118th Open - Royal Troon 1989
Calcavecchia secures play-off victory
Mark Calcavecchia became the first player since 1975 to win The Open in a play-off which was notable on two counts. It was the first three-way play-off for the Championship – Australians Greg Norman and Wayne Grady were the runners-up – and it was the first play-off to be contested over four holes instead of a full extra round. Twice on the same day Calcavecchia birdied the 18th hole to win the Claret Jug.
On a hot and sunny final day at Royal Troon, Calcavecchia started three strokes adrift of Grady, while Norman was seven behind. Six birdies in a row to begin his final round put the Shark in contention and he finished with a 64 to post the clubhouse target at nine under par. Calcavecchia was helped by holing a putt of 40 feet at the 11th and a pitch of 60 feet on the full at the 12th. An 8-iron to four feet at the last set up the birdie he needed to tie Norman having posted his three consecutive round of 68. Grady bogeyed the 17th to ball back to nine under and a par at the last gave him a 71 and a spot in the play-off, in which he would finish three behind the winner.
Norman again started fast in extra time, birdieing the first two holes, but then over-shot the 17th green and took a bogey to drop back into a tie with Calcavecchia. Norman’s great length was his undoing at the last. He drove into a bunker 310 yards away and could only advance his second shot into another bunker. Calcavecchia now clinched victory with a 5-iron approach to six feet. It was his finest hour, while Norman, going out of bounds over the green with this third squandered his chance.