European Winners Of The Open Championship

In this piece Sam Tremlett takes a look at every European winner of the Open Championship after World War Two.

European Winners Of The Open Championship
Seve Ballesteros winning the Open Championship in 1979 (Getty Images)
(Image credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images)

In this piece Sam Tremlett takes a look at every European winner of the Open Championship after World War Two.

European Winners Of The Open Championship

The Open Championship is the one Major of the year to take place outside the United States and is regularly held at a variety of courses around the British Isles. As a result we have seen 18 European winners of the event since the end of World War Two. Sam Tremlett takes a look at each champion and the years they got their hands on the Claret Jug below. Of course we start with 2018 winner, Francesco Molinari.

2018 – Francesco Molinari

Francesco Molinari shot a final round 69 to win the 2018 Open Championship by 2 shots over Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy. It was his first Major win, the first Italian winner at the Open Championship, and first Italian major winner ever. A momentous day for Molinari and Italian golf.

Francesco Molinari celebrates a birdie on the 18th hole during the final round of the 147th Open Championship (Getty Images)

2016 – Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson became Sweden's first ever Major winner at the Open too at Royal Troon. Battling Phil Mickelson on the final day, Stenson had 10 birdies and shot an incredible 63 on Sunday.

2014 – Rory McIlroy

McIlroy picked up the third leg of the career Grand Slam in 2014 as he won by two strokes at Royal Liverpool. Going into the final day he had a six shot lead over Rickie Fowler and proceeded to shoot a final round 71 to win his third Major.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates his two-stroke victory  (Getty Images)

2011 – Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke showed excellent consistency throughout the week at Royal St Georges shooting two 68's, a 69, and a final round 70 to win his only Major Championship by three strokes over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. His eagle at the par-5 7th on Sunday was particularly important.

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Francesco Molinari What's In The Bag

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Francesco Molinari wins 147th Open Championship

Magical Molinari Emerges Victorious on Epic Open Sunday

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2007, 2008 – Padraig Harrington

Harrington won the first of his three Majors at Carnoustie in 2007 after Sergio Garcia's par putt agonisingly lipped out on the 18th. He birdied the first extra hole and would secure the victory by one shot over the Spaniard.

A year later he was again lifting the Claret Jug. Starting the day two back, the Irishman had a one shot lead after the 12th hole. He would then play the remaining six holes in four under par including a sublime eagle at the 17th to blow the field away.

1999 – Paul Lawrie

The 1999 Open Championship is best remembered for Jean Van Der Velde’s implosion on the last hole, where he had a seven to drop back into a playoff with Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie. What gets forgotten is Lawrie shot 67 on the final day in an incredible round, and then birdied 17 and 18 in the four-hole playoff to win.

Nick Faldo parred all 18 holes to win at Muirfield in 1987 (Getty Images)

1987, 1990, 1992 – Nick Faldo

Faldo secured three Open wins with his first coming at Muirfield where he famously parred all 18 holes to win his first Major. Three years later he won at St Andrews, and finally won at Muirfield again in 1992.

1985 – Sandy Lyle

Like several other players in this list, Lyle also won his first Major Championship at The Open. Hosted at Royal St Georges in 1985, Lyle shot a final round level par 70 to win by one stroke over Payne Stewart.

1979, 1984, 1988 – Seve Ballesteros

Like Nick Faldo above, Seve also won two of his three Open wins at the same course, Royal Lytham and St Annes. Sandwiched in between those was a win at St Andrews in 1984.

1969 – Tony Jacklin

Tony Jacklin won his Open Championship at Royal Lytham after shooting 72 on the final day to beat Bob Charles, Roberto Di Vicenzo and Peter Thomson.

Tony Jacklin celebrates winning in 1969 at Royal Lytham and St Annes (Getty Images)

1951 – Max Faulkner

Going into the final round at Royal Portrush Max Faulkner was the only player under par at five-under. His six-shot lead proved crucial as he shot a 74 and won by two over Antonio Cerda.

1948 – Henry Cotton

Cotton leapt up the leaderboard on the second day shooting a masterful 66 at Muirfield and would go on to win by five shots over 1947 champion Fred Daly.

1947 – Fred Daly

In 1947 at Royal Liverpool the par for the course was set to 68 after all the par-5's were set as par-4's. Scoring was incredibly difficult as shown by Daly's winning score of 21-over-par. (This would be +5 if the course was played at its regular par 72). He became the first Irish winner of the Open Championship.

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Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

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Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer