Faldo achieves his Open breakthrough
Four days of unrelentingly bad weather marred the 1987 Open at Muirfield, but marked the breakthrough of Nick Faldo into the ranks of major winners after two years of reshaping his already successful swing. Roger Davis was a lucky early starter on the first day and completed a remarkable 64 before the worst of the wind and rain swept over the course.
Paul Azinger established a second round lead and held on grimly through a third day when wind speed reached 40 miles per hour and four into-wind holes were shortened to allow players to reach the fairway from the tee. With a three round total of 207 he was just one shot ahead of Faldo and David Frost of South Africa.
Although the wind speed dropped significantly on the final day, the course was shrouded in misty rain as Faldo completed each hole in par figures, holing his second putt from four feet at the 18th to set a target of 279. Azinger needed par figures at the two final holes to claim the title, but he dropped a shot at the long 17th and in trying to force a birdie from the last hole he bunkered his approach shot on the left and failed to get up and down.
Faldo’s implacable par display was good enough the win the coveted trophy, with Azinger and Davis sharing second place, one shot ahead of Payne Stewart and Ben Crenshaw, who closed with a 68. Frost was a further shot behind after a 74.