10 British Open Records You Should Know

The stage is set for the best golfers in the world to compete for the 146th British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Here are 10 quick records to know about the oldest golf tournament in the world.

1. Most Wins

Six-time Open Winner, Harry Vardon, has the most wins at the British Open. His wins came in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914. Although Vardon wasn’t the one who originally came up with the overlapping grip, he did popularize it and now it’s commonly known as the “Vardon Grip.”

2. Youngest Winner

Four-time British Open Champion, Tom Morris Jr., was just 17 years, 5 months and 8 days old when he won in 1868, the first of his four victories. He beat his father, Tom Morris Sr. by three strokes. Young Tom is also the youngest competitor in British Open history when he first competed at the age of just 14 years, 4 months and 25 days in 1865.

3. Oldest Winner

Tom Morris Sr. won his fourth British Open at the age of 46 years, 3 months and 9 days in 1867. This was his fourth victory in a span of seven years, which remains a record to date. Old Tom is also the oldest competitor in British Open history when he competed in the 1896 British Open at the age of 74 years, 11 months and 24 days. He also holds the record for the largest margin of victory at the British Open, having won in 1862 with a margin of 13 strokes.

4. Most Runner-Up Finishes

Jack Nicklaus has seven runner-up finishes to go along with his three wins at the British Open. His runner-up finishes came in 1964, ’67, ’68, ’72, ’76 and ’77.

5. Most Winners By Country

The United States has produced the most British Open Champions – 28 champions with 43 wins in total. Scotland is second on this list with 22 champions and 41 wins.

6. Most Open Appearances

South African Gary Player has 42 appearances at the British Open. He is a three-time winner of this championship, having won in 1959, ’68 and ’74. Apart from his wins, Player has an additional nine Top 10s.

7. Lowest 18-Hole Score

There are ten players who have shot 63 at the Open Championship with both Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson recording that record mark last year at Royal Troon.
63 – Mark Hayes, second round, Turnberry, 1977
63 – Isao Aoki, third round, Muirfield, 1980
63 – Greg Norman, second round, Turnberry, 1986
63 – Paul Broadhurst, third round, St. Andrews, 1990
63 – Jodie Mudd, fourth round, Royal Birkdale, 1991
63 – Nick Faldo, second round, Royal St. George’s, 1993
63 – Payne Stewart, fourth round, Royal St George’s, 1993
63 – Rory McIlroy, first round, St. Andrews, 2010
63 – Phil Mickelson, second round, Royal Troon, 2016
63 – Henrik Stenson, final round, Royal Troon, 2016

8. Lowest Final Round

Last year, at Royal Troon, Henrik Stenson posted an 8-under 63 to capture the Open Championship in an epic battle against Phil Mickelson. The score topped the old record of 6-under 64 set by Greg Norman at the 1993 British Open at Royal St George’s.

9. Lowest Winning Score in Relation to Par

Stenson’s 20-under par finish at Royal Troon also set the total under-par record, edging the 19-under 269 posted by Tiger Woods during his 2000 British Open win at St Andrews.

10. Biggest Comeback

In 1999, Paul Lawrie completed the biggest final round comeback in major championship history by making up 10 strokes before beating Justin Leonard and Jean van de Velde in a Playoff. Van de Velde had a three-stroke lead on the 72nd hole and made a triple bogey to fall into the playoff. To his credit, Lawrie shot a final round 4-under 67.

This post was originally published in a lead-up to the 145th British Open at Royal Troon. It has been updated to reflect records set in 2016.

Saurav Ghosh

Saurav is Pro Golf Weekly's Statistics Content Editor.

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