Past Open Championship Silver Medal Winners

Here we take a look at some notable winners of the low amateur honours at The Open

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy holds the trophy for the best amateur player of the the 136th British Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie
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The Silver Medal at The Open Championship is one of the most coveted awards in amateur golf. It's won by the leading amateur that makes the cut in the game's oldest Major and boasts an impressive list of past winners.

That list includes American Frank Stranahan, who won it four times in its first five years, and Sir Michael Bonallack. More recently it has been claimed by decorated golfers such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIIroy, who are the only golfers to win both the Silver Medal and Claret Jug.

Other Silver Medal winners to have subsequently gone on to secure a Major Championship include Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Championship), Jose Maria Olazabal (1994 and 1999 Masters) and Justin Rose (2013 US Open).

Here's our list of notable Silver Medal winners from years gone by...

Frank Stranahan - 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1953

American golfer Frank Stranahan playing a shot on the tenth during the Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's

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In an amateur career that spanned from 1936-1954, American Frank Stranahan won over 70 tournaments and is the only player to this day to have won the Silver Medal four times.

He did this in 1949 at Royal St George's, in 1950 at Royal Troon, in 1951 at Royal Portrush and, finally, at Carnoustie in 1953.

Michael Bonallack - 1968 and 1971

Michael Bonallack at the 1971 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

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Michael Bonallack is remembered arguably as the finest amateur golfer that Britain has ever produced having won two Open Silver Medals during his playing career, first in 1968 at Carnoustie, and again at Royal Birkdale in 1971.

Peter McEvoy - 1978 and 1979

Open Championship 1977 at the Ailsa Course at Turnberry, Scotland, held 6th - 9th July 1977. Pictured, Peter McEvoy.

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Peter won two Silver Medals in a row, first at St Andrews in 1978 and then again at Royal Lytham in 1979, and was a leading British Amateur golfer for many years. He went on to Captain the Britain and Ireland team to their first ever back-to-back Walker Cup successes in 1999 and 2001.

Hal Sutton - 1981 

Hal Sutton presented with the Silver Medal for finishing as the low amateur at the 1981 Open

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Hal Sutton won the Silver Medal at the 1981 Open Championship at Royal St George's at the age of 23. This provided the springboard for the American to go on and win his one and only Major Championship just two years later at the PGA Championship.

Jose Maria Olazabal - 1985

Payne Stewart (r) of the USA the runner up and Jose-Maria Olazabal of Spain (R) the winner of the Silver Medal during the114th Open Championship played at Royal St Georges Golf Club

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Jose Maria Olazabal became the only amateur to date to win all the R&A medals that were on offer at the time. He described winning the Silver Medal at the 1985 Open at Royal St George's as a major boost in the early part of his career that propelled him to 30 professional titles, including two Green Jackets.

Olazabal went on to captain Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup, known as the Miracle at Medinah.

Tiger Woods - 1996

Tiger Woods of the United States receives the Silver Medal for highest placed amateur during the British Open on 21 July 1996 at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

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A 20-year-old Tiger Woods finished three-under overall for the 1996 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. As well as claiming the Silver Medal, he also became the first player to win three consecutive US Amateur titles. The rest, as they say, is history.

Justin Rose - 1998 

Justin Rose with his family after winning the Silver Medal at the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale

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A 17-year-old Justin Rose amazingly holed his third shot at the 72nd hole to clinch the Silver Medal to finish in a tie for fourth place overall. He wouldn't immediately realise his potential when making the jump to the pro ranks, missing his first 21 cuts, but he has since gone on to forge an exceptional career.

He won the 2013 US Open, the 2016 Olympic Golf competition, and enjoyed a spell as the World No. 1, among a great many other things.

Rory McIIroy - 2007

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy holds the trophy for the best amateur player of the the 136th British Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie

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Rory McIlroy played his first Major at just 18 years of age where he signed for the only bogey-free round on day one of the 2007 Open. He went on to add rounds of 76, 73 and 72 at Carnoustie and win the Silver Medal.

Seven years later, the Northern Irishman lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool.

 Chris Wood - 2008

Padraig Harrington of the Republic of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug after winning by 4 strokes alongside Chris Wood of England who won the silver medal for the highest placed amateur during the final round of the 137th Open Championship

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The Englishman claimed the Silver Medal at Royal Birkdale in 2008, finished in a tie for fifth and subsequently turned professional later that year. In 2009, his first year as a pro, he would better that performance with a tie for third - his best finish in a Major to date.

Matteo Manassero - 2009

Matteo Manassero (Amateur) of Italy receives the silver medal for the highest placed amateur from the Captain of Turnberry Golf Club Peter Wiseman following the final round of the 138th Open Championship on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club

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Italian golfer Matteo Manassero is the youngest winner of the Silver Medal at the age of just 16 and is also to date the youngest competitor in the modern Major era. He shot a final round 69 at Turnberry in 2009 to finish two-over for the tournament.

Matt Fitzpatrick - 2013 

Matthew Fitzpatrick of England is presented with the silver medal for the leading amateur player during the final round of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield on July 21, 2013

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Matt Fitzpatrick was low amateur at Muirfield in 2013, finishing in a tie for 44th. He has since gone on to win eight DP World Tour titles, including a thrilling maiden Major at the 2022 US Open.

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