The world’s oldest major still bears two parallel names – The Open and the British Open, and the designation of this event is still polarizing in the golf world.

Royal & Ancient (R&A) established this major in 1860. R&A and the American Golf Association (USGA) manage and develop world golf. Originally, R&A identified “The Open Championship” (referred to as The Open) as the official name for the event.

The Open is the oldest major in the traditional four major system of top golf.  Photo: The Open

The Open is the oldest major in the traditional four major system of top golf. Image: The Open

But now, calling The Open the British Open is also correct. This name is even more popular on the Internet. Typing “British Open” on July 15, Google gave 8.61 billion search results in 0.69 seconds and “The Open” reached 8.1 billion results in 0.96 seconds.

“The name of the prize hasn’t changed in the last 155 years. We’ve stuck with the name of The Open, because it’s really the cradle of the expansions that followed,” explains R&A communications director Malcolm Booth. AP back in 2016.

When this major was born, the golf world had no other notable professional events. And both then and a few years later, The Open made perfect sense and was not controversial at all. However, over time, new open tournaments, with a large scale, were born one after another.

In 1895, the USGA launched the “US Open” major – the US Open. Eight years later, golfers began competing “South Africa Open” – South Africa Open. Two years before this tournament, the Canadian Open and Australian Open appeared on the high-performance golf map. Thus, The Open of R&A is no longer the only “open tournament”.

However, The Open at that time was positioned internationally by R&A, instead of at the national championship level like other co-branded events.

And in terms of communication, R&A has always been consistent with the name The Open.

Jack Nicklaus is celebrated by the modern golf world as a great player. He owns a record of 18 majors, including all three of The Open between 1966-1978 in 73 PGA Tour championships. But in this major record holder’s mind, the R&A event is the British Open. He only used his original name – The Open – when in England.

“In the US, people don’t know what The Open Championship is. To properly and fully call it ‘The Open of the R&A in St. Andrews’. If you say The Open Championship alone, it could be the US Open, the Australian Open. , Japanese Open”, Nicklaus analyzed on AP.

“When I called the tournament the British Open, I would receive thousands of blood letters,” said British golfer Tony Jacklin, who won the tournament in 1969. Golfweek on July 14 on the sensitive issue of naming the only major outside the US in the traditional quartet, besides the Masters, PGA Championship and US Open.

And when going to the homeland of the oldest major, American golfers often join customarily, calling the original name. The closest person to do this is world number one Dustin Johnson during his interview with the media ahead of this year’s event.

“What do you call this award when you were a kid and now, Dustin?”, a reporter asked on July 14. “Well then it was definitely the British Open, now it’s The Open Championship,” Johnson replied, then added “because that’s the official name” when reporters traced the cause.

Earlier this week, Phil Mickelson offered a compromise solution to the debate over the official British major name as he prepared to attend the 149th tournament from July 15 to July 18 at Royal St. George’s. “Every year, there’s a controversy over ‘The Open or the British Open’. Back in 1930, the Earl of Airlie called it the British Open when he handed the Claret Jug to Bobby Jones. So both names are fine.” , Mickelson tweeted.

In his own reasoning, Mickelson reminded the aristocrat of Airlie in Scotland to award the 1930 championship champion at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, in the fog. Mickelson was born in 1970, won 45 PGA Tour titles, including six majors including The Open 2013.

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