The Open 2019: The Opta facts behind the world's oldest major

The 148th Open Championship begins at Royal Portrush on Thursday as the world’s best golfers battle it out for the Claret Jug.

For just the second time in the storied history of the tournament, the sport’s oldest major will be staged in Northern Ireland, the home of 2014 champion Rory McIlroy.

And that is not the only interesting piece of trivia behind The Open, as these facts from Opta prove.


– Northern Ireland’s tally of six major wins is more than any other European country since the turn of the century – Rory McIlroy (4), Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke (one each).

– Francesco Molinari – victorious at Carnoustie last year – is looking to become the first player to win back to back Opens since Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 2008.

Brooks Koepka is 30 under par in the 2019 majors,13 shots better than any other player (Dustin Johnson -17).

Rory McIlroy‘s last four Open participations have seen him finish in the top five.

– Since the start of 2018, Jon Rahm has either finished in the Top 10 (four times) or missed the cut (three times) at majors.

Tiger Woods last won the Claret Jug in 2006 at Hoylake – if he were to win at Portrush, it would be the longest gap between two Open victories.

– Jordan Spieth has led (outright or share) at the end of five of the last eight rounds at The Open.

– Only Brooks Koepka (three) has had more top-three finishes in this year’s majors than Xander Schauffele (two), who finished in a tie for second at Carnoustie in 2018.

– Only one of the last 23 majors has been won by a player from outside Europe or the United States: Australia’s Jason Day (2015 US PGA Championship).

Nick Faldo is the last English player to win The Open, that victory coming 27 years ago in 1992 at Muirfield.