94th Open - Royal Birkdale 1965
Thomson wins his fifth Open
Peter Thomson’s fifth Open victory in 1965 at Royal Birkdale, the scene of his first win in 1954, was achieved against all the greatest players of the day. He joined James Braid and JH Taylor (and now Tom Watson) as a five-time Champion, with only Harry Vardon having ever gone better with six titles.
Tony Lema, the defending Champion, opened with a 68 and shared the halfway lead. But the American suffered in the bad weather of the final day, posting rounds of 75 and 74. His illustrious compatriots suffered as well: Arnold Palmer, the winner last time at Birkdale in 1961, scored 75-79 to fall to 16th place and Jack Nicklaus, already a four-time Major winner, scored 77-73 to drop to a share of 12th position.
Thomson used all his experience to defeat the conditions and his opponents. Recovering from an opening 74 with a 68 in the second round, he then went into the lead with a 72 on the third morning. He was three ahead late on the front nine of the final round but his playing partner, Lema, fought back to be one behind and only just missed a birdie putt on the 16th green to tie for the lead.
There was a three-shot swing between the pair over the last two holes, where Thomson secured two birdie-4s. His long approach at the 18th found the heart of the green while Lema’s went into a bunker and he took a 6. Thomson’s 71 left him on 285, while Lema dropped to fifth. Welshman Brian Huggett with a 70 and Ireland’s Christy O’Connor Snr, after a 71, shared second place, two behind, while Roberto de Vicenzo was fourth.
|2||Christy O'CONNOR SR||IRL||69||73||74||71||287|
|4||Roberto DE VICENZO||ARG||74||69||73||72||288|