A timeline of the Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
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Open ChampionshipThe following is a timeline of the Open Championship, dating all the way back to 1860.
1860: Willie Park, Sr. defeats Old Tom Morris to win the first Open Championship at Prestwick.
1862: Old Tom Morris wins his second consecutive Open Championship by a record 13 shots over Willie Park, Sr. This margin of victory would stand as the all time major championship record until Tiger Woods wins the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots.
1867: Old Tom Morris sets another record by becoming the championships oldest winner (still to this date) at 46 years, 99 days.
1868: Young Tom Morris becomes the youngest player (still to this date) to win The Open at 17 years, 5 months, 8 days.
1873: Tom Kidd ends Young Tom Morris four-year reign, also becoming the first winner at St. Andrews ' the first time the event was contested outside of Prestwick.
1895: The Open is extended to 72 holes for the very first time as defending champion J.H. Taylor wins at St. Andrews. The 72 holes are played over two days.
1914: Harry Vardon wins his record setting sixth Open Championship by three shots over J.H. Taylor at Prestwick. The record has not yet been matched.
1915-1919: No Open Championship is played due to World War I.
1926: After finishing his third round with a two-stroke lead, Bobby Jones leaves Royal Lytham & St. Annes for lunch. When he returns, he loses his competitors badge and is not allowed to re-enter the course. In order to continue to play, he buys a gallery admission ticket and wins his first Open.
1930: Bobby Jones wins his third and final Open at Royal Liverpool during a year in which he won the Grand Slam of his era- the British Amateur and Open and the U.S. Amateur and Open. He is the last amateur to win The Open.
1940- 1945: No Open Championship is played due to World War II.
1946: Unhappy with the course condition of St. Andrews, Sam Snead wins his first and only Open Championship anyways by four strokes.
1954: Australian Peter Thompson wins his first of three consecutive Opens at Royal Birkdale by tapping in a 10-inch putt for the win with the back of his putter, surprising announcers and the gallery.
1961: Arnold Palmer wins his first of two consecutive Opens with a famous 6-iron shot from behind a bush at the 15th hole of Royal Birkdale. He wins by one stroke.
1970: Hoping to win his first Open, Doug Sanders misses a two-and-a-half foot putt on the final hole to win at St. Andrews. He loses to Nicklaus the next day in a playoff.
1977: In what is now known as the Duel in the Sun, Tom Watson defeats Jack Nicklaus by one stroke in an epic battle by shooting 65 in the last two rounds at Turnberry. Watson finishes 11 shots ahead of third-place finisher Hubert Green.
1986: Greg Norman wins his first major championship with a five stroke victory over Gordon Brand at Turnberry. Norman shoots a major championship record 63 during the second round.
1990: Nick Faldo sets the championships record under par score by finishing the championship at 18 under par. Faldo cruises to a five stroke victory over Payne Stewart and Mark McNulty at St. Andrews.
1995: John Daly reaches his potential with his second major championship victory at St. Andrews. He is not able to hold the claret jug until he beats Italys Constantino Rocca in a four-hole playoff. Rocca holes a 65 foot putt to tie Daly on the 18th hole.
1999: Jean Van de Velde arrives to the final hole of Carnoustie with a three shot lead and needs only a double bogey six to win The Open. However, he has to make a seven-foot putt for a triple bogey seven in order to tie Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard, after struggling to reach the green in six shots. Lawrie wins the playoff after one of the most shocking finishes in Open Championship history.
2000: Tiger Woods completes the career grand slam at the age of 24 to become only the fifth player in golf history to accomplish the feat. Woods breaks Nick Faldos record under par score at The Open by finishing at 19 under par for an eight shot victory over Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn at St. Andrews.
2003: One of the most unpredictable Open champions of all time, Ben Curtis defeats Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh by one shot and Davis Love III and Tiger Woods by two at Royal St. Georges. Coming into The Open, Curtis is ranked 396th in the world rankings and is playing in only his first major championship. The championship is also remembered for Bjorns mishap at the par-three 16th, after hitting three bunker shots for a double bogey.
2006: Tiger Woods wins an emotional Open Championship by two shots over Chris DiMarco after the death of his father just months earlier. Woods plays precise golf on the links of Royal Liverpool Golf Club, by mostly teeing off with irons.
2007 Last year, Padraig Harrington became the first Irishman to win The Open since Fred Daly in 1947. Harrington defeats Sergio Garcia in a playoff at Carnoustie Golf Links after Garcia misses his par putt in regulation for the outright victory.
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    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

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    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”

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    Koepka still has chip on his chiseled shoulder

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 3:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brooks Koepka prepared more for this Open than last year's.

    He picked up his clubs three times.

    That’s three more than last summer, when the only shots he hit between the summer Opens was during a commercial shoot for Michelob Ultra at TPC Sawgrass. He still tied for sixth at The Open a month later.

    This time, Koepka kept his commitment to play the Travelers, then hit balls three times between the final round in Hartford and this past Sunday, when he first arrived here at Carnoustie.

    Not that he was concerned, of course.

    Koepka’s been playing golf for nearly 20 years. He wasn’t about to forget to how to swing a club after a few weeks off.

    “It was pretty much the same thing,” he said Tuesday, during his pre-tournament news conference. “I shared it with one of my best friends, my family, and it was pretty much the same routine. It was fun. We enjoyed it. But I’m excited to get back inside the ropes and start playing again. I think you need to enjoy it any time you win and really embrace it and think about what you’ve done.”

    At Shinnecock Hills, Koepka became the first player in nearly 30 years to repeat as U.S. Open champion – a major title that helped him shed his undeserved reputation as just another 20-something talent who relies solely on his awesome power. In fact, he takes immense pride in his improved short game and putting inside 8 feet.

    “I can take advantage of long golf courses,” he said, “but I enjoy plotting my way around probably - more than the bombers’ golf courses - where you’ve got to think, be cautious sometimes, and fire at the center of the greens. You’ve got to be very disciplined, and that’s the kind of golf I enjoy.”

    Which is why Koepka once again fancies his chances here on the type of links that helped launch his career.

    Koepka was out of options domestically after he failed to reach the final stage of Q-School in 2012. So he packed his bags and headed overseas, going on a tear on the European Challenge Tour (Europe’s equivalent of the Web.com circuit) and earning four titles, including one here in Scotland. That experience was the most fun and beneficial part of his career, when he learned to win, be self-sufficient and play in different conditions.

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

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    “There’s certain steps, and I embraced it,” Koepka said. “I think that’s where a lot of guys go wrong. You are where you are, and you have to make the best of it instead of just putting your head down and being like, 'Well, I should be on the PGA Tour.' Well, guess what? You’re not. So you’ve got to suck it up wherever you are, make the best of it, and keep plugging away and trying to win everything you can because, eventually, if you’re good enough, you will get out here.”

    Koepka has proved that he’s plenty good enough, of course: He’s a combined 20 under in the majors since the beginning of 2017, the best of any player during that span. But he still searches long and hard for a chip to put on his chiseled shoulder.

    In his presser after winning at Shinnecock, Koepka said that he sometimes feels disrespected and forgotten, at least compared to his more-ballyhooed peers. It didn’t necessarily bother him – he prefers to stay out of the spotlight anyway, eschewing a media tour after each of his Open titles – but it clearly tweaked him enough for him to admit it publicly.

    That feeling didn’t subside after he went back to back at the Open, either. On U.S. Open Sunday, ESPN’s Instagram page didn’t showcase a victorious Koepka, but rather a video of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dunking a basketball.

    “He’s like 6-foot-2. He’s got hops – we all know that – and he’s got hands. So what’s impressive about that?” Koepka said. “But I always try to find something where I feel like I’m the underdog and put that little chip on my shoulder. Even if you’re No. 1, you’ve got to find a way to keep going and keep that little chip on.

    “I think I’ve done a good job of that. I need to continue doing that, because once you’re satisfied, you’re only going to go downhill. You try to find something to get better and better, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

    Now 28, Koepka has a goal of how many majors he’d like to win before his career is over, but he wasn’t about to share it.

    Still, he was adamant about one thing: “Right now I’m focused on winning. That’s the only thing I’ve got in my mind. Second place just isn’t good enough. I finished second a lot, and I’m just tired of it. Once you win, it kind of propels you. You have this mindset where you just want to keep winning. It breeds confidence, but you want to have that feeling of gratification: I finally did this. How cool is this?”

    So cool that Koepka can’t wait to win another one.

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    Despite results, Thomas loves links golf

    By Jay CoffinJuly 17, 2018, 2:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Despite poor results in two previous Open Championships, Justin Thomas contends that he has what it takes to be a good links player. In fact, he believes that he is a good links player.

    Two years ago at Royal Troon, Thomas shot 77 in the second round to tie for 53rd place. He was on the wrong side of the draw that week that essentially eliminated anyone from contention who played late Friday afternoon.

    Last year at Royal Birkdale, Thomas made a quintuple-bogey 9 on the par-4 sixth hole in the second round and missed the cut by two shots.

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

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    “I feel like I’ve played more than two Opens, but I haven’t had any success here,” Thomas said Tuesday at Carnoustie. “I feel like I am a good links player, although I don’t really have the results to show.”

    Although he didn’t mention it as a reason for success this week, Thomas is a much different player now than he was two years ago, having ascended to the No. 1 position in the world for a few weeks and now resting comfortably in the second spot.

    He also believes a high golf IQ, and the ability to shape different shots into and with the wind are something that will help him in The Open over the next 20 years.

    “I truly enjoy the creativity,” Thomas said. “It presents a lot of different strategies, how you want to play it, if you want to be aggressive, if you want to be conservative, if you want to attack some holes, wait on certain winds, whatever it might be. It definitely causes you to think.

    “With it being as firm as it is, it definitely adds a whole other variable to it.”

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    Reed's major record now a highlight, not hindrance

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 2:46 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The narrative surrounding Patrick Reed used to be that he could play well in the Ryder Cup but not the majors.

    So much for that.

    Reed didn’t record a top-10 in his first 15 starts in a major, but he took the next step in his career by tying for second at the 2017 PGA Championship. He followed that up with a breakthrough victory at the Masters, then finished fourth at the U.S. Open after a closing 68.

    He’s the only player with three consecutive top-4s in the majors.

    What’s the difference now?

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “The biggest thing is I treat them like they’re normal events,” he said Tuesday at Carnoustie. “I’ve always gone into majors and put too much pressure on myself, having to go play well, having to do this or that. Now I go in there and try to play golf and keep in the mindset of, Hey, it’s just another day on the golf course. Let’s just go play.

    “I’ve been able to stay in that mindset the past three, and I’ve played pretty well in all three of them.”

    Reed’s record in the year’s third major has been hit or miss – a pair of top-20s and two missed cuts – but he says he’s a better links player now than when he began his career. It took the native Texan a while to embrace the creativity required here and also to comprehend the absurd distances he can hit the ball with the proper wind, conditions and bounce.

    “I’m sort of accepting it,” he said. “I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with doing it. It’s come a little bit easier, especially down the stretch in tournament play.”