The Open Championship has made its method to Muirfield 16 occasions, starting from 1892 to 2013.

Nonetheless, the very best within the ladies’s recreation will head to the enduring hyperlinks course for the primary time this week.

As we put together for one more of the sport’s finest to make historical past in Scotland, let’s look again at 5 legends who captured their first claret jugs at Muirfield:

1959 – Gary Participant

A 23-year-old Gary Participant headed to Scotland in 1959 to qualify for The Open Championship. That’s proper, there was not a single participant exempt into the sphere. Qualifying came about the ultimate two days of June and included 18 holes at Muirfield and 18 extra at the #1 course of close by Gullane Golf Membership. The utmost variety of qualifiers could possibly be 100, and ties didn’t qualify. When the solar set on June 30th, 90 gamers had a spot in The Open, which teed off the subsequent morning at Muirfield.

Participant discovered himself outdoors the highest 10 after the primary two days of the three-day occasion – the ultimate day was 36 holes – after starting his championship with rounds of 75-71. A 2-under-par 70 within the third spherical moved Participant right into a tie for 10th and pulled him inside 4 pictures of the leaders, Fred Bullock and Sam King, with 18 extra holes to play that afternoon.

King would shoot a final-round 76, with Bullock bettering him by simply two pictures over the ultimate 18 holes. The poor play from the leaders left the door open for Participant to fireside a final-round 4-under 68 to win by two pictures, claiming the primary of his 9 main championships and the £1,000 prize that got here with it.


1966 – Jack Nicklaus

The Golden Bear had 5 main championships to his title when he headed throughout the pond in 1966 for The Open Championship at Muirfield, however was nonetheless seeking the profession Grand Slam. It was the primary time The Open was performed over the course of 4 days versus three, making the 54-hole chief – Phil Rodgers – the primary participant to ever sleep on the 54-hole lead at The Open. The occasion was contested Wednesday by way of Saturday and wouldn’t change to a Thursday by way of Sunday schedule till 1980.

Nicklaus was alone on the high of the leaderboard on the midway level, however a third-round 75 dropped him two pictures again of Rodgers headed into the ultimate spherical. Arnold Palmer entered Saturday simply two pictures additional again of Nicklaus.

A final-round 1-under 70 was sufficient for Nicklaus to leapfrog Rodgers and finally win his first claret jug by one shot over Doug Sanders and Dave Thomas. 

The eventual 18-time main champion beloved Muirfield a lot, that when he determined to develop a championship golf course in 1974, he named it “Muirfield Village,” which now hosts The Memorial, an annual cease on the PGA Tour’s calendar.


1987 – Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo turned 30 years outdated on July 18, 1987. The subsequent day, he hoisted the claret jug for what was the primary of his three Open victories and 6 main championships. It was the primary win by an Englishman at The Open since Tony Jacklin gained it in 1969.

Faldo opened in 3-under 68 to sit down T-5 after Thursday’s first spherical, and that was as little as he would discover himself on the leaderboard all week.

By means of 54 holes, Faldo was 5 underneath par and only a shot behind in a single day chief, Paul Azinger.

An excellent-par 71 within the last spherical in powerful situations was sufficient for Faldo to say the crown, as Azinger completed only a shot behind with a final-round 73.

It was a star-studded leaderboard, with different huge names ending inside the highest 10, together with Ben Crenshaw, Payne Stewart, Tom Watson, Nick Worth, Craig Stadler and Ian Woosnam.

Faldo loved his week on the well-known course a lot that he confirmed again up in 1992 – the subsequent taking part in of The Open at Muirfield – and lifted the claret jug as soon as once more.


2002 – Ernie Els

Tiger Woods was an enormous favourite getting into the 2002 Open Championship. He had captured seven of the earlier 11 majors, together with that 12 months’s Masters and U.S. Open.  

Alongside got here mom nature and Ernie Els.

Els was a two-time main champion, having gained the U.S. Open in 1994 and ’97, and the sweet-swinging South African was tied for the lead on the midway level with 4 different gamers, all of whom have been simply two pictures away from Woods when the grounds cleared Friday evening.

Saturday, nevertheless, was survival of the fittest. A entrance got here by way of, bringing with it sideways rain and bitter chilly.

The outcome for Woods was a stunning 10-over 81, the primary time he failed to interrupt 80 in his skilled profession.

That opened the door for one more of the sport’s greats to concentrate on the duty at hand with out having to fret about Woods catching fireplace, which he so typically did.

Els was completely satisfied to stroll by way of that door, capturing a third-round 1-over 72. Par was relative that day, as The Large Straightforward went from T-1 to a two-stroke lead heading into the ultimate spherical regardless of dropping a shot on that chilly Saturday.

It wouldn’t be a coast to the end line, although, for Els. He may handle solely a 1-under-par 70 in Sunday’s simpler situations, leaving him tied with Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington and Thomas Levet on the finish of regulation.

The 4 gamers would head to a four-hole combination playoff, which resulted in Appleby and Elkington being eradicated, and Els and Levet heading to sudden dying.

Levet may solely muster a bogey after discovering a fairway bunker along with his tee shot, and Els received up-and-down from a greenside bunker to seize his first claret jug.

It was, and nonetheless is, the one main championship that has had a four-way playoff.


2013 – Phil Mickelson

43-year-old Phil Mickelson confirmed as much as Muirfield in 2013 nonetheless chasing his first Open Championship. It was simply the most important the place lefty had the least success in his profession to that time, proudly owning simply two top-5 finishes in 19 earlier appearances.

Mickelson did are available in with confidence, although, having gained the Scottish Open the week prior.

Zach Johnson led after Day 1 at 5 underneath par, however that was as little as the scores would get all week.

Because it typically does in Scotland, mom nature determined to make an look, which stored Mickelson in competition headed to the weekend regardless of a second-round 74 that took him out of the highest 10.

It nonetheless regarded like a protracted shot, however Mickelson was inside putting distance after a third-round 72 left him at 2 over for the event, 5 pictures again of Lee Westwood, who was in entrance by two by way of 54 holes.

Then, every thing got here up Mickelson Sunday afternoon at Muirfield.

Westwood faltered with a 4-over 75. Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan, who each entered the ultimate spherical two pictures again of Westwood, shot 74 and 75, respectively.

In actual fact, the one different participant to complete within the high 10 and break 70 that day was Ian Poulter, who completed T-3 after a Sunday 67.

It was a close to flawless final-round 5-under 66 for Mickelson, as six birdies – together with at 17 and 18 – have been offset by only one bogey.

What began as a five-shot deficit resulted in a three-shot victory for Mickelson to seize his fifth main championship and the third leg of the profession Grand Slam. 

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