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History of wins at Open Championship

We take a look back at the 150-year history of the Open Championship, the world’s largest golf tournament anyone can qualify to play.

Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays from a bunker on the 9th during The Open Qualifying Series, part of the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet Estate on July 3, 2022 in Thomastown, Ireland. Photo by Harry Murphy/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

The 2022 Open Championship will be held at the Home of Golf, the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland from Thursday, July 14th and Sunday, July 17th. The British Open is the last of the majors, and is the “world championship” as the governing body of golf everywhere outside the United States and Mexico.

The Old Course is where the game was first played 600 years ago, and is still the track most associated with the sport across the world. This will be the 150th Open Championship, and for the sesquicentennial they decided to move it from its usual every five years slot in the rota to 2022 instead of the normally-scheduled 2020.

The first British Open was held in 1860, and only four separate occasions have stopped the Claret Jug from being awarded. The tournament wasn’t held at all in 1871, World War I kept it from happening from 1915-1919, as did World War II from 1940-1945. And the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 also forced a year to be missed.

England’s Harry Vardon holds the record for the most wins at the Open Championship with six (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914). James Braid of Scotland, John Henry Taylor of England, Peter Thomson of Australia and Tom Watson of the United States are all tied with five wins.

Old Tom Morris of Scotland won the Open Championship four times, as did his son Tom Morris Jr. The fun part? A Morris won the Open Championship five years in a row between 1867 and 1872 with the event not being held in 1871. Morris Jr. is the only golfer in history to win the trophy four consecutive times.

Tiger Woods is expected to be in the field to start the tournament. He’s won the event three times (2000, 2005 and 2006), with his first and second victory coming at St Andrews. Padraig Harrington won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008. Ernie Els will be looking for his third victory as well, with another decade having passed sincesince his victories in 2002 and 2012, but he’s a long shot at +40000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. All three golfers above are expected to compete this year, and they are the only ones in the field with multiple wins at the Open Championship.

Four golfers have won the gold medal twice at St Andrews: Bob Martin (1876-1885), John Henry Taylor (1900-1905), Jack Nicklaus (1970-1978), and Tiger Woods (2000-2005)

The betting favorite in 2022 is the 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year in Rory McIlroy, who has +900 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to win. He is followed by Xander Schauffele (+1200), Scottie Scheffler (+1400), with Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas all checking in at T4 on the odds board. (+1600).

The USA’s Collin Morikawa won the 2021 Open Championship, and is listed at +3000 to be the first back-to-back Claret Jug winner since Harrington.