Leonard putts his way to the title
While half-way leaders Darren Clarke and Justin Leonard found the course more difficult in the third round of the 1997 Open at Troon, Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik came in with a 66 to turn a three-shot deficit to Clarke into a two-shot lead, with Leonard a further three shots behind.
But there was to be an even bigger swing in the final round. Parnevik struggled to a 73 and Clarke’s 71 left the pair level on 275. Leonard took full advantage, making the most of Troon’s reputation for perfect greens with a devastating putting touch over the closing holes. In a round of 65 he had only 25 putts, four between 10 and 36 feet over the critical stretch, to win the Championship by three clear shots from the two players he had trailed at the start of the day.
Jim Furyk finished a distant fourth a further four shots behind. Tiger Woods put in a blistering third round of 64, but his other three rounds were 72-74-74 for a 284 total — 12 shots behind the champion.