Five things you didn't know about the Open at Prestwick

Five facts about the birthplace of the Open Championship

Alex Dawkins's picture
Mon, 18 Nov 2013

Five things you didn't know about the Open at Prestwick

1. The first 15 Open Championships were played over three rounds of 12 holes at Prestwick. The course was only extended to 18 holes in 1882. Jack Simpson won the first Open played over 18 holes at Prestwick in 1884, posting rounds of 78 and 82.

2. There was no Open Championship in 1871. Rules stated that if the same person won three consecutive opens they would be entitled to keep the Challenge Belt the winner was awarded. Young Tom Morris achieved this feat in 1870, which led to the tournament being cancelled the following as there was no prize to give to the winner. The Open returned in 1872, when Young Tom Morris was victorious again, becoming the only man to win four consecutive Open Championships. The Claret Jug was awarded for the first time the following year.

3. Despite not hosting the Open since 1925, Prestwick has still held the tournament more times (24) than any other course apart from the Old Course at St Andrews (28). Muirfield is third, having hosted its 16th Open in 2013.

4. Prestwick fell out of the rotation to host the Open not because of the quality or the length of the course, but because it could no longer accommodate the ever-increasing galleries. An incredible 10,000 people turned up to watch the final day of the 1925 Open, won by Jim Barnes with an aggregate score of 300. This was also the last Open played over two days. Troon Golf Club replaced Prestwick in the rotation thereafter.

5. Both the oldest and the youngest ever winners of the Open did so at Prestwick. In 1867, Old Tom Morris won at the age of 46, before his son, Young Tom, became the youngest ever winner at the age of 17 a year later.

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