Open Championship Carnoustie – Fast Facts

The Open Championship is back at the Carnoustie Golf Links for an eighth time. The Beast will look to torment the golfers as they chase glory

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The Jean van de Velde meltdown at the 18th in Carnoustie is an iconic Open Championship moment

July 09 2018: We are just a week from the 147th edition of the most revered of golf tournaments. Here are some quick facts to get your appetite going for Open Championship Carnoustie

147th Open Championship, July 19-22 2018

Course: Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship Course) in Angus, Scotland

Length: 7,402 yards

Par: 71

Field: 156 players

Playoff (if necessary): 4 holes, aggregate score

Prize money: $10,500,000

Winner’s share: $1,890,000

Defending champion: Jordan Spieth

  • The oldest of the four majors, the first running of the Open Championship featured just eight golfers, at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland in 1860.
  • This is the eighth time that the Open is being played at the Carnoustie Golf Links
  • The event was first hosted at this venue in 1931. American Tommy Armour won the title over Argentine Jose Jurado
  • The grand prize for winning the title was GBP100 in 1931. Jordan Spieth received a cheque for GBP1.42mn in 2017
  • The real prize though is the Golf Champion Trophy, fondly called the Claret Jug
  • Harry Vardon has won the Open six times, more than any other golfer in its history
  • Gary Player has played the most Opens, featuring in 46 events. Jack Nicklaus has the honour of most second place finishes – seven, he is also a three time winner
  • The best score at Carnoustie is 63 by Tommy Fleetwood, who shot the score at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year

Padraig Harrington won the Open when it was played at the Carnoustie Golf Links in 2007. But the abiding image for the current generation of golf fans remains the watery dissolution of Jean van de Velde on the 18th hole.

The Frenchman was comfortably ahead of the chasing group, needing just a double-bogey six at the par-4 18th hole. Ahead by three, he went with the mood and took driver at the 487 yard, par-4 final hole. He was wayward off the tee, flying over the burn to the right of the fairway. Van de Velde could have chipped back into play and reached the green in three, but for some reason opted to sail toward the green with a 2-iron.

The rest is history. The ball hit the greenside grandstand, caught a rail, bounced onto the stone wall of the Barry Burn before burying itself in knee-deep rough. It was not one but two bad breaks for the Frenchman and worse followed. The third shot from the rough landed in the burn. He took a drop, reached the greenside bunker with his fifth and ultimately made triple bogey.

That dropped him into a playoff with Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard. But the experience at the 18th had left him scarred and Lawrie took the opportunity with both hands to collect the only major title of his career.

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