|Established||1987, 33 years ago|
|Course(s)||Sunningdale Golf Club, Sunningdale, England (2021)|
|Tour(s)||European Seniors Tour|
|Prize fund||£1.5 million|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||263 Tom Watson (2003)|
|To par||−18 Bernhard Langer (2014)|
The Senior Open Championship, or simply The Senior Open (and originally known as the Senior British Open) is a professional golf tournament for players aged 50 and over. It is run by The R&A, the same body that organises The Open Championship. Prize money won in the event is official money on both PGA Tour Champions (formerly the Senior PGA Tour and Champions Tour) and the European Senior Tour. The purse, which is fixed in United States dollars, was $2 million in 2011, with a winner's share of $315,600. For sponsorship reasons, it is currently known as The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.
The tournament was first held 33 years ago in 1987 and became part of the European Seniors Tour schedule in 1992. It is younger than the PGA Seniors Championship, which started in 1957, as well as the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship. In late 2002 it was designated as the fifth major championship on the Champions Tour schedule. Winners before 2003 were not retroactively designated as Champions Tour major winners until late 2018. Winners gain entry into the following season's Open Championship. The event is usually held the week following The Open Championship, although in 1991 it was held the week before the Open and in 1998 it was held in August, three weeks after the Open.
The 2018 Senior Open was held at St Andrews for the first time, a decision which was heavily influenced by five-time Open champion Tom Watson. In 2020, the championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The standard field size is 144 players and an 18-hole qualifying round is held at the championship course on the Monday before the tournament, with a minimum of 24 places available. If fewer than 120 exempt players enter, the field is filled to 144 with more high finishers from qualifying. If more than 120 exempt players enter, the top 24 finishers earn entry even if it causes the field to expand beyond 144.
|The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex|
|2019||Bernhard Langer (4)||Germany||Royal Lytham||274||−6||2 strokes||Paul Broadhurst|
|2018||Miguel Ángel Jiménez||Spain||St Andrews||276||−12||1 stroke||Bernhard Langer|
|2017||Bernhard Langer (3)||Germany||Royal Porthcawl||280||−4||3 strokes||Corey Pavin|
|2016||Paul Broadhurst||England||Carnoustie||277||−11||2 strokes||Scott McCarron|
|2015||Marco Dawson||United States||Sunningdale||264||−16||1 stroke||Bernhard Langer|
|2014||Bernhard Langer (2)||Germany||Royal Porthcawl||266||−18||13 strokes||Colin Montgomerie|
|2013||Mark Wiebe||United States||Royal Birkdale||271||−9||Playoff||Bernhard Langer|
|The Senior Open Championship|
|2012||Fred Couples||United States||Turnberry||271||−9||2 strokes||Gary Hallberg|
|2011||Russ Cochran||United States||Walton Heath||276||−12||2 strokes||Mark Calcavecchia|
|The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard|
|2010||Bernhard Langer||Germany||Carnoustie||279||−5||1 stroke||Corey Pavin|
|2009||Loren Roberts (2)||United States||Sunningdale||268||−12||Playoff|| Fred Funk|
|2008||Bruce Vaughan||United States||Royal Troon||278||−6||Playoff||John Cook|
|The Senior Open Championship presented by Aberdeen Asset Management|
|2007||Tom Watson (3)||United States||Muirfield||284||E||1 stroke|| Stewart Ginn|
|The Senior British Open Championship presented by Aberdeen Asset Management|
|2006||Loren Roberts||United States||Turnberry||274||−6||Playoff||Eduardo Romero|
|2005||Tom Watson (2)||United States||Royal Aberdeen||280||−4||Playoff||Des Smyth|
|The Senior British Open Championship presented by MasterCard|
|2004||Pete Oakley||United States||Royal Portrush||284||−4||1 stroke|| Tom Kite|
|Senior British Open presented by MasterCard|
|2003||Tom Watson||United States||Turnberry||263||−17||Playoff||Carl Mason|
|2002||Noboru Sugai||Japan||Royal County Down||281||−3||2 strokes||John Irwin|
|2001||Ian Stanley||Australia||278||−6||Playoff||Bob Charles|
|2000||Christy O'Connor Jnr (2)||Ireland||275||−9||2 strokes||John Bland|
|Senior British Open|
|1999||Christy O'Connor Jnr||Ireland||Royal Portrush||282||−6||3 strokes||John Bland|
|1998||Brian Huggett||Wales||283||−5||Playoff||Eddie Polland|
|1997||Gary Player (3)||South Africa||278||−10||Playoff||John Bland|
|1996||Brian Barnes (2)||Scotland||277||−11||3 strokes|| Bob Charles|
|1995||Brian Barnes||Scotland||281||−7||Playoff||Bob Murphy|
|1994||Tom Wargo||United States||Royal Lytham||280||−8||2 strokes|| Bob Charles|
|1993||Bob Charles (2)||New Zealand||291||+7||1 stroke|| Tommy Horton|
|1992||John Fourie||South Africa||282||−2||3 strokes|| Bob Charles|
|Seniors' British Open|
|1991||Bobby Verwey||South Africa||Royal Lytham||285||+1||1 stroke|| Bob Charles|
|Volvo Seniors' British Open|
|1990||Gary Player (2)||South Africa||Turnberry||280||E||1 stroke|| Deane Beman|
|1989||Bob Charles||New Zealand||269||−11||7 strokes||Billy Casper|
|1988||Gary Player||South Africa||272||−8||1 stroke||Billy Casper|
|Seniors' British Open|
|1987||Neil Coles||England||Turnberry||279||−1||1 stroke||Bob Charles|
- 2013: Wiebe beat Langer with a par at the fifth extra hole. Play was suspended because of darkness after two holes of the playoff and the pair returned on Monday morning to complete it.
- 2009: Roberts beat McNulty with a par at the third extra hole. Funk was eliminated at the first extra hole where Roberts and McNulty had birdies.
- 2008: Vaughan beat Cook with a birdie at the first extra hole.
- 2006: Roberts beat Romero with a par at the first extra hole.
- 2005: Watson beat Smyth with a par at the third extra hole.
- 2003: Watson beat Mason with a par at the second extra hole.
- 2001: Stanley beat Charles with a par at the first extra hole.
- 1998: Huggett beat Polland with a par at the first extra hole.
- 1997: Player beat Bland with a birdie at the second extra hole.
- 1995: Barnes beat Murphy with an eagle at the third extra hole.
Seven players have multiple victories in the Senior Open Championship:
- 4 wins: Bernhard Langer (2010, 2014, 2017, 2019)
- 3 wins: Gary Player (1988, 1990, 1997), Tom Watson (2003, 2005, 2007)
- 2 wins: Bob Charles (1989, 1993), Brian Barnes (1995, 1996), Christy O'Connor Jnr (1999, 2000),
Loren Roberts (2006, 2009)
Winners of both The Open and the Senior Open
Three players have won both The Open Championship and the Senior Open, the professional majors run by the R&A.
|Player||Open Championship||Senior Open|
|Gary Player||1959, 1968, 1974||1988, 1990, 1997|
|Bob Charles||1963||1989, 1993|
|Tom Watson||1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983||2003, 2005, 2007|
Final round ratings
The Senior Open Championship has been played at the following courses, listed in order of number of times hosted (as of 2019):
- 7 Turnberry Golf Club
- 6 Royal Portrush Golf Club
- 5 Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club
- 3 Royal County Down Golf Club
- 2 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Sunningdale Golf Club, Royal Troon Golf Club, Carnoustie Golf Links
- 1 St Andrews Links, Muirfield, Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Walton Heath Golf Club, Royal Aberdeen Golf Club
|2022||Kings Course||Auchterarder||Perthshire||Scotland||July 21–24, 2022|
- "Senior Open Championship: results". PGA Tour. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Senior British Open now a Major
- Senior British Open elevated to Senior Major
- "PGA Tour Champions recognizes Gary Player's Senior British Open wins as major titles". thegolfnewsnet.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- Herrington, Ryan (21 December 2018). "How well do you remember what happened in golf in 2018? Take our quiz". Golf Digest. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- Inglis, Martin (3 February 2016). "Tom Watson plays key role as Senior Open heads to St Andrews". bunkered.
- Dempster, Martin (2 July 2020). "Senior Open cancelled for first time in its history". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "The Senior Open Championship 2017 – Entry Form" (PDF). European Senior Tour. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Senior Open Championship ratings". ShowBuzzDaily. Mitch Metcalf. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- Official website
- Coverage on the European Senior Tour's official site
- Coverage on the PGA Tour Champions' official site