101st Open - Muirfield 1972
Chip-in victory for Lee Trevino
Lee Trevino completed a successful defence of The Open at Muirfield in 1972, producing an incredible display of short game wizardry that not only broke the heart of Britain’s Tony Jacklin but halted Jack Nicklaus’s hopes of achieving a Grand Slam – winning all four Majors in the same year. It was a dramatic conclusion, featuring the last three Champions.
Nicklaus had won the Masters and the US Open but trailed by six shots with a round to play. Jacklin had led after a first round of 69 and he shared the lead at halfway with Trevino, the defending Champion opening with rounds of 71 and 70. Trevino added a 66 to lead Jacklin by one shot but only after a dazzling finish to the round with five birdies in the last five holes, holing a bunker shot at the 16th and chipping in at the last.
Nicklaus was out in 32 on the last day, briefly moving into a share of the lead before Trevino and Jacklin both eagled the ninth. Uncharacteristically, Nicklaus missed some important putts down the stretch but still posted a target of 279 after a closing 66. Jacklin and Trevino were tied playing the par-5 17th but Trevino bunkered his tee shot and was off the edge of the green in four. Jacklin had a birdie putt of 18 feet and Trevino had all but given up, wasting no time over his chip which dived into the hole. It was a cruel blow to Jacklin, who promptly three-putted, pulling his three-footer for par, and bogeyed the last as well to finish third. Trevino, with a 71, beat Nicklaus by one. It was his fourth Major title and he would go on to win two more, both in the US PGA Championship. Jacklin, by his own admission, was never quite the same player ever again.