Senior Open

Inaugurated in 1987, the Senior Open is now regarded as one of the five major championships in professional golf for players aged 50 and over. The competition is organised by the R&A as a 72-hole stroke play event over four days, with the field cut after the first two 18-hole rounds. The winner gains entry into the following year’s Open championship. Play-offs take place immediately after regulation play concludes in a sudden death, hole-by-hole format until a champion emerges.

Senior Open golf trophy

Mark Wiebe from the United States beat Bernhard Langer from Germany in the 2013 play-off after both players had carded identical aggregate scores of 271 (9 under par) at Royal Birkdale. Play was suspended because of darkness after two holes of the playoff and both golfers returned the following morning to finish things off, with Wiebe prevailing after he parred the fifth extra hole.

The tournament got under way twenty-six years previously on the Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry in 1987, back in the days when it was called the Seniors’ British Open. Neil Coles, who had just won his third consecutive PGA Seniors title the previous month, overcame his nearest challenger Bob Charles by one stroke to lift the senior version of the Claret Jug trophy.

Knighted in 1999, Bob Charles would finish in the runner-up position at the Senior Open six times during his career but he also managed to win a couple of the events, at Turnberry in 1989 and Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1993.

Bernhard Langer has most victories (4), followed by Tom Watson and Gary Player, who each have three. Langer also holds the record margin of victory, achieved at Royal Porthcawl in 2013, when his 266 aggregate score was thirteen s...

Senior Open host courses

Muirfield

1st Lothians - Best in Area 4th Scotland Ranking 6th Britain & Ireland Ranking 14th World Ranking

Muirfield is the course of “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers” (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club – according to direct written evidence – formed in 1744.

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Royal Porthcawl

1st South Wales - Best in Area 1st Wales Ranking 23rd Britain & Ireland Ranking 66th World Ranking

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club is located off the beaten track, east of Swansea and west of Cardiff. Despite being the highest ranked course in Wales, it remains relatively unknown.

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Royal Portrush (Dunluce)

1st Antrim - Best in Area 2nd Northern Ireland Ranking 4th Britain & Ireland Ranking 11th World Ranking

The Dunluce links at Royal Portrush Golf Club is named after the ruined Dunluce castle that overlooks the course. Seven years after the club's formation, the first professional golf tournament in Ireland, won by Sandy Herd in 1895, was staged here.

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Royal Troon (Old)

2nd Ayrshire & Arran - Best in Area 13th Scotland Ranking 32nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

Royal Troon is a traditional out and back links course. On a clear day, you can see the distant Ailsa Craig in the south, and to the west, the majestic mountains on the Isle of Arran.

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Senior Open Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 David Oliver Courses Played 14
= KP Courses Played 14
= Stuart Eastwood Courses Played 14
= Andy Newmarch Courses Played 14
= Ed Battye Courses Played 14
= Kirk Baert Courses Played 14
= Matthias Habisohn Courses Played 14
= Mark White Courses Played 14
= Gustav Courses Played 14
= Billy McNeill Courses Played 14