We count down 10 of the greatest shots ever seen at The Open Championship
HOW IT ALL BEGAN…
St Andrews is not called the home of golf for nothing. The iconic venue has stood the test of time for hundreds of years and has become synonymous with The Open Championship.
From Tom Kidd’s success in 1873 to Zach Johnson’s triumph in 2015, the famous Old Course has played host to a catalog of memorable moments in the history of golf’s original major.
Many of the game’s greatest players have been crowned Champion Golfer on the Fife Links, including Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, and Sir Nick Faldo.
In fact, no course has held the battle for the Claret Jug more often than the hallowed ground of St Andrews – a place that is cherished by players and fans alike.
And as the Old Course hosts The 150th Open, we have delved deep into the Championship archives to look at some of the most magical moments.
1873 – Kidd uses insider knowledge
Where better to start than The Open that started it all off?
The 13th Open was the first to be played at St Andrews, the first Championship to be played on an 18-hole course, and the first time the winner was awarded the Claret Jug.
It also brought about the end of Young Tom Morris’ domination of golf’s original major after winning four successive titles as Tom Kidd etched his name into Open history.
Kidd was a caddie at St Andrews and his know-how proved the difference in conditions that were challenging, to say the least, following days of relentless torrential rain.
His rounds of 91 and 88 saw him win by just one shot from Jamie Anderson, becoming the first player to win The Open on his debut as Morris Jnr shared third place with Bob Kirk.
1927 – Bobby Jones puts demons to rest
Bobby Jones’ first time at St Andrews was not a happy one. Playing the venue for the first time in 1921, the American amateur had a nightmare in the third round and tore up his card.
But six years later, Jones put his Old Course demons to rest in spectacular fashion, becoming the first amateur to win the title back-to-back following his win at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1926.
Jones was only the second player to lead outright from start to finish since The Open was extended to 72 holes, opening up with a record score of 68 after going out in 32.
He put on a putting masterclass, which included a 40-yard effort on the 5th in the first round, while followed up with rounds of 72 and 73 to extend his lead to four strokes.
A final round of 73 saw him finish on a total of 285, a new Championship record by an incredible six strokes, before being lifted onto the shoulders of the crowd in celebration of his triumph.
1984 – Ballesteros celebrates second Open in style
Seve Ballesteros won two of his three Open titles at Royal Lytham & St Annes but his most famous triumph unquestionably came at the home of golf in 1984.
Tom Watson had won five of the last nine Opens – including each of the last two – and was ominously positioned as the final groups reached the back nine of the Old Course.
Yet although Watson and Bernhard Langer both looked strong throughout, nothing was going to stop the lovable Spaniard from achieving his “moment of glory”.
His celebration following a successful birdie putt at the 18th for a final round 69 ranks among the most iconic in sporting history and further endeared Seve to the British crowds.
In the years that have passed you can bet thousands of visitors to the Old Course have had Seve – and his jubilant celebration – in their mind upon reaching the final green.
Can’t wait to see what 2023 holds for us at the Old Course – The Birthplace of Golf!