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History of The Open

Great Open Rounds


Nick Price

Nick Price Great open Rounds

Nick Price’s final round in 1994 will always be remembered for one incredible stroke, but the Zimbabwean produced many magical moments en route to claiming The 123rd Open Championship at Turnberry by one shot over Jesper Parnevik.

Off the back of three rounds of 69, 66 and 67, Price entered the final day in a four-way tie for third place at eight under par for the championship, just one shot off the overnight lead held by Fuzzy Zoeller and Brad Faxon.

Price, chasing his first Claret Jug having come close on many occasions, got off to an inauspicious start. Two bogeys in his first six holes, offset by one birdie, left him at seven under for the championship.

However, as Parnevik in the group ahead and Zoeller in the group behind both held their position, Price was able grind out his scores, with a great bunker save birdie on the par-5 seventh hole, a lovely up and down on the eighth and a long par putt on the 10th hole, eliciting a huge fist pump, to stay just one behind the two leaders.

Price then saved par again on 11, and on the 12th hole died in a birdie putt that made the 1992 PGA Champion jump with excitement. The 37-year-old was clearly fired up, but by now Parnevik had taken control of the Championship and, after three straight birdies, the Swede held a two-shot advantage.

Price hung in, again producing short-game magic to save par on the 13th, before an incredible par on 14.

After hitting his approach way over the green behind a TV tower, Price opted to have volunteers lift up television cables, which he scuttled the ball under. Hitting an incredible 40-yard bump and run, Price’s ball navigated hardpan fairway, rough and then the green before finally resting three feet from the cup.

Despite his heroics, the future world number one still sat three shots adrift in the middle of the 16th fairway, as Parnevik tapped in for birdie on 17 to move to -12.

Things looked bleak for Price, but what was to come ranks amongst the best finishes to a major championship final round in golfing history.

A superb approach to the par-4 16th hole left Price with a 10-foot downhill putt, which he knew he needed to make to have a chance of victory. He raked the putt in to reach -10, and drove the 17th green in two shots to present an eagle opportunity.

As Price stood over his 60-foot putt, he felt he needed to play the last two holes in two under to have a chance. An untimely bogey from Parnevik on 18, however, as the Swede was still going for birdies, meant that Price stood just one shot behind.

The Zimbabwean rolled his putt towards the hole, and burst into raucous celebrations as the ball disappeared. An astonishing eagle had all of a sudden put Price into the outright lead.

Par at the last, and Price would win the Claret Jug that had so eluded him for over a decade, since losing a final-round lead to Tom Watson in 1982 at Royal Troon.

A supercharged iron straight down the fairway on 18 set up a short shot into the heart of the green, which Price played like a true champion. Two putts would follow, and Price signed for a final round of 66, snatching victory from Parnevik by a single stroke.

It may not have been the lowest number ever recorded at Turnberry, or indeed in any Open, but the manner with which Price completed his 66 ranks his final day in the 123rd Open Championship as one of The Open’s greatest ever rounds.