The Open: High-scoring history at Birkdale and the best Opta facts

The 146th Open Championship takes place this week at Royal Birkdale.

Ahead of Thursday's opening round in golf's oldest major, we take a look at the best facts relating to the event with help from our friends at Opta.


- Royal Birkdale is hosting The Open for the 10th time, the fourth-highest tally for an English course after Royal St George's (14), Hoylake (12) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (11).

- Nick Faldo was the last English player to win The Open, that victory coming 25 years ago at Muirfield. The last English player to lift the Claret Jug on English soil was Tony Jacklin, 48 years ago at Lytham.

- Padraig Harrington was the last player to win The Open at Birkdale, triumphing by four shots in 2008. Harrington is also the last golfer to win back-to-back Opens, having also claimed the Claret Jug in 2007. However, since his 2008 triumph at Birkdale, the Irishman has not finished higher than 20th in the tournament.

- Neither of the last two Opens at Birkdale have been won with an under-par score. Mark O'Meara won with an even-par aggregate in 1998, prior to Harrington's three-over total proving enough nine years ago. There has only been one other Open in the last 30 years (the 1999 Championship at Carnoustie) where no player broke par for the tournament.

- Harry Vardon holds the record for most wins at The Open (6), ahead of James Braid, John Henry Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson (all 5).

- Rory McIlroy - the 2014 Open champion - has four major victories. Among current active golfers, only Tiger Woods (14), Phil Mickelson (5) and Ernie Els (4) can boast as many or more major wins.

- In June, Brooks Koepka became the seventh consecutive first-time major winner, a run that began in August 2015 with Jason Day's US PGA Championship triumph at Whistling Straits.

- Jordan Spieth has finished outside the top 10 in each of his last five majors, that run coming after five consecutive majors in which he had never finished worse than tied fourth.

- Day's missed cut at last month's U.S. Open saw him fail to make the weekend in a major for the first time since the 2012 US PGA. However, the Australian has only one top-20 finish in six Open appearances.

- In his last three majors, world number one Dustin Johnson has missed two cuts and failed to tee it up because of injury at the Masters. He had racked up seven top-10s in his previous nine majors.

- Adam Scott has made the top 10 in four of the last five Opens (2nd in 2012, T-3rd in 2013, T-5th in 2014, T-10th in 2015).

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