Quick Bit: Ahead of The Open Championship 2022, The Sporting News takes a look at the record holders, including Tiger Woods, and other famous golfers to have triumphed in this famous major.
With record prize money on offer at this year’s tournament, 156 golfers from across the world will again descend on the Old Course at St. Andrews this week to battle it out for the 2022 Open Championship title.
With a very competitive field made up of former champions and some of the highest-ranked professionals in the sport, many of those players will be looking to etch their name on the famous Claret Jug this time around.
But who in the field has already won the competition before and who are the most successful golfers in the history of The Open?
Which players have won The Open the most times?
Harry Vardon (6)
The most decorated golfer in the history of The Open Championship is Jersey-born Harry Vardon who took six titles between 1896 and 1914.
Nicknamed ‘The Stylist’, Vardon was one of three members of the legendary ‘Great Triumvirate’ alongside two other players on this list who are collectively referred to as the three greatest British players of their generation.
Alongside his record six Open victories, Vardon also won the US Open in 1900, though he unfortunately contracted tuberculosis in 1903 which greatly decreased his ability to play the game thereafter. Many state that without that illness, Vardon could have added many more major victories to his tally.
Tom Watson (5)
Perhaps the most well-known name on this list, American golfer Tom Watson won five Open Championship titles between 1975 and 1983.
The man from Missouri who’s now 72-years-old, also won the Masters twice in 1977 and 1981 and won the US Open in 1982. As a result, he’s one of the most famous golfers in the sport’s history and will once again be spotted on the course before the action gets underway on Thursday at this year’s Open Championship.
James Braid (5)
Winning the Open Championship five times between 1901 and 1910, Scotsman James Braid is one of the most decorated golfers in the competition’s history.
Alongside Vardon, Braid was also part of the ‘Great Triumvirate’ due to his dominance during the early 1900’s. After his playing career, Braid became a renowned golf course architect and was later added to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.
Peter Thomson (5)
Nicknamed the ‘Melbourne Tiger’, Australian golfer Peter Thomson also won The Open five times during his career, first winning the tournament back in 1954.
Interestingly, Thomson is the only golfer in the modern era to win the same major three times in succession, taking home the Claret Jug in 1954, 1955 and 1956, whilst five of his overall six professional PGA Tour victories came at this competition.
John Henry Taylor (5)
The final member of the ‘Great Triumvirate’ alongside Vardon and Braid, John Henry Taylor also won The Open five times during his career.
Winning his first Open Championship in 1894 at Royal St George’s, the Devon born golfer went on to win four more with his last coming in 1913. Taylor is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time and also spearheaded the movement that formed the British PGA alongside his peers.
Which current player holds the most Open Championship titles?
Of all the players who have previously won the Claret Jug on multiple occasions previously, only a few still ply their trade on the current PGA tour.
Of them, golfing leader Tiger Woods is the man who holds the most Open Championship titles.
He’s won this championship three times during his career in 2000, 2005 and 2006 and will be among the field for the 2022 edition of The Open.
Who are the youngest and oldest winners of The Open?
The youngest ever golfer to win the title at the Open Championship was Scotsman Tom Morris Junior who took home the trophy in 1868 at the age of just 17. His achievement also makes him the youngest golfer to ever win any of the sport’s major championships.
Tom Morris Junior interestingly won The Open on four straight occasions in 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1872 (championship not held in 1871) before he passed away on Christmas Day 1875 at the age of just 24.
His father, Tom Morris Senior was actually the oldest man to win The Open when he took the crown a year before his son’s first victory in 1867 at the age of 46.
That was the final of his four major wins at this tournament alongside victories in 1861, 1862 and 1864.
Who won The Open last year?
The last time this tournament was held in Sandwich, Kent in 2021, American Collin Morikawa won his first Claret Jug, finishing two strokes ahead of fellow countryman Jordan Spieth.
Still only 25-years-old, Morikawa added that victory at the 2021 Open Championship to his impressive win at the PGA Championship in August 2020 with many pundits and fans alike predicting him to hold a big future in the sport.
Previous multiple winners of The Open
1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914
1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910
John Henry Taylor
1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913
1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965
1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983
Tom Morris Sr.
1861, 1862, 1864, 1867
Tom Morris Jr.
1868, 1869, 1870, 1872
Willie Park Sr.
1860, 1863, 1866, 1875
1922, 1924, 1928, 1929
1949, 1950, 1952, 1957
1877, 1878, 1879
1880, 1881, 1882
1926, 1927, 1930
1934, 1937, 1948
1959, 1968, 1974
1966, 1970, 1978
1979, 1984, 1988
1987, 1990, 1992
2000, 2005, 2006
Willie Park Jr.
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