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History of The Open

Great Open Rounds


Justin Leonard

Justin Leonard with the Claret Jug following his Open Championship win at Royal Troon

Few players can have ever putted better in the final round of a major than Justin Leonard at Royal Troon in The 126th Open.

Leonard began the final round of the 1997 Championship trailing by five strokes, knowing something special was required if he was to secure the Claret Jug.

The American duly delivered, carding eight birdies in a stunning, six-under 65 that lifted him to 12 under and earned victory by a three-shot margin from Darren Clarke and Jesper Parnevik.

A fast start lifted Leonard into contention on Sunday, as he picked up shots at the second, third and fourth to close within three of Parnevik.

Although Leonard then bogeyed the fifth, his putter remained hot as he collected a further three birdies by the end of the front nine.

A five at the par-4 10th represented a setback, but Leonard crucially converted a 10-foot par attempt at the next hole to avoid back-to-back bogeys.

Another clutch par putt then found the centre of the cup at the 15th, before he birdied each of the next two holes – rolling in a 30-footer for a two at the 17th – to move into pole position for victory.

Parnevik bogeyed the last two holes, meaning a par at the last for Leonard was more than enough to seal a wonderful victory.

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