One of the most prestigious competitions in golf is the Open Championship, usually referred to as the British Open. It is rich with custom, history, and genuinely amazing moments. We have compiled some interesting Open Championship trivia in honour of the tournament’s 150th anniversary.
First off, having been established in 1860, the Open is the oldest of the current four main competitions. Its exclusivity and importance are further enhanced by the fact that it is the only major tournament held outside of the United States. Scotland’s Prestwick Golf Course hosted the inaugural Open Championship, which had a field of just eight competitors. After winning the first event, Willie Park Sr. went on to win three more.
Up until 1872, the Open winner received the Challenge Belt, a leather belt with a silver clasp. After that, they began receiving the Claret Jug. It’s interesting to note that the Claret Jug was initially used as a water pitcher and that the Open Championship winner didn’t receive it until 1928. Today, this trophy is regarded as one of the most recognizable and iconic ones in all sports.
In 1862, Tom Morris Senior set a record by winning the Open Championship by 13 shots. With six victories, Harry Vardon holds the record for most Open victories. He took home the trophy in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, and 1914. The Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted more Open Championships than any other course since the Open was first played there in 1873. The tournament’s 150th iteration will be the 30th Open on the course.
During its history, The Open Championship has also experienced a few notable occasions. One of the most notable occurred in 1977 when Tom Watson overcame Jack Nicklaus in what is regarded as one of the all-time great golfing duels. Very unexpected victors of The Open include Todd Hamilton in 2004, who outlasted Ernie Els in a playoff.
The Open Championship’s rich tradition is what distinguishes and elevates it from other sporting events. It is a celebration of the sport and its heritage rather than just a golf competition. Every golfer dreams of winning the Open Championship because of the recognizable Claret Jug and the storied courses. As a result, if you enjoy golf, be sure to watch the 150th Open Championship, which is going to be a spectacular occasion.