European Open

The European Open is a 72-hole stroke play men’s professional tournament on the European Tour which dates back to 1978. Thirteen of the first seventeen editions were held at either Walton Heath or Sunningdale in England before the event moved outwith the United Kingdom.

European Open Championship Trophy

The inaugural contest at Walton Heath was won by Bobby Wadkins in a play-off against Gil Morgan and Bernard Gallagher, with the American birdieing the first extra hole played. Another golfer from the United States, Tom Kite, claimed the title at the same venue two years later, when his aggregate total of 184 was enough to secure victory by one shot from his closest rivals.

There were further non-European winners in those early years, including Australians Graham Marsh (1981), Greg Norman (1986), Peter Senior (1990) and Mike Harwood (1991). Isao Aoki also captured his only European Tour win at Sunningdale in 1983, edging out three others, one of whom was Seve Ballesteros.

Seve never did win the European Open, coming second in three out of four years starting in 1981. Ironically, in the year when he didn’t feature in 1982, the event was won by Manuel Piñero, who remains the only Spanish player to have lifted the trophy since it was first contested.

In 1995, the championship took up a new long-term residency at the K Club in Ireland (becoming the Smurfit European Open) with Bernard Langer winning his second Open ten years after he’d won his first. Per-Ulrik Johansson and Lee Westwood then successfully retained the title they’d won the previous year (in 1997 and 2000, respectively) before home favourite Darren Clarke triumphed in 2001 with a three stoke winning margin.

The tournament returned to England i...

European Open host courses

East Sussex National (East)

11th Sussex - Best in Area

Gordon Brand Jnr. and David Gilford won the European Opens here in 1993 and 1994 respectively. It will come as no surprise to hear that East Sussex National’s East course is a big tournament layout.

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K Club (Palmer North)

1st Kildare - Best in Area 24th Ireland Ranking

The K Club, or to give it its full title, the Kildare Country Club, is located in 550 acres of rolling County Kildare countryside – it’s the most renowned golf resort in Ireland.

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K Club (Palmer South)

5th Kildare - Best in Area 47th Ireland Ranking

If you are a traditionalist then the Smurfit golf course is probably not up your street. If you are seeking thrills and excitement, then the K Club is for you.

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Royal Liverpool

1st Cheshire - Best in Area 16th England Ranking 42nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

Without doubt, Royal Liverpool Golf Club is a tough links. Only six holes are in the dunes – otherwise there is little protection from the ever-changing Hoylake wind.

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Sunningdale (Old)

1st Surrey - Best in Area 2nd England Ranking 9th Britain & Ireland Ranking 24th World Ranking

The Old course at Sunningdale is one of the British Isles’ most aesthetically pleasing inland courses. Arguably, it was the first truly great golf course to be built on the magical Surrey/Berkshire sand-belt.

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Trump Turnberry (Ailsa)

1st Ayrshire & Arran - Best in Area 1st Scotland Ranking 2nd Britain & Ireland Ranking 8th World Ranking

The Ailsa course at the Turnberry Resort is probably the most scenic Open Championship golf course. Located right next to the Firth of Clyde, with craggy rocks and superb views across to the Mull of Kintyre...

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Walton Heath (New)

13th Surrey - Best in Area 37th England Ranking 84th Britain & Ireland Ranking

Both courses at Walton Heath Golf Club are intertwined and have a very similar look and feel. The Old is tougher, although the New is a demanding course with memorable holes of great variety.

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European Open Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Keith Baxter Courses Played 9
= Gregory Forde Courses Played 9
= Andy Newmarch Courses Played 9
= Dr. Michael J. Noack Courses Played 9
= Brian Ward Courses Played 9
= RM61 Courses Played 9
7 Ian Poysden Courses Played 8
8 Mark White Courses Played 7
= Mark Hillson Courses Played 7
= Angus wink Courses Played 7