About the Senior British Open:
The tournament's official name is The Senior Open Championship and it is run by the R&A (we'll primarily use "Senior British Open" on About.com, just as we primarily use "British Open," in order to distinguish it from the U.S. Senior Open). It is counted as one of the five majors on the Champions Tour.
The Senior British Open was first played in 1987. However, it wasn't until 2003 that the tournament was designated a major by the Champions Tour.
The winner of the Senior British Open receives a spot in the field for the following year's British Open.
2014 Senior Open
Bernhard Langer crushed the field, winning his second Senior British Open title by a whopping 13 strokes. That not only established a tournament record for largest margin of victory, but also the record for all of the senior majors. Langer won wire-to-wire with four rounds in the 60s, finishing at 18-under 266. The distant runner-up was Colin Montgomerie at 279. It was Langer's 22nd career win on the Champions Tour, and third senior major title. Read more
Mark Wiebe defeated Bernhard Langer in a playoff to claim the trophy. It was Wiebe's first win in a senior major, his fourth official win on the Champions Tour. Langer led most of the third and fourth rounds, and held a 2-stroke lead on the 72nd tee. But Langer double-bogied that hole, falling into a tie with Wiebe at 271. They played two playoff holes Sunday night before darkness halted play. Returning Monday morning, Wiebe finally won on the fifth extra hole with a par.
Senior British Open Scoring Records:
- 72 holes: 263 - Tom Watson, Carl Mason, 2003
- 18 holes: 62 - Jim Colbert, 2003
Senior British Open Golf Courses:
The Senior British Open rotates among golf courses from year to year, however it does not yet have an established "Open rota" like the British Open does. Also unlike the British Open, the Senior British Open has not been exclusively played on links courses.
From 1995-2004, the tournament was played in Northern Ireland all but one year, but hasn't visited Northern Ireland since.
The Ailsa Course at Turnberry was the site from 1987-1990 and continues as a frequent host course. Muirfield, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Sunningdale and Walton Heath are other courses currently in the mix.
Tournament Notes and Trivia
- While the tournament was designated a Champions Tour major beginning in 2003, major championship status was not retroactively bestowed. That means winners prior to 2003 are not credited with a major by the Champions Tour.
- When Russ Cochran won in 2011, both his sons were working the tournament as caddies. Older son Ryan was on the bag for Mike Goodes while Reed caddied for his father. Goodes finished tied for seventh.
- Bob Charles played in every Senior British Open from the first in 1987 until 2010, 24 straight appearances. He won twice, in 1989 and 1993.
- Gary Player (1988, 1990, 1997) and Tom Watson (2003, 2005, 2007) are the only 3-time winners of the tournament. Because his wins came prior to 2003, however, none of Player's wins are counted as Champions Tour majors. If the Champions Tour in the future decides to count those early Senior British Opens as majors, then Player's total of senior major victories would increase to nine, and he would surpass Jack Nicklaus (8) as the Champions Tour leader in majors.
- Three golfers have won both the British Open and the Senior British Open: Player, Watson and Charles.
- Bernhard Langer won by 13 shots in 2014, setting not just a tournament record for margin of victory, but a record for any of the senior majors.
Senior British Open Winners:
2014 - Bernhard Langer, 266
2013 - Mark Wiebe-p, 271
2012 - Fred Couples, 271
2011 - Russ Cochran, 276
2010 - Bernhard Langer, 279
2009 - Loren Roberts, 268
2008 - Bruce Vaughan, 278
2007 - Tom Watson, 284
2006 - Loren Roberts, 274
2005 - Tom Watson, 280
2004 - Pete Oakley, 284
2003 - Tom Watson, 263
2002 - Noboru Sugai, 281
2001 - Ian Stanley, 278
2000 - Christy O'Connor Jr., 275
1999 - Christy O'Connor Jr., 286
1998 - Brian Huggett, 283
1997 - Gary Player, 278
1996 - Brian Barnes, 277
1995 - Brian Barnes, 281
1994 - Tom Wargo, 280
1993 - Bob Charles, 291
1992 - John Fourie, 282
1991 - Bobby Verwey, 285
1990 - Gary Player, 280
1989 - Bob Charles, 269
1988 - Gary Player, 272
1987 - Neil Coles, 279