The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Founded in 1860, it was originally held annually at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland, before evolving to being rotated between a select group of coastal links golf courses in the United Kingdom, under the authority of the R&A.
The Open is one of the four major golf tournaments, the others being the Masters Tournament, the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. Since the PGA Championship moved to May in 2019, the Open has been chronologically the fourth and final major tournament of the year. The tournament traditionally takes place over four days in summer, starting the day before the third Friday in July.
It is called the Open, because it is in theory “open” to all, i.e. professional and amateur golfers. In practice, the current event is a professional tournament in which a small number of the world’s leading amateurs also play, by invitation or qualification. The success of the tournament has led to many other open golf tournaments to be introduced around the world.
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