Golf The Open Championships

THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Open Championships, or as it is simply known as, the Open (also the British Open), is the oldest of the four major tournaments (the Masters , the US Open & the PGA Championship) in professional golf. Dating all the way back to 1860, it has become the biggest tournament in Europe and attracts the best golfers from around the world. It is a stroke play event and offers more than $9 million in prize money, which makes it one of the richest tournaments of the year. Like most of the Majors, the Open has changed its location over the years, with the most recent venue being the famous St Andrews Golf Course in Scotland.

The inaugural tournament in 1860 was held on October 17th at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. Given the event was restricted to professionals the field was quite small, with only eight players participating. Willie Park Sr. won the event and received what was known as the Challenge Belt, a red leather belt with a silver buckle. The belt was retired in 1872, when Young Tim Morris won the tournament for a third consecutive time. Since then, the Golf Champion Trophy, better known by its popular name of the Claret Jug, has been awarded to the winner.

The prestige of the tournament always ensures for a first class field. Class players have dominated over the years, from Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in the mid 70’s to early 80’s, to Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington in the mid-noughties. Tom “Huckleberry” Watson has the record for the most wins at the Open, posting five victories between 1975 and 1983.

As has been the case for many years now, the 2015 Open Championship has no shortage of star quality players. Despite the absence of the tournament favourite Rory McIlroy due to injury, the 156 players, including 15 Australians, are sure to deliver world class performances. UBET's top six contenders include Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Ricky Fowler.


PREVIOUS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS WINNERS


YEAR WINNER RUNNER UP MARGIN OF VICTORY
2015 ZACH JOHNSON MARC LEISHMAN & LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN PLAYOFF
2014 RORY MCILROY RICKIE FOWLER & SERGIO GARCIA 2 STROKES
2013 PHIL MICKELSON HENRIK STENSON 3 STROKES
2012 ERNIE ELS ADAM SCOTT 1 STROKE
2011 DARREN CLARKE DUSTIN JOHNSON & PHIL MICKELSON 3 STROKES
2010 LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN LEE WESTWOOD 7 STROKES
2009 STEWART CINK TOM WATSON PLAYOFF
2008 PADRAIG HARRINGTON IAN POULTER 4 STROKES
2007 PADRAIG HARRINGTON SERGIO GARCIA PLAYOFF
2006 TIGER WOODS CHRIS DIMARCO 2 STROKES
2005 TIGER WOODS COLIN MONTGOMERIE 5 STROKES