18-Hole Scoring Record at the British Open

What is the lowest, 18-hole score ever recorded in the British Open? That record is 62, and it was scored during the 2017 Open. It lowered by one stroke the previous record of 63, a score that had been first recorded in The Open in 1977.

Below are all the scores of 63 and under in this major championship. But we'll start with the current record.

The Record: 62 by Branden Grace

When Branden Grace shot 62 in the third round of the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale, not only did he set a new, 18-hole tournament scoring record, but he also became the first golfer in the history of any of the four professional majors (The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship) to score lower than 63 in a round.

Grace earned his 62 by shooting 29 on the front nine and 33 on the back nine. Grace had eight birdies and 10 pars in the round, good for 8-under on the par-70 Royal Birkdale links.

Grace began the tournament with scores of 70 and 74, good enough to make the cut but not in contention after 36 holes. His 62 moved him into a tie for fifth place after the third round, but seven strokes off the lead. He had a 70 in the final round and finished tied for sixth place, eight strokes behind winner Jordan Spieth.

The List: All the 63s and Better in the British Open

We know the 18-hole British Open scoring record is 62 now. Whose record did Grace break? Multiple golfers had scored 63 in The Open prior to Grace's 62, and more have done it since. So here is a list of all the 63s-and-better in Open history:
  • 62 — Branden Grace, 3rd round, Royal Birkdale, 2017
  • 63 — Mark Hayes, 2nd round, Turnberry, 1977
  • 63 — Isao Aoki, 3rd round, Muirfield, 1980
  • 63 — Greg Norman, 2nd round, Turnberry, 1986
  • 63 — Paul Broadhurst, 3rd round, St Andrews, 1990
  • 63 — Jodie Mudd, 4th round, Royal Birkdale, 1991
  • 63 — Nick Faldo, 2nd round, Royal St George’s, 1993
  • 63 — Payne Stewart, 4th round, Royal St George’s, 1993
  • 63 — Rory McIlroy, 1st round, St Andrews, 2010
  • 63 — Phil Mickelson, 1st round, Royal Troon, 2016
  • 63 — Henrik Stenson, 4th round, Royal Troon, 2016
  • 63 — Haotong Li, 4th round, Royal Birkdale, 2017
  • 63 — Shane Lowry, 3rd round, Royal Portrush, 2019
  • 63 — Jon Rahm, 3rd round, Royal Liverpool, 2023
Mark Hayes, in the 1977 British Open, was the first golfer to shoot 63. He lowered the 18-hole British Open scoring record by two strokes. Nobody had yet scored 64 when Hayes shot 63 — the record had stood at 65 since the 1934 British Open when Henry Cotton became the first to score 65.

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