10 Memorable British Opens – The New York Times

by Msnbctv news staff

After final 12 months’s event was canceled due to the pandemic — the primary time since World Warfare II — the British Open is again.

The Open will likely be staged this week at Royal St. George’s Golf Membership in Kent, England. The final time it was held there was in 2011, when Darren Clarke of Northern Eire gained by three pictures over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.

The occasion, the ultimate main of the season, was first performed in 1860 and has lengthy offered beautiful moments. Right here, in chronological order, are 10 British Opens that stand out.

Ben Hogan was the champion in the one British Open he competed in, successful by 4 strokes.

Tied for the lead getting into the ultimate spherical, Hogan shot a four-under 68, which included a birdie at No. 5 when he chipped in from the bunker.

Hogan’s victory capped what ranks as one of the vital outstanding seasons in golf: Solely 4 years after he was severely injured in a automobile accident, Hogan additionally gained the Masters and the US Open.

Arnold Palmer gained by a shot over Dai Rees, though it was not solely the ultimate end result that was important; it was additionally that Palmer, the preferred participant within the recreation,was showing within the British Open for the second 12 months in a row.

Palmer, who had completed second in 1960, would encourage different American gamers to make the lengthy journey. The British Open started to imagine a bigger stature. Palmer gained the event once more in 1962.

All Doug Sanders, one in all golf’s most colourful figures, wanted was to transform a three-foot putt on the ultimate gap and he can be the champion.

He missed it. The following day, in an 18-hole playoff, he misplaced to a fellow American, Jack Nicklaus, by a shot. On the 18th gap, Nicklaus hit a 360-yard drive that went by the inexperienced. He chipped to about eight ft away and made the putt for his first main title since 1967.

For Nicklaus, who would win three British Open titles, that was thought of a drought.

Nicklaus, who had already gained the Masters and U.S. Open, was going for the grand slam (successful all 4 majors in the identical 12 months).

With one spherical to go, he trailed the chief, Lee Trevino, by six strokes. Nicklaus made fairly a cost within the closing spherical, capturing a five-under 66, however Trevino held on to win by a stroke. England’s hero, Tony Jacklin, got here in third, two pictures again.

Hubert Inexperienced, who completed third, 11 pictures again, put it greatest when describing the battle between Tom Watson and Nicklaus: “I gained this golf event. I don’t know what recreation these different two guys have been taking part in.”

Watson and Nicklaus each shot a five-under 65 within the third spherical. Within the closing spherical, Watson recorded one other 65 to win by one. Nicklaus made a 32-foot birdie putt on the ultimate gap, forcing Watson to transform his two-footer for the victory. The event is named the “Duel within the Solar.”

Watson, going for his third straight British Open, and sixth total, made a bogey on the Street Gap, No. 17, dropping by two strokes to Seve Ballesteros.

For Ballesteros, who trailed by two pictures heading into the ultimate spherical, it was his second Open championship. He had gained the title in 1979 and would win for a 3rd time in 1988. (Ballesteros additionally captured the Masters in 1980 and 1983.)

Some of the enduring photos of the 1984 Open was the fist pump Ballesteros gave after his closing putt on 18.

Golf is usually a merciless recreation, as Jean van de Velde discovered at Carnoustie.

Main by three on the par-4 closing gap, he made a triple bogey, leading to one in all golf’s most heartbreaking meltdowns. He misplaced in a playoff to Paul Lawrie.

This event additionally has a permanent picture: van de Velde standing within the water at 18, realizing that he must take a penalty stroke as an alternative of making an attempt to hit the ball.

With one gap to go, the unattainable was about to occur.

Watson, at age 59, was going to seize the British Open. All he wanted was yet one more par and he would turn into the primary participant to win a significant in his 50s.

Watson’s second shot ended up over the inexperienced. He putted to about eight ft away, however then missed the subsequent one for par. He misplaced in a four-hole playoff to Stewart Cink.

Mickelson had not been at his greatest in earlier British Opens. In 19 appearances, he had recorded solely two High 10s.

This time, due to a final-round five-under 66, he gained by three strokes over Henrik Stenson. Lee Westwood, who was the chief heading into Sunday, faltered with a 75 to complete 4 again.

The victory put Mickelson nearer to the profession grand slam. At 51, he has but to attain it.

As in 1977, it was a two-man battle. Mickelson, looking for his second British Open, was on hearth from the beginning, with rounds of 63, 69, 70 and 65. Stenson was higher, setting a report for the fewest strokes, 264, in a significant championship.

They have been tied with 5 holes to go on Sunday. Stenson, who shot a final-round 63, birdied 14, 15 and 16. At 15, he made a 51-foot putt from off the inexperienced. J.B. Holmes completed third, 14 again.

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