Workman-like Watson claims his fourth title
It was not one of his great victories, not in the same league as the head-to-head battle with Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977 or the play-off duel against Jack Newton two years earlier, but Tom Watson put in a solid, grinding performance for his fourth Open victory at Troon in 1982. After 36 holes he trailed runaway leader, fellow American Bobby Clampett, by seven shots. South African Nick Price opened with a pair of 69s and was five adrift of the tousle-headed youngster whose rounds of 67-66 looked destined to propel him to the title at the age of 22.
But suddenly Clampett’s touch deserted him and his 11-under-par half-way lead was thrown to the winds with closing rounds of 78-77. This collapse put Price in the driving seat, closely pursued by Britain’s Peter Osterhuis. But Watson coped best with the deteriorating conditions and his rounds of 69-71-74-70 put him in the clubhouse with a total of 284 that stood the test of the final afternoon. Price and Oosterhuis shared second place one shot behind, with Nick Faldo one of four players on 286. Clampett shared 10th place with Jack Nicklaus on 288.
This was, strictly speaking, the first Open played at Royal Troon. In 1978, to commemorate Troon Golf Club’s centenary, the Queen had given permission for the significant addition to the club name.