Capsules of previous Open Championships at St Andrews

By Doug FergusonJuly 9, 2010, 9:51 pm

135th Open Championship ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – A capsule look at the 27 previous British Opens played at St. Andrews:


1873: Tom Kidd won the first Open held on the Old Course with the highest 36-hole score ever, 179, for a one-shot victory over Jamie Anderson. He beat a 26-man field, most of them local, on a soggy St. Andrews. The Fifeshire Journal report said of Kidd, “As a player, he is likely to improve.” He died 11 years later at age 35.

1876: In one of the most bizarre endings, Bob Martin and David Strath finished at 169. On the 17th, Strath’s third shot hit a player in the group ahead that was putting out, keeping the ball from going on the road. The committee decided there would be a playoff in two days, enough time to review whether Strath should be disqualified for hitting to the hole while players were still on the green. Strath refused to take part in a playoff under such conditions, and Martin was declared the winner.

1879: Jamie Anderson had a 169 for a three-stroke victory over Andrew Kirkaldy and James Allan. He joined Young Tom Morris as the only men to win three consecutive Open championships.

1882: Bob Ferguson, a caddie by trade, threatened to become the first player to break 80 in an Open at St. Andrews. He had 83, and finished at 181 to defeat Willie Fernie by three strokes. It, too, was his third straight Open title. He later returned to work as a caddie and greenskeeper.

1885: What the local newspaper called a “stiff breeze,” the national Daily Mail called “equinoctial gales.” In such weather, Bob Martin became the first two-time Open winner at St. Andrews with a 171, one stroke better than Archie Simpson.

1888: Jack Burns won the Open by one stroke, but only after an erroneous score had been reported. Burns, Anderson and Ben Sayers each finished at 172, but it was discovered that Burns actually went out in 46 – not 47 – and he was declared the champion. Burns later moved back to St. Andrews to work on the railways. Davie Anderson Jr. became the first player to break 40 on the inward nine.

1891: Hugh Kirkaldy, with a full swing in the style of John Daly, had no worse than a 5 on his scorecard. He went out in 38 and came in with nine straight 5s on his card for another 83. He finished at 166 for a two-stroke victory over brother Andrew Kirkaldy and Willie Fernie.

1895: J.H. Taylor trailed Sandy Herd by three strokes going into the final round, but closed with a 78 – the best score of the day by four strokes – to finish four ahead of Herd at 322.

1900: J.H. Taylor led wire-to-wire to win his third Open at 309, eight strokes ahead of Harry Vardon. Taylor produced the lowest score in all four rounds, a feat never repeated in any major championship.

1905: This might sound familiar: To counteract the new Haskell rubber-core ball, tees were lengthened and more pot bunkers were added to the Old Course. Only a dozen scores under 80 were recorded, and James Braid had a 318, the highest Open score in 10 years, to win by five strokes over J.H. Taylor and Rowland Jones.

1910: James Braid won his fifth Open with a 299, topping the previous 72-hole record at St. Andrews by 10 shots and beating Sandy Herd by four. Braid was two shots behind going into the last round, but 54-hole leader George Duncan closed with an 83.

1921: Jock Hutchinson set an Open record with a 70 in the last round to tie amateur Roger Wethered at 296. He beat Wethered by nine strokes (150-159) in a 36-hole playoff for his second straight major.

1927: Bobby Jones became the first amateur to win back-to-back Opens, with a start-to-finish victory for a 285, the lowest score in either a U.S. or British Open. He won by six strokes over Aubrey Boomer and Fred Robson.

1933: Denny Shute, best known for back-to-back victories in the U.S. PGA Championship, won his first major with four straight rounds of 73 for a 292. He beat Craig Wood by five shots (149-154) in a 36-hole playoff. Over the next two years, Wood was runner-up in the Masters, U.S. Open and U.S. PGA Championship.

1939: Dick Burton overcame a 77 in the third round to close with a 71 and finish at 290 for a two-stroke victory over Johnny Bulla. Burton set one unfortunate record – the longest time holding the claret jug, because World War II canceled the Open until 1946.

1946: Sam Snead was one of the few Americans who journeyed across the Atlantic for the first postwar Open. As the train pulled into St. Andrews and he saw the Old Course for the first time, he wasn’t sure what it was. “What abandoned course is this?” he said to the man next to him. Snead learned to respect the course, and he closed with a 75 to finish at 290, four shots ahead of Johnny Bulla.

1955: Peter Thomson won his second straight Open. He was the only player at par or better in all four rounds and finished at 281 for a two-stroke victory over Johnny Fallon. Byron Nelson, retired for nearly 10 years, finished 33rd at 296.

1957: The finish of the British Open was on live television for the first time, and viewers saw Bobby Locke end Peter Thomson’s run of three straight Open championships. Locke won his fourth claret jug, closing with 68-70 to finish at 279 for a three-shot victory over Thomson.

1960: The modern concept of a Grand Slam started at St. Andrews when Arnold Palmer showed up having won the Masters and the U.S. Open. His hard-charging 68 in the final round came up one stroke short of Kel Nagle, who won at 278. More importantly, Palmer’s presence was the start of more Americans coming to the Open.

1964: “Champagne” Tony Lema won the Open in his first attempt with a stellar performance. He led Jack Nicklaus by seven shots going into the last day, closed with a 70 and at 279 finished five shots ahead of Nicklaus. Two years later, Lema was killed in a private plane crash.

1970: Jack Nicklaus needed some help to win his first Open at the home of golf. Doug Sanders had a chance to win in regulation, but missed a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole to force an 18-hole playoff. Nicklaus drove through the 18th green in the playoff, chipped up to 8 feet and made birdie to win by one shot.

1978: Jack Nicklaus won his third and last Open, and became the first player since J.H. Taylor in 1900 to win consecutive Opens at St. Andrews. He closed with a 69 to finish at 281, two strokes ahead of Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd, Tom Kite and Simon Owen.

1984: Seve Ballesteros denied Tom Watson a record-tying sixth Open title with a par on the 17th and a birdie on the 18th for a 69. Watson was tied with Ballesteros until hitting over the 17th to within two feet of the wall on the Road Hole, dropping a costly shot. Ballesteros finished at 276, two shots ahead of Watson and Bernhard Langer.

1990: Nick Faldo set a record for the lowest score to par in a major, 18-under 270, which later was matched and then topped by Tiger Woods. He finished five strokes ahead of Mark McNulty and Payne Stewart, but the Open was won on Saturday. Tied with Greg Norman, Faldo had a 67 to Norman’s 76, a thrashing that would repeat itself six years later in the final round of the Masters.

1995: John Daly overpowered the Old Course for his second major championship, again at a time when no one expected it. He closed with a 71 for 6-under 282 and appeared to have the Open wrapped up when Costantino Rocca, needing birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, duffed a chip. Rocca then rolled in a 60-foot putt across the Valley of Sin, but Daly won the four-hole playoff by four shots.

2000: Tiger Woods made history at the Old Course by becoming the youngest player, at age 24, to complete the career Grand Slam. He built a six-shot lead going into the final round, was challenged briefly by David Duval, and closed with a 69 to win by eight shots over Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els. His 19-under 269 beat Faldo’s record for lowest score in relation to par at a major. Perhaps the most astounding feat was that Woods never hit into a bunker over 72 holes.

2005: Tiger Woods became the fifth player to win the Open twice at St. Andrews. He took the lead with a birdie on the ninth hole of the opening round and never gave it back over the final 63 holes. Colin Montgomerie shot 70 to Woods’ 71 in the last group on Saturday, raising Scottish hopes, but Woods closed with a 2-under 70 for a five-shot victory over Montgomerie. Jack Nicklaus birdied his final hole on Friday but still missed the cut in his 164th and final major championship.


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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.