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The Open For The Ages

Nicklaus wins The Open For The Ages


Golden Bear edges out Woods in final round

Jack Nicklaus The Open For The Ages

Jack Nicklaus was crowned the Champion in The Open For The Ages, beating Tiger Woods by one shot in a thrilling finish.

A host of star names spent time at the top of the leaderboard during the final day of this innovative event, which has used archive footage from past Championships at St Andrews to recreate the drama of an Open.

Yet the battle for victory ultimately came down to the two men in the final pairing, Nicklaus and Woods, who boast 33 major wins between them including six Opens and four triumphs at St Andrews.

Nicklaus, the Champion over the Old Course in 1970 and 1978, trailed Woods by a single stroke with three holes remaining, but a birdie on the 16th lifted the Golden Bear back into a share of the lead.

Woods then bogeyed the 17th after missing the green to the left with his approach, meaning two closing pars were enough for Nicklaus to prevail with a final-day 68 and an aggregate score of 16 under. 

Seve Ballesteros took third place on 14 under, with Tom Watson and Sir Nick Faldo a shot further back.

The winner of The Open For The Ages was determined by a fan vote, which registered more than 10,000 responses, and a data model developed in partnership with NTT DATA that utilised this fan vote along with player career statistics and historical data from The Open to calculate the Champion. Significantly, a weighting was applied to results at St Andrews.

Watson was the first man to make a notable move in the final round, which was broadcast live on TV, digital and social media.

The five-time Open Champion birdied the second and third holes to move ahead of Nicklaus and Woods before the final pairing had teed off.

Watson, Faldo and Ballesteros all continued to mount to strong challenges, but Nicklaus and Woods were equal to the task as they each picked up two birdies apiece over the first 10 holes.

Both Nicklaus and Woods then picked up shots at the 12th to become the first men to 15 under, before Tiger took sole possession of the lead with another gain on 14, only to be pipped to victory down the closing stretch.

The standout performance of the final day came from Rory McIlroy, who completed a course-record-equalling 63 to share sixth place with John Daly and Louis Oosthuizen on 12 under.