Lowest Winning Scores in the British Open

What is the tournament record for lowest winning score in the British Open? That record was set in 2016, and the golfer who set it claimed not just the lowest stroke total record, but also the record for most strokes under par. In 2022, another golfer tied one of those marks.

That golfer who set both records in 2016 was Henrik Stenson. Before we show you the lists of the record-low winning stroke totals and the most strokes under par in Open Championships, let's find out a little bit more about the record-setting performances.

Henrik Stenson Holds Record for Winning Total, Shares Record for Strokes Under Par

At the 2016 British Open, Henrik Stenson earned the only major championship victory of his career. And, pushed by Phil Mickelson, he also set the British Open records for lowest winning total and most strokes under par.

Stenson finished at 20-under, a new record, and 264, also a new record. He broke the previous tournament record for strokes under par by one; and he lowered the Open Championship's 72-hole scoring record by three strokes.

Phil Mickelson opened with a 63 at Royal Troon Golf Club, and held the midway lead at 132. That was one better than Stenson, who shot 68-65 in the first two rounds.

Stenson moved into the lead with a 68 in the third, passing Mickelson, who carded a 70. They stood at 201 for Stenson, 202 for Mickelson. Mickelson had a great final round with a 65. The problem for him is that Stenson had an all-time great final round: a 63 that equalled the then-major championship scoring record for 18 holes.

In the end, Stenson finished three better than Mickelson. Mickelson's own score, 267, tied the previous British Open record for winning total ... except, of course, Mickelson didn't win.

Stenson's 264 was the new record, and his 20-under par made him the first golfer to finish at 20-under or better in a British Open. But it was only six years before Stenson's 20-under record was matched.

At the 2022 British Open, Cameron Smith won with a total of 268. That's a great score, and it makes the list below, but it doesn't match Stenson's overall record. However, on the par-72 Old Course at St. Andrews, Smith's 268 total was 20-under-par. Smith thus became the co-holder, with Stenson, of the Open record for most strokes under par.

The Lists: Record-Low Winning Scores in the British Open

These are the lowest, 72-hole stroke totals to win the Open Championship:
  • 264 — Henrik Stenson, 2016, Royal Troon
  • 265 — Collin Morikawa, 2021, Royal St. George's
  • 267 — Greg Norman, 1993, Royal St. George's
  • 268 — Tom Watson, 1977, Turnberry
  • 268 — Nick Price, 1994, Turnberry
  • 268 — Jordan Spieth, 2017, Royal Birkdale
  • 268 — Cameron Smith, 2022, The Old Course at St. Andrews
  • 269 — Tiger Woods, 2000, The Old Course at St. Andrews
  • 269 — Shane Lowry, 2019, Royal Portrush
  • 270 — Nick Faldo, 1990, The Old Course at St. Andrews
  • 270 — Tiger Woods, 2006, Royal Liverpool
These are the lowest scores in relation to par (most strokes under par) to win the Open Championship:
  • 20-under — Henrik Stenson, 2016
  • 20-under — Cameron Smith, 2022
  • 19-under — Tiger Woods, 2000
  • 18-under — Nick Faldo, 1990
  • 18-under — Tiger Woods, 2006
  • 17-under — Rory McIlroy, 2014, Royal Liverpool
  • 16-under — Louis Oosthuizen, 2010, The Old Course at St. Andrews

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