As The Open Championship celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth taking part in, we glance again on the most-defining moments from the historical past of golf’s oldest Main.

Immediately’s Golfer’s 2022 Main protection is delivered to you in affiliation with TaylorMade.

The Open has been the supply of a few of sport’s most iconic moments. For the fortunate ones, it was all concerning the glory however there has additionally been an excessive amount of ache alongside the way in which too.

We delve into the archives to disclose the moments which have made the one males’s Main performed on British soil liked across the globe.

1) A household affair – Prestwick, 1860

The Claret Jug is one of the most famous prizes in golf.

2) The Claret Jug is born – Scotland, 1873

Up till 1873, Open hopefuls had been taking part in for the Problem Belt, a size of Moroccan leather-based embellished with silver panels. When that belt was received for a 3rd consecutive time and subsequently outright by Younger Tom Morris (proper) in 1870, St Andrews, Musselburgh and Prestwick golf golf equipment lastly agreed to host The Open, every donating £10 in direction of the price of a brand new trophy. They ordered an ornately embellished silver claret jug made by Edinburgh silversmiths Mackay, Cunningham & Co.

The jug stands 20 inches tall and weighs roughly 5.4Ib. The R&A at the moment have a number of variations of the Jug, the unique from 1873, a reproduction made in 1927 and three comparatively trendy variations. The Champion Golfer of the Yr receives the 1927 model of the Jug to maintain for a 12 months, then will get a smaller model to maintain endlessly.

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3) Vardon’s sixth victory – Prestwick, 1914

By 1914, golf’s Nice Triumvirate had monopolised The Open Championship. James Braid, J.H. Taylor and Harry Vardon (pictured above) had amassed 15 titles between them, stage on 5 victories every. The 64-year-old Taylor arrived at Prestwick to defend his title and located himself with a two-shot lead over Vardon going into the fourth and remaining spherical, a second-round 82 all however ending Braid’s hopes.

Distracted by the massive crowd gathered round them, Taylor’s sport abandoned him, dropping strokes at eight, 9, 10 and 11 handy Vardon a five-stroke lead and his sixth Claret Jug. Since Taylor’s first win in 1894, the Nice Triumvirate had received 16 Opens in twenty years – and no man has ever bettered Vardon’s six Open victories. The outbreak of World Warfare I introduced that outstanding sequence to an finish.

4) The ‘Impregnable quadrilateral’ – Royal Liverpool, 1930

Bobby Jones grew to become the one beginner to win the Claret Jug thrice with victory at Hoylake in 1930. However what elevated his two-stroke victory above these earlier two was the larger image: Jones had made a guess that he would full the Grand Slam that very same calendar 12 months – profitable our Beginner Open and Open, and the US equivalents. Victory at St Andrews in Could sealed the Beginner, adopted lower than a month later by a two-stroke victory in The Open.

Twenty-two days later he received the US Open and accomplished the ‘impregnable quadrilateral’ by profitable the US Beginner in late September. Following a ticker-tape celebration by the streets of New York, he promptly retired – the best beginner the sport will ever see.

5) Armed and harmful – Prince’s, 1932

Gene Sarazen’s victory within the 67th Open Championship was largely routine, a wire-to-wire victory sealed by 5 photographs. The actual drama got here when Sarazen (pictured above) discovered his first bunker, then drew from his bag a membership that may alter the sport endlessly.

Designed by his personal hand, and impressed by the way in which air travels over an aeroplane’s wing, the membership was lofted and with a flange decrease than the forefront so it might bounce by the sand. “The Weapon!” cried his rivals, and the sand wedge was born.

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6) Bradshaw’s bottle – Royal St George’s, 1949

Eire’s best golfer, Harry Bradshaw atoning for lacking the lower within the earlier two Opens when the event arrived at Royal St George’s in 1949. Properly positioned after the primary spherical, within the second he discovered his ball had come to a cease on damaged glass.

Oblivious to the free drop he was entitled to, he hit it because it lay and will solely propel it 30 yards down the golf green, dropping a shot. Regrettable on the time, it proved to be ruinous when Bradshaw completed the week five-under with a rating of 283 – tied for the championship with Bobby Locke. With an evening to ponder his error, he returned the next day and misplaced the play-off by 12 strokes.

7) Hogan’s heroics – Carnoustie, 1953

In 1953, Ben Hogan (pictured above) had already received the Masters by 5 photographs and the US Open by six when a date conflict compelled him to determine between taking part in The Open or the US PGA. Fearing his legs wouldn’t face up to 36-hole matches, he elected to play Carnoustie, in what turned out to be his solely Open.

Rounds of 73, 71, 70 and 68 illustrated how the problem grew on him, Hogan discovering methods round Carnoustie others merely couldn’t – and creating Hogan’s Alley by threading his tee shot on the sixth gap between the golf green bunker and the OOB stake only a few yards aside. Cheered on by big galleries – together with Frank Sinatra – Hogan raced to a four-shot victory.

He vowed to return again and play The Open once more, however by no means did.

8) No type of Participant – Muirfield, 1959

Gary Participant didn’t fairly get the reception he anticipated from Muirfield’s notorious secretary Colonel Brian Evans-Lombe when he arrived 10 days forward of the Open to practise. “Good morning, sir. I’ve come early to practise as a result of I need to win The Open,” mentioned Participant (pictured above).

“You’re not practising right here,” Evans-Lombe replied. Participant lastly obtained his personal manner, however opening rounds of 75 and 71 left him eight photographs behind Fred Bullock going into the ultimate 36-hole day. Nevertheless, a 70 adopted by a 68 gave Participant the clubhouse lead. He went again to his lodge for a bathe and returned in a white swimsuit to look at the ultimate group end earlier than being topped the champion.

9) Kel kills The King – St Andrews, 1960

With American curiosity in The Open waning after Hogan’s victory in ’53, the following seven Claret Jugs had been shared by South Africans and Australians. Arnold Palmer aimed to alter that on his debut in 1960, heading to St Andrews searching for a contemporary Grand Slam, having already received the Masters and US Open.

His slim failure was right down to the workmanlike endeavour of Aussie Kel Nagle, who constructed a four-shot lead over The King going into the ultimate spherical. Arnie responded usually, a 68 making use of the stress, however Nagle replied with the putt of his life from a tough 10 ft on 17, and the shot of his life on 18, a 9-iron to a few ft to seal a one-shot victory. It was his solely Main title.

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10) Arnie’s first Open win – Royal Birkdale, 1961

Arnold Palmer’s first Open victory got here at solely his second try (see 09) at Royal Birkdale. The King’s swashbuckling strategy and well-known 6-iron from the bottom of a bush defeated the wild climate and shut consideration of Dai Rees.

Credited with reinvigorating The Open within the eyes of his fellow Individuals, Arnie (pictured above) received once more the next 12 months for good measure.

Tony Jacklin relaxes after winning The Open in 1969.

11) Jacklin’s pleasure – Royal Lytham, 1969

Eighteen lengthy years had handed since a British golfer had tasted Open victory, a drought delivered to a dramatic finish by Tony Jacklin at Royal Lytham. Breathlessly pursued by Bob Charles, winner of the final Open at Lytham in 1963, the Englishman saved a transparent head whereas the galleries round him had been dropping theirs.

Two photographs forward on the ultimate tee, his drive discovered the golf green – “What a corker!” gasped commentator Henry Longhurst. A high-quality strategy noticed Jacklin mobbed by spectators invading the golf green and his shoe momentarily misplaced within the melee. Two putts sealed victory, Jacklin’s sole Open title.

12) The failed formality – St Andrews, 1970

A 30-inch putt was all that stood between Doug Sanders and his first Main victory – what The Observer’s Peter Dobereiner known as “simply longer than a formality.”

However there’s no such factor as a formality with Jack Nicklaus respiration down your neck. Sanders jabbed his putt broad, plunging him right into a play-off through which Nicklaus prevailed. Sanders by no means got here as near profitable a Main once more.

Requested years later if he ever thought concerning the miss, Sanders’ replied, “Solely each 4 or 5 minutes.”

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13) The Merry Mex defends his jug – Muirfield, 1972

Lee Trevino’s hopes of defending his title appeared doomed at Muirfield in 1972. Jack Nicklaus had already shot a 66 to share the lead and Tony Jacklin was staring down an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-5 seventeenth for the outright lead. Alongside him within the remaining group, the Merry Mex had banjoed himself right into a bunker off the tee and was off the sting of the inexperienced in 4.

Having all however given up, he barely set his ft for his chip onto the inexperienced, which promptly discovered the opening to by some means save par. Rattled, Jacklin three-putted and bogeyed on the final as Trevino made par to retain his title. The Mexican would go on to win two extra Majors. Jacklin, by his personal admission, was by no means the identical once more.

Jack Newton ahead of their 18-hole playoff at the 1975 Open at Carnoustie.

14) The ache and the glory – Carnoustie, 1975

Tom Watson’s introduction to The Open was inauspicious to say the least. The 26-year-old arrived at Carnoustie for the 1975 event solely to be refused entry as qualifying was going down. He decamped to Monifieth GC for his first style of hyperlinks golf and watched as his imperious first drive cut up the golf green, solely to seek out his ball all of a sudden lacking.

Ten minutes later he lastly positioned it and declared his distaste for the style: “I didn’t consider that was the way in which golf must be performed.” When he lastly obtained on Carnoustie a number of days later, Watson modified his tune, beating Jack Newton in an 18-hole playoff to win on his debut – the beginning of a love affair that noticed him win 5 Claret Jugs.

15) The Duel within the Solar – Turnberry, 1977

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16) Seve – 1979, 1984 & 1988

The Open was the event that first launched the magic of Seve to the world, the little-known 19-year-old taking the in a single day lead heading into the ultimate spherical of the 1976 Championship at Royal Birkdale, earlier than ending tied-second alongside Jack Nicklaus.

Three years later he went one higher (18), changing into the youngest Open Champion within the twentieth Century and the primary golfer from continental Europe to win a Main since France’s Arnaud Massy received The Open in 1907.
Seve, as ever, was wild off the tee however long-established miraculous recoveries. He hit 9 fairways throughout the week at Royal Lytham & St Annes, and just one within the remaining spherical.

After a very wayward drive on the sixteenth, he knocked a wedge onto the inexperienced from the automobile park and made birdie. The ‘Automotive Park Champion’ was topped, the one participant to interrupt par that day, securing a three-shot victory over Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw.

The 1984 Open was meant to be all about Tom Watson as he bid to develop into the primary man since 1956 to win the Claret Jug three years in a row, and match Harry Vardon’s six Open victories.

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This swashbuckling Spaniard had his personal concepts, although. Coming into the ultimate spherical two photographs behind Watson, Seve went out in 34 to take the lead. By the point he reached St Andrews’ well-known seventeenth, there was nothing to separate the pair.

Seve discovered thick tough on the left and appeared sure to make bogey for the fourth day operating. Someway, he ripped a 6-iron nearly 200 yards by the air and held the inexperienced, saving par. Watson, within the group behind, would bogey the seventeenth as Seve was rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on the final to all however seal victory (19, pictured proper). “It was the happiest single shot of my life,” he mentioned.

His fifth and remaining Main got here in 1988, on the web site of his first – Royal Lytham & St Annes – by which period he was 4 years with no Main. Rain delays noticed the primary ever Monday end as Seve and in a single day chief Nick Worth produced one of many best remaining rounds in Open historical past.

Trailing by one, Worth hit the ultimate inexperienced in regulation, that means Seve probably wanted to stand up and down for the win. A trademark escape from greenside tough left a tap-in for victory (20). “I performed about in addition to this sport may be performed,” mentioned the Spaniard of his 65.

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Sandy Lyle won The Open at Royal St George's in 1985.

17) The floodgates open – Royal St George’s, 1985

18) 18 pars – Muirfield, 1987

One other three-time Claret Jug winner, Nick Faldo’s first Open victory got here on the twelfth time of asking, secured at a mist-shrouded Muirfield in 1987 (21, under) and providing proof that his not too long ago rebuilt swing might stand as much as essentially the most exacting examinations.

Within the model of the hare and the tortoise, Faldo’s 18 pars reeled in long-time chief Paul Azinger to see him land a breakthrough Main. It was additionally an excellent time for clothes firm Pringle. It’s oddly-designed jumpers flew off the cabinets put up Faldo’s first Open success.

19) Course file however no cigar for Norman – Troon, 1989

Greg Norman began the ultimate day at Royal Troon seven again of long-time chief Wayne Grady however lit up the Ayrshire hyperlinks by birdieing the primary six holes on a outstanding remaining day. American Mark Calcavecchia additionally got here charging by, helped by a outstanding slam-dunk chip-in on the twelfth.

The Nice White Shark would put up a course-record 64 and that obtained him right into a play-off with the unknown American and Grady, who couldn’t match the opposite two within the history-making, four-hole shoot-out.

Norman and Calcavecchia had been stage taking part in 18, the place the Open champion of three years earlier drove right into a bunker that was thought-about out of vary. Earlier than he hit his second, the American hit one of many nice lengthy iron photographs out of the tough to 6 ft. In response, Norman might solely splash out and will do little as Calcavecchia rolled within the birdie putt for his first and solely Main win.

Nick Faldo won The Open at Muirfield in 1992.

20) Peak Faldo – Muirfield, 1992

At Muirfield 5 years after Nick Faldo’s first Main success, he conjured up arguably the best efficiency of his profession and the ultimate 4 holes of his life. A second-round 64 was near perfection, with 130 strokes for the opening 36 a brand new Open file.

But as Faldo entered the ultimate 4 holes of the 121st Open he discovered himself two strokes again of the American John Prepare dinner and needing one thing spectacular.

“I informed myself that I needed to overlook about the entire week and play the very best 4 holes of my life,” he later recalled. What got here subsequent was maybe the shot of his life – the “half 5-iron” strategy on 15 that scudded to inside three ft for a birdie putt.

Par saved on 16, a birdie on the par-5 seventeenth mixed with Prepare dinner’s par noticed the momentum swing. Having learn the writing on the wall, Prepare dinner might solely bogey the ultimate gap as Faldo made par to substantiate his fifth Main title in six years and his third Open Championship.

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21) Norman conquest – Royal St George’s, 1993

21) Worth’s eagle – Turnberry, 1994

Twice a runner-up, in 1982 and 1988, Zimbabwean Worth claimed his sole Open with a one-stroke victory over Jesper Parnevik at Turnberry. It got here courtesy of a surprising late cost, first with a birdie on the sixteenth, then an unbelievable 50-foot eagle putt on the penultimate gap because the momentum swung all his manner.

“I almost jumped out of my pores and skin when it went in,” he defined after Parnevik’s bogey end had sealed his victory. “My coronary heart was pounding.”

23) Rocca kilos the turf – St Andrews, 1995

The Sunday at St Andrews in 1995, and Costantino Rocca is dying within the Valley of Sin. John Daly was the clubhouse chief at six-under, a shot away from the Italian. With Rocca nearly driving the inexperienced on the final, a birdie appeared inevitable – which would go away him stage with the American.

However Rocca’s thoughts clearly wandered at that time, his chip chunked hopelessly into the Valley of Sin. His hopes dashed and his desires seemingly useless, he then conjured up the unimaginable, a 50-foot putt that raced up the slope, throughout the inexperienced and into the opening. “Fairly extraordinary,” famous Peter Alliss, as Rocca lay spread-eagled on the turf. It secured a play-off, however the mulleted Daly nonetheless prevailed.

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24) Rose blooms – Royal Birkdale, 1998

Mark O’Meara walked away with the Claret Jug in ’98, however all hearts had been received by a callow younger man from Hampshire. Amateurs by no means win The Open any extra, in fact, however 17-year-old Justin Rose got here as shut as anybody might in firing a second-round 66 that equalled the beginner file and propelled him into the reckoning alongside Tiger Woods, Nick Worth and Thomas Bjorn, tied second and only a shot off the lead.

Rose didn’t win, in fact, a 75 dropped him again and left him three behind. But a gutsy Sunday 69 and unlikely pitch-in birdie on the final left him tied fourth and served discover of his rising fame. England all of a sudden anticipated. Not an excessive amount of, because it turned out, however too quickly.

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25) Story of the sudden – Carnoustie, 1999

Paul Lawrie’s victory at a brutal Carnoustie in 1999 was overshadowed by the sight of Jean van de Velde dropping his thoughts within the burn on 18. However no-one had seen Lawrie’s victory coming. He hadn’t made an Open lower since 1995 and issues gave the impression to be following type when he wakened on the Sunday morning 10 photographs behind van de Velde – twice the earlier file comeback margin. Eighteen holes later, Lawrie’s very good 67 left him six-over, however nonetheless seemingly wanting the miracle he wanted.

The probably French winner was nonetheless out on the course and holding a three-shot lead taking place the final. Then, in fact, he misplaced his thoughts, misplaced his lead and misplaced the Open in a four-hole playoff. “Jean ought to have received,” Lawrie mentioned afterwards. “I can’t clarify it, however I had a sense somebody might come by who wasn’t alleged to.”

26) The Tiger – 2000, 2005 & 2006

Tiger’s first Open victory on the Millennium Open at St Andrews in 2000 was a gentle, in some methods unspectacular affair that merely bolstered what we already knew. Having simply received the US Open at Pebble Seaside by 15 strokes, the phenom was equally dominant in profitable by eight strokes on the Outdated Course, his 19-under par tally a file for any Main and his 269 a file for any Open on the Residence of Golf.

The way through which Woods navigated his ball across the Outdated Course was astonishing, by no means as soon as discovering any of the 112 sand traps mendacity in wait. Right here was a person on the way in which to finishing the profession Grand Slam on the age of 24 and in full management of each side of his sport.

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It could have been extra astonishing had it not, by this level, develop into par for the course. Comparatively talking, his second Open victory 5 years later, once more at St Andrews and securing a second Grand Slam, wasn’t extraordinary sufficient to grace this record. Certainly, if something, Tiger’s victory was overshadowed by the retiring Jack Nicklaus. Much more important was his third Open victory, delivered the next 12 months at a sun-scorched Hoylake (30).

Tiger Woods won The Open at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005.

Opting to go away his driver within the bag, Tiger produced a masterclass in mid and long-iron precision to chart protected passage across the perilous pot bunkers. By no means racing away from the pack as he had executed in 2000, Woods led from Friday morning onwards, lastly shaking off the chasing pack with three birdies in a row from the 14th to win by two. If not his best Main efficiency, it was actually his most emotional.

Breaking down on the finish, Tiger devoted the victory to Earl Woods, his father and mentor having handed away two months beforehand. “I want he might have seen this one final time,” mirrored Eldrick, the chilly, medical champion decreased to mere mortal.

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Ian Woosnam discovers he has too many clubs in the bag at The 2001 Open.

27) Woosie’s woe – Royal Lytham, 2001

David Duval received in 2001 at Royal Lytham, however that isn’t what many people do not forget that Open for.
We recall extra readily, and nonetheless with a wince, the sight of Ian Woosnam flinging his membership into the bushes beside the 2nd tee, having been knowledgeable by his caddie that they had been carrying one weapon too many.

On the ultimate day, with Woosie tied for the lead, the Welshman hit the bottom operating, birdieing the first to ignite a cost. Till… “You’re going to go ballistic,” introduced the caddie, “we’ve got 15 golf equipment.”

Woosie duly went ballistic, declared the two-shot penalty and misplaced all momentum. Visibly shaken, he completed in a tie for third, somewhat than along with his fingers on the Claret Jug.

Ben Curtis won The Open in 2003.

28) Bjorn and Ben – Royal St George’s, 2003

With Sutton’s nous and Curtis’ chic placing stroke, the duo had been to show too good for a chasing pack that included Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Thomas Bjorn, who gave the impression to be house and hosed till it took three swipes to flee a bunker on 16.

Bjorn’s bogey, double-bogey, bogey, par end let slip a three-stroke lead with 4 to play, and Curtis was the primary participant since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win a Main on the first try.

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Todd Hamilton won The Open at Royal Troon in 2004.

29) Big Slayer – Royal Troon, 2004

Todd Hamilton significantly thought-about quitting the sport till he received an unconditional card seven months earlier, making his victory at Troon all of the extra outstanding. Hamilton dispatched all the period’s so-called ‘Huge 5’ en-route to defeating a disbelieving Ernie Els in a four-hole play-off. “I knew I used to be an honest golfer,” mentioned Hamilton, and he was… however he hasn’t received something since.

Sergio Garcia reacts to his missed putt at Carnoustie in 2007.

30) Sergio misses – Carnoustie, 2007

A decade earlier than he would lastly break his duck, Sergio Garcia was already many individuals’s decide as the very best golfer with no Main. The Spaniard had spent nearly seven years contained in the world’s prime 10 and clocked up 13 skilled wins. He’d registered 12 top-10 finishes in Majors, together with 5 within the final six Opens. He simply wanted to win one.

Opening his 2007 marketing campaign with a birdie en path to a gap spherical 65, this appeared certain to be his 12 months. He was the in a single day chief on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – the primary time he’d led a Main after 54 holes. Garcia prolonged his in a single day lead with three birdies and a par within the first 4 holes on Sunday. The whole lot was so as.

El Nino was lastly prepared for his date with future. However issues are by no means fairly that straightforward at ‘Carnasty’.
Challengers Padraig Harrington and Andres Romero started making birdies up forward, whereas Garcia faltered with
three bogeys within the subsequent 4 holes. When Harrington eagled the 14th, Garcia was bumped from the highest of
the leaderboard for the primary time since Thursday.

Because the Irishman reached the 18th tee with a one-shot lead and bogey-free all day, it appeared set to be one other heartbreaking near-miss for the gifted Garcia.

However it’s not over till it’s over, particularly at Carnoustie, and particularly on the opening that undid Jean van de Velde the final time The Open was on the town. Harrington, himself in search of to interrupt his Main duck, discovered Barry Burn twice, however escaped with a double bogey. That left Garcia needing a par to win the event. Discovering a greenside bunker along with his strategy, he splashed out to 10 ft. Placing has by no means been Garcia’s best asset, and the putt that may have sealed victory lipped out, forcing a play-off. When Garcia bogeyed the primary of 4 additional holes whereas Harrington made birdie, the writing was on the wall.

The loss would have been painful sufficient, however coming towards a person with whom he’d by no means seen eye-to-eye, relationship again to an argument on the 2003 Seve Trophy between Harrington and Garcia’s idol, Jose Maria Olazabal, it was nearly an excessive amount of to deal with.

“He was a really sore loser,” mentioned Harrington later. “I used to be as well mannered and beneficiant as I might be, however he continued to be a really sore loser.”

Harrington celebrates his second Open win.

31) Paddy’s unlikely reprise – Royal Birkdale, 2008

Successful the Claret Jug is tough, however retaining it’s so a lot more durable. Solely 5 males had achieved the feat since World Warfare II, and no European had managed back-to-back Open wins since James Braid in 1905-’06.

The omens weren’t good then for reigning champion Padraig Harrington, heading into the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. A profitable defence grew to become much more unlikely when the Irishman injured his wrist practising on the Saturday earlier than the event. “On Sunday I couldn’t even elevate a membership to chip,” he mentioned. “If it wasn’t The Open, I’d have pulled out.” Managing solely 9 holes of apply all week, Harrington admitted on the night time earlier than the event that he wasn’t certain he’d be capable of tee it up the next morning.

However tee it up he did. And, regardless of 45mph winds that meant no one might keep away from going into The Open’s notoriously thick tough, Harrington’s wrist endured. Two photographs off Greg Norman’s lead going into the ultimate spherical, Paddy battled to the highest as these round him faltered, giving him a two-shot lead with two holes to play.
The gang drew its breath as Harrington reached for a fairway wooden to play his second shot on the par-5 seventeenth, a dangerous transfer with wind howling off the left, that means Harrington needed to purpose into the grandstand. “We’re nonetheless on this,” whispered Greg Norman to his caddie.

However Harrington’s bravery paid off with one of many best photographs in Open historical past, a flushed 5-wood that settled three ft from the cup, organising a decisive, history-making eagle.

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What could have been. Tom Watson looks at The Claret Jug after losing a playoff to Stewart Cink.

32) A hell of a narrative – Turnberry, 2009

A birdie on the 71st gap gave Tom Watson the lead by a stroke, simply because it had executed on the Ailsa’s sun-kissed hyperlinks 32 summers earlier. This time, Watson’s nearest challenger wasn’t something near the calibre of his relentless pursuer in 1977 – for Jack Nicklaus and the ‘Duel within the Solar’, learn the Majorless Stewart Cink and the extra prosaic ‘Miracle of Turnberry’.

Alas, for each romantic watching, the Watson of 2009 was 59 and solely 9 months on from present process hip surgical procedure – this Outdated Tom was battling 155 others, the ravages of time and a few impossible odds.

To the ultimate gap and a probable 4 strokes from victory, a cast-iron down the center instructed no considerations, the stress of equalling Harry Vardon as essentially the most embellished Open golfer of all time not weighing unduly on Watson’s shoulders, or his thoughts. His second shot betrayed the primary indicators of nerves, nonetheless, racing over the again of the inexperienced and into the brief tough. Standing over his third, a tough putt for victory that he knew he couldn’t depart brief, his stroke galloped eight-feet previous the opening, the return for victory by no means given an opportunity,
left brief and proper of the opening.

Watson was mortally wounded, pulled again right into a four-hole play-off, his unlikely probability gone. 4 holes later, as Cink hoisted the Claret Jug, Watson was left to remorse what may need been. “The dream nearly got here true,” he smiled. “It could have been a hell of a narrative, wouldn’t it?” Would have been?
It already was.

Rory McIlroy playing at the 2010 Open, where he finished T3.

33) McIlroy arrives with a bang – St Andrew’s, 2010

If anybody doubted the skills of then 21-year-old Rory McIlroy they had been laid naked within the first spherical at St Andrews as he shredded The Outdated Course on his technique to a nine-under 63. That included a number of different missed alternatives and the teen from Northern Eire appeared unstoppable.

Nevertheless, destiny would decree in any other case as these taking part in within the afternoon on day two would face horrible climate circumstances. McIlroy shot a second-round 80 whereas South Africa Louis Oosthuizen, recent from a gap 65, could be within the second group out and obtained spherical in 67 earlier than the climate turned.

At midway the South African led by 5 and was by no means challenged whereas McIlroy bounced again nicely to complete in a tie for third. His time at The Open would come 4 years later (No 37).

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34) The lengthy shot – Royal St George’s, 2011

Adam Scott congratulates Ernie Els at the 2012 Open.

35) Nice Scott – Royal Lytham, 2012

The identify on the trophy in 2012 learn Ernie Els, and whereas the South African totally deserved a victory, he by no means led this Open Championship till the second he received it. The Claret Jug’s engraver might have been forgiven for beginning work early engraving Adam Scott’s identify into the trophy.

4 forward with 4 to play, Scott manufactured a meltdown for the ages, bogeying every and handing the trophy over to his good pal Els. Securing his second Claret Jug 10 lengthy years after his first, Els’ unlikely success had been constructed on the again of a supreme four-under again 9 for a closing 68. Sadly, for each males, it’s not that reality anybody remembers.

36) Phil’s fireplace – Muirfield, 2013

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Rory McIlroy won the 2014 Open Championship at Hoylake

37) Future calling – Royal Liverpool, 2014

Those that noticed Rory McIlroy dismantle St Andrews within the first spherical of 2010 Open (No 33) should have been questioning when Hollywood’s prodigal son would come again and end the job. The Northern Eire star would solely have to attend 4 years to fulfil what many thought-about his future.

Once more, like on The Outdated Course, he led after the primary spherical however this time, at Hoylake, he was by no means headed, changing into simply the sixth Open champion to go wire-to-wire and changing into simply the third participant in historical past to win a 3rd totally different Main by the age of 25 (Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods had been the others).

Rory was six clear going into the ultimate spherical though each Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia had an excellent run at closing the hole, the Spaniard’s bid for glory coming unstuck after he discovered sand on the fifteenth. That dropped him three behind the chief and the soon-to-be-champion birdied 16 to ease him to 17 underneath and that proved a determine which was out off attain for the remaining.

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38) Final man standing – Royal Troon, 2016

Occasions just like the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon are uncommon and great issues. Iconic, they instantly and endlessly outline the careers of these concerned. Legendary, they sit for a lifetime within the minds, hearts and souls of these golfers who watched. Transcendent, they show the best sport to a wider world captivated by its skill to convey sport at its most inspirational greatest. Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam in 1930 is an apparent instance. Ben Hogan’s 1953 Open victory at Carnoustie qualifies.

The ‘Duel within the Solar’ at Turnberry between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson is one other, as is Nicklaus claiming the 1986 Masters on the age of 46. This duel, this epic battle sits alongside all the above.
With the third-placed finisher, J.B. Holmes, a mere speck of their joint rearview mirror, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson produced golf of chic high quality.

RELATED: What’s In The Bag: Phil Mickelson

On the finish of his blitzkrieg of brilliance, the brand new champion completed an astonishing and unprecedented 20-under par, three photographs forward of the gallant runner-up and a yawning 14 strokes away from the bronze medallist. This was McEnroe versus Borg, Ali versus Frazier, Messi towards Ronaldo – cubed.

The ultimate spherical performed by Stenson, an eight-under par 63 that equalled the all-time 18-hole rating in any Main championship, contained 10 birdies and, nearly unbelievably, a brace of three-putts. Virtually past argument from all however those that nonetheless champion Johnny Miller’s closing 63 at Oakmont to win the 1973 US Open, it should be the best fourth-day ever produced in any of the 4 occasions that symbolize the very best stage of the sport. As a measure of the Swede’s play, Mickelson’s four-round mixture of 267 would have received 140 of the earlier 144 Opens.

There are different comparisons to be made, the very best with the aforementioned Nicklaus-Watson battle. Virtually 4 many years and simply over 20 miles faraway from ‘Stenson-Mickelson’, it sits timelessly within the reminiscences of all golfers. Or at the very least it did. For this newest model was higher in nearly each manner. The standard of the golf by each protagonists was superior (for Nicklaus struggled tee-to-green that week), and so too the way in which these modern-day Goliaths elevated the efficiency of the opposite.

Moreover, each Jack and Tom suppose so too. “I assumed Tom and I performed nice and had a beautiful match,” the 76-year-old Nicklaus mentioned. “However theirs was even higher.”

Watson was equally effusive. “Individuals, once they discuss The Open, they’ll say, ‘Yeah, Stenson-Mickelson at Troon.’ They may at all times discuss that within the highest echelon of dialog about The Open Championship. Jack and I, we had a fairly good contest. However, they had been 20-under and 17-under; Jack and I had been 12-under and 11-under. When you needed to rank it, you’d rank that above ours, for certain.”

Neither man walked off the 18th inexperienced with any actual concept of what they’d simply been a part of. Whereas it should have been clear to each that they’d simply created one thing greater than particular, neither had a clue when it got here to the main points. For one factor, Stenson had no concept what he had simply shot; the twenty ninth 63 in Main championship historical past. And Mickelson was simply as unhealthy. When he sat down within the scorer’s hut to examine his card, his eyes had been drawn to the adjoining scoreboard, displaying the pair’s hole-by-hole scores.

Alongside the road he went, from the first to the 18th, earlier than turning to Stenson and saying, “You made 10 f***ing birdies!” Such ignorance speaks to the purity of the competition. Realizing the remaining had been nowhere, Stenson and Mickelson targeted solely on one another.

In doing so, they represented the perfect that golf has to supply.

RELATED: What’s In The Bag: Henrik Stenson

Jordan Spieth won The Open in 2017, his third Major victory.

39) Spieth’s fortunate 13 – Royal Birkdale, 2017

There’s an outdated adage that claims it’s higher to be fortunate than good – and that actually held true for Jordan Spieth on the thirteenth gap within the remaining spherical of the 2017 Open. Main after every of the primary three rounds, the American discovered himself behind for the primary time after a rare thirteenth gap left him trailing compatriot Matt Kuchar
by a stroke.

Spieth’s hopes appeared to unravel when his blocked drive flew nearly 100 yards off line and struck a spectator standing atop a towering dune earlier than tumbling right into a quagmire of fescue and prehistoric ferns. However it was at that time that Girl Luck arrived on the scene.

First, Spieth was fortunate to seek out his golf ball, then he was fortunate the R&A hadn’t thought to declare the vary out-of-bounds. He was then fortunate to be granted aid from the tour vehicles, then fortunate to have the ability to play his third shot from pristine turf. Lastly, he was fortunate that his barely chunked, blind long-iron strategy over the dunes prevented a cluster of penal pot bunkers on the precise fringe of the golf green and as a substitute nestled some 30 yards away from the pin.

Understandably energised by such outrageous fortune, Spieth pulled off a tremendous up-and-down. And sensing that his identify was on the Claret Jug, he went on a birdie, eagle (“go get that!”), birdie, birdie run over the following 4 holes to determine a three-stroke lead over a shell-shocked Kuchar. With that victory, Spieth had half three of a potential profession Grand Slam – and golf certainly one of its best tales.

RELATED: What’s In The Bag – Jordan Spieth

40) A Homecoming – Royal Portrush, 2019

Shane Lowry made the 68 years between Open Championships in Northern Eire definitely worth the wait, profitable by six photographs in entrance of a sell-out house crowd at Royal Portrush in 2019.

“I can’t consider that is me standing right here,” he mentioned as he cradled the Claret Jug. “I can’t consider that is mine.”
Royal Portrush final hosted The Open in 1951, the one time it had been outdoors Scotland or England.

File crowds pinned their hopes at the beginning of the week on native hero Rory McIlroy, who missed the lower by a shot. They celebrated Darren Clarke hitting Thursday’s first tee shot and Portrush native Graeme McDowell had the loudest cheers as he walked up the 18th inexperienced on Sunday.

RELATED: Shaun Lowry – ‘Successful The Open hasn’t modified me’

However then got here Lowry, who joined Padraig Harrington as Irishmen to win Majors, whereas McIlroy, McDowell, Clarke and Fred Daly are Main champions from Northern Eire. “Everybody is aware of we’re all one nation in terms of golf,” Lowry mentioned.

Sky’s Ewen Murray summed up the week, saying Royal Portrush had “taken The Open to a brand new stage”.
What made it so particular? “Most likely 68 years of not being right here,” mentioned Murray. “In a small nation the place there are extra sheep than folks, Northern Eire can bask within the glory of an impressive achievement they usually delivered among the best Opens in trendy occasions.

The actual fact an Isle of Eire native prevailed added to a legendary week. The shoreline of this enchanting nook of Northern Eire will endlessly be remembered for a fairytale ending to the best championship in golf.”

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