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British Open history: Who last won, why no 2020 event, past winners

We take a look at the past winners of the Open Championship, taking place this year at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre plays from the 5th tee during a practice round for The 149th British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s, Sandwich in south-east England on July 13, 2021. Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 Open Championship is set to tee off Thursday, July 15th at the Royal St George’s golf course in Sandwich, Kent (UK). Jon Rahm (+700) is the heavy favorite to win this year’s tournament on DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by Jordan Spieth (+1400) and Brooks Koepka (+1600).

The 2020 British Open was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the reigning champion remains Shane Lowry of Ireland. In the 2019 season, Lowry won over Tommy Fleetwood by a six-stroke margin over Tommy Fleetwood.

Here, we’ll take a look at some information on past winners of the British Open.

Past 10 winners of The Open Championship

2019: Shane Lowry (6 stroke margin)
2018: Francesco Molinari (2 stroke margin)
2017: Jordan Spieth (3 stroke margin)
2016: Henrik Stenson (3 stroke margin)
2015: Zach Johnson (playoff)
2014: Rory McIlroy (2 stroke margin)
2013: Phil Mickelson (3 stroke margin)
2012: Ernie Els (1 stroke margin)
2011: Darren Clarke (3 stroke margin)
2010: Louis Oosthuizen (7 stroke margin)

Who has the most British Open victories in history?

Henry William Vardon (of the Bailiwick of Jersey) holds the record for the most British Open victories since the tournament was established in 1860. He won The Open Championship a total of six times in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, and 1914.

Since the 1970s, several golfers hold multiple victories, though no one has surpassed Henry Vardon’s record. The closest anyone’s come to beating this record since the 1960s was Tom Watson, who racked up his fifth victory in 1983.

Who was the last golfer to win consecutive British Opens?

Padraig Harrington won the British Open in 2007 at Carnoustie and in 2008 at Royal Birkdale. That followed Tiger Woods’ own turn, winning in 2005 at St. Andrews and in 2006 at Royal Liverpool.

Three golfers have won three straight Open Championships and the record for most consecutive belongs to Tom Morris, who won five straight from 1867 to 1872 — with no tournament held in 1871. Here’s a full list of golfers who have won consecutive Open Championships.

Padraig Harrington: 2007-2008
Tiger Woods: 2005-2006
Tom Watson: 1982-1983
Lee Trevino: 1971-1972
Arnold Palmer: 1961-1962
Peter Thomson: 1954-1956
Bobby Locke: 1949-1950
Walter Hagen: 1928-1928
Bobby Jones: 1926-1927
James Braid: 1905-1906
Harry Vardon: 1898-1899
John Henry Taylor: 1894-1895
Bob Ferguson: 1880-1882
Jamie Anderson: 1877-1879
Tom Morris: 1867-1872 (no tournament in 1871)
Tom Morris: 1861-1862