For the past 146 years, golfers have been competing for the top title at the Open Championship, a prestigious British golfing event steeped in history. Set to take place at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England from 20 to 23 July, there are many interesting stories that have accumulated over the years to make this the interesting event that it is.
Interesting facts about the British Golf Open
1.Oldest and youngest
It’s a family affair on the greens with the Morris lineage proving itself quite strong at the Open. Tom Morris was the oldest winner to be named at the age of 46 in 1867. The following year, his son – also named Tom – was named the youngest winner at the age of 17.
2. 14 stroke victory
Not stopping there, ‘old’ Tom Morris broke another record with his win. He had the largest margin of victory in a major championship in 1862 – 14 strokes.
3. Well over a century
This incredible 14-stroke championship record was only broken 138 years later, in 2000, by none-other than Tiger Woods when he won with the US Open by 15 strokes.
4. Decade hat-trick
South African golfer, Gary Player, was the only golfer to win the British Open in three different decades, having taken the 1959, 1968 and 1974 titles.
5. Most appearances
Gary Player also made the history books by holding the record for the most British Open appearances – totalling 46.
6. First lefty
New Zealand golfer, Bob Charles, became the first of his countrymen win the British Open, in 1963. Incidentally, he was also the first left-handed player to win the Open.
Read more: How Stenson won the British Open in 2016
7. Get a grip
Harry Vardon holds the record for most British Open wins – six – in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914. Vardon is also famous for inventing the Vardon, or overlapping grip, which is most commonly used in golf today.
8. The underdog
Another South African golfer making British Open history is Louis Oosthuizen. Despite making the cut in only one of his previous eight majors, Oosthuizen blew away the competition in 2010, leading for the final 48 holes and finishing victorious with 16-under, beating Lee Westwood by seven shots.
9. First and last
The longest span between one golfer’s first and last British Open wins is 19 years. This was accomplished by J.H. Taylor who won his first Open in 1894 and his last in 1913.
10. The Cup of Champions
The shining prize at the end of the British Open is the Championship Cup, more commonly referred to as the Claret Jug. The reason for this is its design which is emulated on the silver jugs which were used to serve claret – a dry red wine produced in Bordeaux – during the 19th Century.