The History of The Open at Carnoustie

The Open has been decided at Carnoustie on seven occasions. Each time, the mystique of the oldest Major has been embellished by those who have excelled across its testing links. The first, in 1931, was Tommy Armour - the last Scottish-born player to win The Open until Paul Lawrie triumphed 68 years later.

In 1937, Henry Cotton produced one of the best final rounds at Carnoustie to win his second Open requiring only 26 putts to lift the Claret Jug. Ben Hogan followed suite in 1953 with a remarkable debut that culminated in the last of his nine Major wins.

Gary Player wasn’t to be outdone when, in 1968, he hit one of his finest shots at the par-five fourteenth to eventually beat Bob Charles and Jack Nicklaus by two strokes. Tom Watson’s name was added in 1975 when his remarkable induction established reciprocal reverence between the man from Kansas and Scotland’s fabled links.

In 1999, Paul Lawrie birdied the 17th and 18th holes to win an intense playoff by three from Van de Velde and Justin Leonard in an unforgettable final day. And the drama reached a crescendo in 2007 when Padraig Harrington endured in an enthralling play-off with Garcia to complete an Irish double after a young Rory McIlroy claimed the Silver Medal as leading amateur.

Carnoustie’s roll of honour

  • 2007 - Padraig Harrington
  • 1999 - Paul Lawrie
  • 1975 - Tom Watson
  • 1968 - Gary Player
  • 1953 - Ben Hogan
  • 1937 - Henry Cotton
  • 1931 - Tommy Armour