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History of The Open

Course specialists


Who has won the most Opens at each venue?

Sir Nick Faldo celebrates winning The Open at Muirfield in 1992

Fourteen spectacular links courses across the British Isles have enjoyed the honour of hosting The Open since it was first played in 1860.

But that begs the question, who has won the most Opens at each venue?

A total of 13 players have triumphed multiple times on the same course. Read on to find out who they are.



The Open's exclusive home between 1860 and 1872, Prestwick staged the Championship 24 times in all, hosting for the final time in 1925.

The early years of the Championship saw the father-son duo of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris win four Opens each.

Willie Park Snr – the very first Champion Golfer - also won four Opens at Prestwick to put his name among the most prolific winners of the event.


St Andrews

St Andrews has played host to some stunning moments since first hosting The Open in 1873.

It was the first course other than Prestwick to host the Championship and has been a regular fixture ever since, with all of the greats of the game walking the iconic links at the home of golf.

Bob Martin, J.H Taylor and James Braid all won two Opens each at St Andrews before World War II.

Jack Nicklaus matched that feat with victories in 1970 and 1978, while Tiger Woods joined them in 2000 and 2005.

Jack Nicklaus is presented with the Claret Jug in 1978


The name Sir Nick Faldo will always be synonymous with Muirfield.

The Englishman is the only man to have won two Championships at the course, winning his first Open in 1987 and his third in 1992 either side of a 1990 victory at St Andrews.

His 1987 victory, by one shot from Paul Azinger and Rodger Davis, was famously completed with a final round of 18 pars, while in 1992 Faldo played “the best four holes of my life” to pip John Cook to the title.


Royal St George's

Two golfers have a pair of Open wins at Royal St George's to their name.

Harry Vardon – the most prolific Champion Golfer of all - won twice at the venue, first in 1899 before coming out on top once again in 1911.

The first American-born winner of The Open, Walter Hagen, matched Vardon's achievement by triumphing at Royal St George’s in 1922 and 1928.


Royal Lytham & St Annes

You cannot think of Royal Lytham & St Annes without thinking of one man, Seve Ballesteros.

One of the greatest players and most extraordinary men to be involved in golf, Ballesteros received near-universal acclaim for his passion and ability.

He won his first Open at Lytham in 1979, finishing three strokes ahead of Ben Crenshaw and Jack Nicklaus. Following his memorable 1984 success at St Andrews, Seve then lifted the Claret Jug at Lytham again in 1988 as he came out on top in a thrilling final-round battle with Nick Price.


Royal Birkdale

Australia’s Peter Thomson is the most successful golfer at Royal Birkdale, having won The Open at the course twice.

He won his first in 1954 in a tight contest, finishing one stroke ahead of Bobby Locke, Dai Rees and Syd Scott.

Eleven years later he picked up his fifth title in all and second at Royal Birkdale, finishing two strokes ahead of Wales' Brian Huggett and Ireland's Christy O'Connor Snr.



Musselburgh gave us six different winners in as many Opens between 1874 and 1889, a testament to the unpredictable nature of the course.

Mungo Park, Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Willie Fernie, David Brown and Willie Park Jnr were the men to lift the Claret Jug at Musselburgh.


Royal Troon

The Open will return to Royal Troon in 2024 for the 10th time. The previous nine Opens produced a different winner each time, with Henrik Stenson the most recent Champion in 2016.



The same can be said of Carnoustie, which has given us a different winner each time it has hosted The Open, including Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Tom Watson. Francesco Molinari last triumphed there in 2018.

Francesco Molinari kisses the Claret Jug after winning The 147th Open

Royal Liverpool

Royal Liverpool has given us some great memories over the years, but it has also given us 12 different Champion Golfers from as many stagings.

The course first hosted The Open in 1897 and will be the venue for the next edition of the Championship in 2023, when Rory McIlroy will hope to repeat his 2014 victory at Hoylake.



Turnberry has hosted four Open Championships, but again, it has given us four different winners.

It first hosted The Open in 1977, returning in 1986 and 1994 before its most recent incarnation in 2009.

Tom Watson came closest to winning The Open twice on the iconic course, first triumphing in 1977 before returning for one of the greatest Opens in the Championship's long and prestigious history in 2009, when he was beaten by Stewart Cink in a play-off.


Royal Cinque Ports, Prince’s & Royal Portrush

The only other courses to have held The Open – Royal Cinque Ports, Prince’s and Royal Portrush - have only staged five Championships between them, with the latter’s two Opens to date held 68 years apart. It is therefore little surprise that there have been no repeat winners at any of the venues.

J.H. Taylor and George Duncan were the Open Champions at Royal Cinque Ports in 1909 and 1920 respectively, while Gene Sarazen triumphed along the Kent coast at Prince’s in 1932.

Royal Portrush’s maiden Open in 1951 was won by Max Faulkner, with Shane Lowry claiming a hugely popular triumph 68 years later. Lowry will have an opportunity to add himself to the list of two-time winners at an Open venue in 2025, when golf’s original Championship returns to the Dunluce Links.

The most wins at each Open venue

Prestwick: Willie Park Snr, Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris (4 wins each)

St Andrews: Bob Martin, J.H. Taylor, James Braid, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods (2)

Muirfield: Sir Nick Faldo (2)

Royal St George's: Harry Vardon & Walter Hagen (2)

Royal Lytham & St Annes: Seve Ballesteros (2)

Royal Birkdale: Peter Thomson (2)

Musselburgh: Six Champions who won once at the venue

Royal Troon: Nine Champions who won once at the venue

Carnoustie: Eight Champions who won once at the venue

Royal Liverpool: Twelve Champions who won once at the venue

Turnberry: Four Champions who won once at the venue

Royal Cinque Ports: Two Champions who won once at the venue

Prince’s: One Champion (Gene Sarazen) who won once at the venue

Royal Portrush: Two Champions who won once at the venue

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