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The Open Championship: All You Need to Know

Original article published 17 October 2022

The last of 2022's four golf Majors, The Open Championship, was played at St Andrews in Scotland over four days starting on Thursday 14th July.

The tournament, which is often also known as the British Open, took place for the 150th time and was won by Cameron Smith's.

WhatThe Open Championship
WhereThe Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews, Scotland
WhenThursday 14th July - Sunday 17th July
How to watchSky Sports Golf

Rory McIlroy 8/1, Jon Rahm 11/1, Justin Thomas 14/1, Scottie Scheffler 14/1, Collin Morikawa 18/1

When was The Open?

The Open started on Thursday 14th July for four days. The tournament is always held in the third week of the seventh month of the year.

Where was The Open held?

The Open is hosted on different courses on a rotation basis and the 2022 edition, which was the 150th championship, was held at the home of golf, St Andrews.

It was the 29th time the famous course had hosted the tournament, which is the most occasions The Open has been played anywhere.

Prestwick was the venue for the first Open in 1860 and has played host 24 times, the last occasion being back in 1925.

Muirfield (16), Royal St George's (15), Royal Liverpool (12), Royal Lytham & St Annes (11) and Royal Birkdale (10) have all hosted the tournament at least 10 times.

Other venues have been: Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Musselburgh, Turnberry, Royal Cinque Ports, Princes and Royal Portrush.

The 2023 edition will be played at Royal Liverpool, while Troon will host in 2024 and Royal Portrush in 2025.

Could I have watched The Open?

Yes, the tournament was televised live on Sky Sports Golf.

How many times has The Open taken place?

The first Open Championship took place in 1860 and 2022 was the 150th battle for the Claret Jug.

Who has won The Open the most times?

The record for Open Championship wins is held by Harry Vardon, who won the last of his six Claret Jugs in 1914.

Australian Peter Thomson took the trophy home for the fifth time in 1965 and the only other player to have triumphed that many times since the Second World War is Tom Watson, who last won at Royal Birkdale in 1983 but came close to equalling Vardon's record when he lost a playoff to fellow American Stewart Cink in 2009.

South African Bobby Locke won four times and five of the greatest names in the sport's history have all won three times - Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.

Nicklaus, who holds the record of 18 Major triumphs, has been runner-up in the tournament seven times.

What sort of courses host The Open?

The Open is always played on a links course, which are natural tracks that use the characteristics of the land, rather than being specifically built.

Typical characteristics include deep gorse rough, few trees and the need to manage the weather as stiff breezes can cause problems and mean the ball has to be hit lower to avoid problems.

What is the format of The Open?

A total of 156 players contest for the prize and the field includes a number of qualifiers and amateur hopefuls.

After the first two rounds, the top 70 players and ties will qualify to play in the final two rounds, the rest miss the cut. Simply, the player with the lowest total score over the course of four rounds is then declared the winner.

What is the playoff format at The Open?

Rather than sudden death, which tends to be used in regulation tournaments on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, The Open will use a four-hole aggregate playoff to decide the winner should two or more players be level at the top of the leaderboard upon the completion of the regulation 72 holes.

The last playoff at The Open was in 2015, when American Zach Johnson won the Claret Jug for the first time after beating Australia's Marc Leishman and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen in extra holes.

Stewart Cink (2009), Padraig Harrington (2007), Todd Hamilton (2004), Ernie Els (2002), Paul Lawrie (1999), Mark O'Meara (1998), John Daly (1995) and Mark Calcavecchia (1989) all won playoffs after the decision to adopt a the four-hole system was made in 1985.

Tom Watson was the last player to win an 18-hole playoff when he defeated Jack Newton to win his first Open at Carnoustie in 1975.

What is the record 72-hole shot total at The Open?

The record 72-hole total was 264 by Sweden's Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon in 2016

What is the record 18-hole shot total at The Open?

The record 18-hole total was 62 by South Africa's Branden Grace at Royal Birkdale in 2017. It is the lowest round ever shot in any of the four Major tournaments - the Masters, the US Open, the US PGA Championship and The Open.

Who is the oldest winner of The Open?

The oldest winner of The Open was Old Tom Morris, who was 46 years and 102 days old when he won in 1867.

Who is the youngest winner of The Open?

The youngest winner of The Open was Young Tom Morris, who was 17 years and 156 years old when he won in 1868.

What is the biggest margin of victory ever in The Open?

The biggest margin of victory at The Open was Old Tom Morris' 1862 win when he triumphed by 13 shots.

It remained the largest winning distance in any Major until 2000, when Tiger Woods won the US Open by 15 shots at Pebble Beach in California.

Who was the last player to successfully defend the Claret Jug?

The last defending champion to win The Open was Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who won at Carnoustie in 2007 and then repeated the trick at Royal Birkdale the following year.

Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson (who won three times on the bounce between 1954 and 1956) and Bobby Locke have all won in successive years since the Second World War.

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