102nd Open - Royal Troon 1973
Weiskopf's slow-motion triumph
Somehow Tom Weiskopf, despite an elegant and powerful swing, won only one Major title and it came at Troon in 1973. Often displaying a fiery temper, he appeared more determined than previously following the death of his father three months earlier. He had arrived early and played eight practice rounds and they paid off. He led from the moment he posted an opening 68 in the worst weather of the day. He did not drop a shot in his 67 the next day, while a 71 kept him one ahead of US Open Champion Johnny Miller after three rounds.
“I made very few mistakes and nothing bothered me, which was unusual. I was at the top of my game. I was so confident, everything seemed in slow motion — my thinking, my preparations.”
Three birdies in the first 11 holes paved the way for a closing 66 and a three-stroke win over Miller and England’s Neil Coles, who closed with a 66, while Jack Nicklaus was fourth after a 65. He was the fifth player to win wire-to-wire since the Championship was extended to 72 holes and his total of 276 matched Arnold Palmer’s record, also set at Troon.
“I made very few mistakes and nothing bothered me, which was unusual,” Weiskopf said later. “I was at the top of my game. I was so confident, everything seemed in slow motion — my thinking, my preparations.”
Gene Sarazen, the 1932 Champion, made a farewell appearance, 50 years after he first played at Troon in 1923, and the 71-year-old made a hole-in-one with a 5-iron at the the eighth hole. “When the crowd roared and I realised the ball was in the hole, I felt there was no better way to close the books on my tournament play than to make a hole-in-one on the Postage Stamp and call it quits.’ He did just that the following day but not before he holed from a bunker for a two at the same hole.
|7||Christy O'CONNOR SR||IRL||73||68||74||73||288|