The Open Championship is the one PGA Tour major tournament played outside of the United States each year. Known as The Open or the British Open, the tournament is the oldest of the four major golf tournaments on the current calendar. The tournament was first played in 1860 and its tradition continues to modern day.
The Open Championship is the third major each golf season. Taking place in July, the tournament is placed between the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship. The tournament has always been played in either England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Played on links courses, there are currently 10 golf clubs that the tournament rotates between. There are five courses in Scotland, four in England and one in Northern Ireland that the Open Championship moves between. The schedule currently calls for St. Andrew’s Old Course to host the tournament every five years. The next time the event will take place at the Birth Place of Golf will be in 2021.
The tournament’s field is regularly made up of the world’s top golfers. They are exempt from the qualification others must go through to play in the Open Championship. In all, 156 golfers compete in the event.
While the Open Championship is the oldest major tournament of the four, it didn’t become a PGA event until 1995. All records have been amended to reflect those PGA players who weren’t able to play the tournament.
In 2017, the total purse for the Open Championship was $10.25 million. Winner Jordan Spieth took home $1.845m for his performance. Of active golfers, Tiger Woods has the most Open Championship wins with three. However, his last win came in 2006. Jersey’s Harry Vardon tops the wins list at the Open Championship with six. All six of his tournament wins can between 1896 and 1914.
Like the Masters, The Open Championship has tradition and prestige at the heart of it. The Open Championship is a tournament unlike the other majors, which makes it a unique tournament on the golf calendar.