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15 Interesting Facts About the British Open

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15 Interesting Facts About the British Open

British Open
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With the 2014 British Open set to take place this weekend, fans around the world are gearing up to see who will be the next person crowned winner of the tournament. The British Open is rich in history, as it has been played for well over 100 years. Here are 15 interesting facts about the British Open that even the most savvy golf fan probably doesn’t know.

15. The Open Championship

15. The Open Championship

15. The Open Championship

15. The Open Championship
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The British Open is officially called The Open Championship, or simply The Open. The reason is because it was the first Open Championship. Basically, only Americans call it the British Open because they need to differentiate it from the U.S. Open.

14. The Claret Jug

14. The Claret Jug
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14. The Claret Jug

14. The Claret Jug
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The trophy given to the winner of the British Open is a copy of the real Claret Jug. It is has been awarded every year since 1872. The Championship Cup looks like the silver jugs used to serve claret, a dry red wine made in France during 19th century gatherings.

13. Tom Morris' Record Has Never Been Matched

Fact 3
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13. Tom Morris' Record Has Never Been Matched

13. Tom Morris' Record Has Never Been Matched
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“Young” Tom Morris won the British Open in four consecutive years, a feat that has not been matched. If a player wins three times in a row, they are allowed to keep the trophy for good. At the time, the trophy was called the Challenge Belt. Since Morris was able to keep it, the Claret Jug was made for the winners going forward.

12. Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A)

12. Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A)
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12. Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A)

12. Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A)
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The tournament is organized by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), which is the governing body of golf outside of the United States and Mexico.

11. Oldest and Youngest Winners

11. Oldest and Youngest Winners
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11. Oldest and Youngest Winners

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The oldest winner of the British Open is 46-year-old “Old” Tom Morris (1867). The youngest winner is 17-year-old “Young” Tom Morris (1868).

10. Gary Player

10. Gary Player
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10. Gary Player

10. Gary Player
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Gary Player has the most appearances in the British Open at a whopping 46.

9. Gary Player (Pt. 2)

9. Gary Player (Pt. 2)
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9. Gary Player (Pt. 2)

9. Gary Player (Pt. 2)
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Gary Player is also the only golfer ever to win The Open Championship in three different decades (1959, 1968 and 1974).

8. Harry Vardon

8. Harry Vardon
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8. Harry Vardon

8. Harry Vardon
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Harry Vardon has the most British Open wins with six. The victories occurred in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914.

7. The Open Championship Was Originally Played In Scotland

Scotland
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7. The Open Championship Was Originally Played In Scotland

scotland
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For the first 30 years of The Open Championship, the tournament was solely played in Scotland. It wasn’t until 1894 when the British Open ventured to England.

6. Tiger Woods' Record For Largest Margin

6. Tiger Woods' Record For Largest Margin
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6. Tiger Woods' Record For Largest Margin

6. Tiger Woods' Record For Largest Margin
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“Old” Tom Morris holds the record for the largest margin of victory in the British Open, a feat he accomplished in 1862 when he won by 14 strokes. Tiger Woods broke Morris’ record for the largest margin of victory in a major championship when he won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 strokes.

5. Bob Charles

5. Bob Charles
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5. Bob Charles

5. Bob Charles
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The 1963 British Open saw Bob Charles become the first left-handed golfer and first player from New Zealand to win a major championship.

4. Royal Liverpool Golf Course

4. Royal Liverpool Golf Course
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4. Royal Liverpool Golf Course

4. Royal Liverpool Golf Course
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The British Open will only be played on one of nine links courses that are set in either England or Scotland. This year it will take place at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in England.

3. Jock Hutchison

Jock Hutchison
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3. Jock Hutchison

Jock Hutchison
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The first American citizen to win the British Open was Jock Hutchison. Although Hutchison was born in England, he was a naturalized citizen of the United States when he won the 1921 Open Championship.

2. Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club
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2. Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club
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The first 12 British Opens were played on Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.

1. J.H. Taylor

J.H. Taylor
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1. J.H. Taylor

J.H. Taylor
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The longest span between a golfer’s first and last British Open win is 19 years, which is held by J.H. Taylor. He won his first Open Championship in 1894 and his last in 1913.