determine the winner. If it’s still level after three holes then a sudden-death format is implemented.
Since 1949, the leading amateur golfer in the tournament is awarded the silver medal as long as he gets through all 72 holes. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are currently the winners of the silver medal who have also won the British Open. Last year’s silver medal was captured by Matti Schmid of Germany.
British Open Records
The oldest British Open champion has been Tom Morris as he was 46 years and 102 days of age when winning it in 1867. He also holds the record for largest margin of victory (36 holes) when he won by 13 strokes in 1862.
The youngest winner was Tom Morris (the son of Tom Morris) at the age of 17 years and 156 days the very next year after his father became the oldest champion. Morris also holds the mark for most consecutive Open wins with four in 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1872. There was no tournament in 1871.
Harry Vardon owns the record for the most victories at six as he won the Claret Jug in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914.
The record for runner-up finishes belongs to Jack Nicklaus as he placed second in 1964, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977 and 1979.
The lowest final score in the event after 72 holes belongs to Henrik Stenson with 264.
The lowest round was shot in 2017 by Branden Grace with a 62 and this is also a record for all the major golf tournaments.
According to the oddsmakers at bet365, Rory McIlroy is favored to win the tournament at +1000, followed by Xander Schauffele at +1600, with Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler all at +1800. Last year’s winner Collin Morikawa is +3000 while Mark Calcavecchia is the event’s long shot at +400000.
For the 33-year-old Rory McIlroy, who is currently ranked the number two male golfer in the world, this will be his 13th appearance at the tournament. His best showing came in 2014 at Royal Liverpool when he won it. McIlroy has enjoyed top-20 finishes in his last seven golf tournaments and finished top-10 in the first three majors this year. However, he missed the cut at the 2019 British Open, finished tied for 46th last year and hasn’t won a major in eight years.
This will be the fifth British Open for 28-year-old Xander Schauffele with his best finish coming in 2018 when he was tied for second place. He won the recent Travelers Championship for his first solo PGA win since 2019 and also captured the J.P. McManus Pro-Am and Scottish Open. In this year’s three previous majors, he missed the cut at the Masters, tied for 13th place at the PGA and tied for 14th place at the U.S. Open.
The 26-year-old Scottie Scheffler enters the tournament as the top-ranked make golfer in the world. This is his second appearance at the event after finishing in an eighth-place tie last year. He finished second at this year’s U.S. Open when he lost to Matt Fitzpatrick by one stroke in a playoff. Scheffler has six top-10 finishes in his past eight majors but he missed the cut at the Scottish Open as well as in May’s PGA Championship tournament.
The 28-year-old Jordan Spieth is ranked 51st in the world and will be participating in the British Open for the ninth time and won it in 2017 at Birkdale. He’s enjoyed top-10 finishes in four of the past six British Opens and placed second last year.
For Jon Rahm, the 27-year-old is ranked third in the world and will be appearing in his sixth British Open. He finished tied for third place last year for his best finish. He also won last year’s U.S. Open for his first major win and finished in the top eight in the other three majors. However, he hasn’t had a top-10 finish in three majors this year.