Home Sports The Open Championship: The most effective 5 remaining rounds, ranked

The Open Championship: The most effective 5 remaining rounds, ranked

The Open Championship: The most effective 5 remaining rounds, ranked


Based in 1860, the Open Championship is the oldest main championship in skilled golf. The R&A, golf’s governing physique outdoors of the USA, hosts the event yearly in the UK.

With the PGA Championship shifting to mid-Might in 2019, the Open Championship is now the fourth and remaining main of the yr, as it’s all the time contested in mid-July.

This yr’s version will happen at Royal Liverpool, the place Rory McIlroy gained the Claret Jug in 2014.

Cameron Smith will head to Liverpool because the defending champion, as he grew to become the “Champion Golfer of the Yr” at St. Andrews in 2022.

With that, let’s check out the highest 5 most exhilarating Open Championships thus far:

5. 2009 – Stewart Cink – Turnberry

The 2009 Open Championship is usually remembered as what may have been, not about what was.

5-time champion golfer of the yr Tom Watson was on hearth at Turnberry because the 59-year-old turned again the clock.

Watson opened the 2009 Open with a 5-under 65 and continued to play fantastically all through the event.

He shot an even-par 70 on Friday, battled harsh situations on Saturday, and carded a 1-over 71 for his third spherical. Solely 5 gamers have been under-par in the course of the penultimate spherical.

Watson then entered the ultimate day with a one-shot lead over Ross Fisher of England and Matthew Goggin of Australia.

The eight-time main champion started his remaining spherical with a few hiccups, bogeying two of his first three holes. Watson then steadied himself as he took benefit of the par-5 seventh with a birdie.

He then birdied the seventeenth gap and walked to the 18th with a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink, who rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the final to carry the clubhouse lead at 2-under par.

A par would make Watson the oldest main champion of all time.

He blistered his tee shot at Turnberry’s closing gap after which confronted a down-wind mid-iron shot into the inexperienced.

Watson hit his second shot completely, nevertheless it bounced on a downslope on the inexperienced, raced previous the flagstick, and settled past the placing floor. He didn’t rise up and down from there and settled for bogey, forcing a playoff with Cink.

Cink then dominated the four-hole combination playoff to say his solely main championship victory, leaving the golf world questioning what may have been.

Tom Watson, Open Championship

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson walks to the 18th inexperienced throughout The 138th Open Championship held on the Ailsa Course at Turnberry on July 19, 2009.
Photograph by R&A through Getty Pictures

4. 1970 – Jack Nicklaus – St. Andrews

One of many greatest heartbreaks in Open Championship historical past occurred on the 18th inexperienced at St. Andrews in 1970.

After getting up and down from the treacherous highway gap bunker on the seventeenth, Doug Sanders walked over to the quick par-4 18th, holding a one-shot lead.

If he makes par, he wins The Open.

Sanders, who gained 20 occasions on the PGA Tour, hit his tee shot proper down the center of the golf green on maybe probably the most well-known closing gap in all of golf.

His drive landed 74 yards wanting the inexperienced, and to keep away from the dreaded ‘Valley of Sin,’ Sanders launched his second shot 30 toes previous the flag stick.

He then confronted a treacherous downhill putt.

Two putts and Sanders is the Champion Golfer of the Yr.

For his birdie putt, Sanders lagged it to about three toes wanting the outlet.

Now he confronted each golfer’s worst nightmare: a downhill three-footer that he needed to make.

In probably the most well-known gestures in {golfing} historical past, Sanders approached his ball and took his placing stance.

Doug Sanders, 1970 Open Championship

ST ANDREWS, Scotland — Doug Sanders, well-known for his placing capacity, missed a brief putt on the 18th gap at St Andrews in the course of the 1970 British Open Championship.
Photograph by A. Jones/Categorical/Getty Pictures

As he was about to hit his stoke, Sanders bent down along with his left hand and picked one thing that disturbed him from the bottom.

As a substitute of regaining his composure, Sanders saved in his stance.

He proceeded to putt and missed on the low facet, thus tying Nicklaus after 72 holes.

At the moment, playoffs at The Open have been 18 holes and came about the next day.

Nicklaus shot a fair par-72 within the playoff, whereas Sanders completed one shot worse.

The Golden Bear captured his second of three Open Championships, whereas Sanders would by no means win a single main championship.

3. 1984 – Seve Ballesteros – St. Andrews

Every time the house of golf hosts the Open Championship, one thing particular normally transpires.

1984 was no completely different.

Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros, the very best golfers on the planet then, battled one another down the stretch on Sunday.

Watson gained the 1982 and 1983 Open Championships and, in 1984, vied for a 3rd straight Claret Jug and sixth general. His very good play in the UK earned him the title of the very best hyperlinks golfer on the planet.

He fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to place him at 11-under for the championship heading into the ultimate spherical. Watson shared the lead with Ian Baker-Finch of Australia.

Baker-Finch pale on Sunday, however Ballesteros, who began the spherical two photographs again of Watson, introduced his ‘A-game’ that day.

The Spaniard, who gained the 1979 Open, was within the penultimate group alongside Bernhard Langer of Germany.

Watson and Baker-Finch comprised the ultimate pairing.

After battling the Previous Course all day, Watson arrived on the well-known seventeenth gap at 11-under for the championship.

Up on the inexperienced, Ballesteros was additionally 11-under, realizing that Watson shared the identical rating 461 yards behind him.

The Spaniard escaped the tough highway gap with a par and headed to the final.

Watson, in the meantime, rifled his tee shot over the Landmark Lodge and into the seventeenth fairway.

However his second shot was one among his worst swings all week. With a 2-iron, Watson’s method sailed proper of the inexperienced, caromed over the highway, and sat immediately subsequent to the wall behind the inexperienced.

Tom Watson, The Open

ST ANDREWS, Scotland — Tom Watson hits an method shot on the seventeenth gap throughout The 113th Open Championship held on the Previous Course at St Andrews on July 22, 1984.
Photograph by R&A through Getty Pictures

Watson had nothing. He proceeded to make bogey.

On the identical time, Ballesteros confronted a birdie putt on the 18th gap.

The ten-foot birdie putt had nearly a foot of break, however Ballesteros drained it, giving him the victory.

The Spaniard celebrated emphatically, and his emotion on the 18th inexperienced is among the most well-known photos in golf historical past. This later grew to become a rallying cry for the European Ryder Cup group, particularly in 2012—a yr after Ballesteros died of mind most cancers at 54.

His victory at St. Andrews marked his second Open title and fourth main general. Ballesteros would go on to win the 1988 Open as nicely.

Seve Ballesteros, The Open Championship

ST ANDREWS, Scotland — Seve Ballesteros celebrates after he holes out on the ultimate 18th inexperienced to win the 113th Open Championship on July 22, 1984 on the Previous Course at St Andrews.
Photograph by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Pictures

2. 1977 – Tom Watson – Turnberry

Every time a sporting occasion earns a nickname, it’s normally one thing of historic significance.

Consider ‘The Immaculate Reception’ in soccer or ‘The Shot’ hit by Michael Jordan in 1989 and 1998.

Perhaps the ‘Kick-Six’ involves thoughts for school soccer followers.

Nonetheless, The 1977 Open Championship earned the excellence of ‘The Duel within the Solar,’ as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson battled it out over 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday at Turnberry.

At this level, each Nicklaus and Watson have been on the top of their powers.

Nicklaus had 14 majors to his identify in 1977, and Watson had simply gained The Masters in April.

Coming into the third spherical, Nicklaus and Watson every sat at 2-under par, one stroke behind 36-hole chief Roger Maltbie.

Tom Watson, 106th Open Championship

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson hits out of a bunker in the course of the 106th Open Championship on July 9, 1977 on the Ailsa Course on the Turnberry Golf Membership.
Photograph by Don Morley/Allsport/Getty Pictures

In the course of the third spherical, the 2 People separated themselves from the sphere as each males shot 5-under 65s to get to 7-under for the championship.

The subsequent day, Nicklaus and Watson every turned in performances for the ages.

Watson bogeyed the second, whereas Nicklaus made a birdie, thus giving the Golden Bear a two-shot benefit by two holes.

When the ultimate pairing reached the fifth tee field, Nicklaus held a three-shot lead and appeared destined to run away with it.

However Watson chipped away as he birdied the fifth, sixth, and eighth. He and Nicklaus then stood on the ninth tee tied at 9-under.

The subsequent closest pursuant, Hubert Inexperienced, stood at 1-under at that juncture—the one different man underneath par for the championship.

The ultimate pairing continued to duel on the again 9.

Nicklaus held a one-shot benefit over Watson when the 2 arrived on the lengthy par-3 fifteenth.

Measuring 209 yards, Watson pulled his tee shot into the sunshine tough adjoining to the inexperienced. Nicklaus, in the meantime, knocked it onto the placing floor and confronted an uphill putt for birdie.

Since he was away, Watson performed first. Utilizing his putter from off the inexperienced, Watson holed the 20-yard shot, sending the Turnberry crowd right into a frenzy.

Nicklaus may solely watch as he proceeded to overlook his birdie try.

So with three holes to play, the 2 prime golfers on the planet have been tied with the Claret Jug on the road.

Each pared the par-4 sixteenth and headed to the par-5 seventeenth.

At 17, Nicklaus and Watson every discovered the golf green.

Watson performed first and instantly put stress on Nicklaus by discovering the inexperienced. He now had a makable eagle putt.

Nicklaus then felt the stress as he hit his second shot fats. It ended up quick and proper of the inexperienced, which left him a tricky chip.

No drawback for Nicklaus, nevertheless, as he scuttled his chip shot to 4 toes previous the outlet, giving himself an ideal have a look at birdie.

Watson missed his eagle try however tapped in for a birdie-four to get to 11-under for the championship.

Nicklaus, who not often makes a mistake, missed his quick birdie at 17, thus giving Watson the solo lead for the primary time within the championship as the 2 headed to the 72nd gap.

Watson hammered his tee shot proper down the center of the golf green, however Nicklaus nonetheless rattled after his mishap at 17, pushed his tee shot proper.

Fortunately for the Golden Bear, his ball missed the gorse bush and had a midway respectable lie within the thick tough.

Earlier than Nicklaus may play, nevertheless, Watson hit his second shot at 18 to about two toes, thus producing one other one among golf’s most enduring photos.

Tom Watson, The Open Championship, Turnberry

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson raises his arms in triumph strolling onto the 18th inexperienced realizing he has gained The Open Championship.
Photograph by S&G/PA Pictures through Getty Pictures

At that time, The Open was all however over, however Nicklaus gave himself a glimpse of hope by smashing his shot onto the inexperienced.

It was probably the most spectacular photographs the Golden Bear ever hit.

“That was probably the most highly effective, animalistic golf photographs I’ve seen,” muttered Peter Alliss on the ABC telecast.

Nicklaus proceeded to empty the 50-foot putt for birdie, briefly tying Watson. It additionally ramped up the stress on the little two-foot putt.

However Watson didn’t undergo the identical destiny Nicklaus did at 17 as he made the putt, which gave him his second Claret Jug.

Nicklaus and Watson walked off the 18th inexperienced with arms round each other, every realizing they’d simply produced a championship for the ages.

“I gave it my finest shot, and it was not ok,” Nicklaus mentioned after the spherical. “You have been higher. Properly performed.”

1. 1999 – Paul Lawrie – Carnoustie

The 1999 Open Championship produced the craziest end in main championship historical past.

Jean van de Velde of France had by no means gained a significant championship earlier than, nor did he ever rank larger than seventieth within the Official World Golf Rankings.

He was a journeyman golfer by commerce, though he didn’t play like one over the primary 71 holes on the 1999 Open.

Carnoustie, colloquially referred to as ‘Automobile-nasty’ for its brutality, confirmed its tooth in the course of the 1999 Open.

Solely Van de Velde stood at even par or higher by three rounds. After rounds of 75, 68, and 70, the Frenchman sat at even par for the championship by 54 holes.

The subsequent closest pursuers, Justin Leonard and Craig Perry of Australia, have been 5-over par after three rounds.

On Sunday, Van de Velde battled the tough situations and arrived on the 18th tee 3-over for the championship. He held a three-shot lead over Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard when he pulled out a driver.

At this level, the trophy engraver may have begun to etch Van de Velde’s identify into the Claret Jug, however fortunately he didn’t accomplish that.

Van de Velde’s drive went proper of the Burn and landed safely within the seventeenth fairway. He had escaped hassle and regarded nicely on his technique to profitable.

All he wanted was a double-bogey six to win the championship.

However his second shot was when all the pieces started to disintegrate.

Van de Velde pushed his lengthy iron up to now proper that it bounced off the grandstands and sailed into deep, gnarly fescue wanting the Barry Burn.

He had a brutal lie, and Van de Velde then chunked his third shot proper into the Burn, which then produced probably the most iconic moments within the historical past of the game.

Jean Van de Velde, Open Championship

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jean van de Velde took off his footwear and socks, and regarded enjoying his third shot from the Barry Burn.

Van de Velde then took off his footwear and socks to see if he may play his shot from the Burn.

Nevertheless, the tide was not low sufficient, so the Frenchman determined to not make an extra mess of issues and take a drop.

His fifth shot then went into the sand lure quick and proper of the inexperienced and nestled proper subsequent to Perry, his enjoying companion.

Now Van de Velde wanted to gap his shot from the bunker to win The Open. An up-and-down would power a playoff with Lawrie and Leonard.

Figuring out that Van de Velde simply went to hell and again on the 18th at Automobile-nasty, Perry gave the Frenchman a minute to gather himself and proceeded to play his third from the bunker.

The Australian holed his shot, a tremendous feat contemplating that’s what Van de Velde wanted to win The Open.

Van de Velde didn’t have the identical destiny; his sixth shot stopped about eight toes left of the flagstick.

He then confronted a fragile putt for a triple-bogey seven, which might power a playoff.

Van de Velde made it and celebrated emphatically as he had simply gained The Open. It’s the most well-known triple-bogey within the historical past of golf.

Sadly for Van de Velde, he couldn’t compose himself within the playoff. Paul Lawrie gained the Claret Jug within the four-hole combination playoff, and Van de Velde was left to surprise what may have been.

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By. You may observe him on Twitter and Instagram @jack_milko for extra golf protection. You should definitely take a look at @_PlayingThrough too.



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