The Open Championship, also known simply as ‘The Open’, was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland, making it the oldest professional golf tournament in the world and the oldest of the four major championships – the others being The Masters, The US Open and the PGA Championship.
The tournament takes place annually on one of nine links courses in Scotland or England, with one exception when The Open was played at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland back in 1951.
Played using a 72-hole stroke play format, there is a ‘cut’ after the first 36 holes, limiting the field to the top 70 players and those tying for 70th position. Unique to the four Majors, The Open features a four-hole playoff if play is tied at the end of regulation play, and continues into sudden-death if necessary.
This year, the 17th Open will take place at Carnoustie, in Scotland, from 19 to 22 July.
The game of fold has been played in Carnoustie for well over four centuries. By 1839 the Carnoustie Golf Club had been formed, making it the oldest artisan club in the world. It became an 18 hole golf course in 1867. In 1931 The Open came to Carnoustie for the first time, and since then it has become a regular venue and has hosted the Championship on six further occasions. The course is regarded as one of Britain’s finest, and most challenging, tests of golf. It is a strikingly beautiful course with the greens either raised or perfectly framed in the rolling dunes Carnoustie is a formidable test for all golfers. In particular the closing stretch, encompassing holes 16, 17 and 18, offers no let up for the players and usually sets up demanding and fascinating finishes. The 16th hole is considered one of the hardest par 3’s in the world.
Opens: 1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007
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