• Wins
    5
  • Turned Pro
    1971
  • Previous Opens
    38
  • Champion golfer of the year
    1975
    1977
    1980
    1982
    1983

Tom Watson

Watson
Between 1975 and 1983, Tom Watson won five Opens in nine years, a better rate of conversion than anyone ever before. Only James Braid, JH Taylor and Peter Thomson won as many titles, and only Harry Vardon won more with six.
Watson
  • Watson won four Missouri State Amateur championships

    Did you know?

  • Named PGA Player of the Year 6 times between 1977 and 1984

    Accolades

  • 70

    Professional wins

Five time Champion Golfer of the Year

Only Harry Vardon has more Claret Jugs than Tom Watson, a true icon of The Open and a master of links golf.

tom watson at the open in pictures

Watson waves goodbye to the open

St Andrews, 2015

Between 1975 and 1983, Tom Watson won five Opens in nine years, a better rate of conversion than anyone ever before. Only James Braid, JH Taylor and Peter Thomson won as many titles, and only Harry Vardon won more with six.

He won on his debut in 1975 at Carnoustie, in a play-off over Jack Newton, and two years later pipped Jack Nicklaus in the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry.

Watson went 65-65 over the last two rounds, Nicklaus 65-66. At the last Watson hit a 7-iron to two feet, while Nicklaus escaped from a bush and holed a 35-footer to force Watson to hole his tap-in.

Watson was one of the few to get the better of Nicklaus, winning two Masters against him in 1977 and 1981, and the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach by chipping in at the 17th hole.

Watson

Watson won his third Open at Muirfield in 1980 and only then felt comfortable playing links golf, bringing out the ground troops rather than air force, as he put it.

A late collapse by Nick Price helped Watson win the 1982 Open at Royal Troon and then he hit a stunning 2-iron at the last to secure his fifth title at Royal Birkdale a year later.

But sixth title has proved elusive. He lost to Seve Ballesteros at St Andrews in 1984 after a bogey at the 17th and a failed to find the par he needed at the last in 2009 at Turnberry before losing to Stewart Cink in a play-off. He was 59.

“It would have been a great story,” he said. “It tears at your gut, as it has always torn at my gut.” In 2014, aged 64, he extended his record as the oldest know competitor to complete 72 holes, and was granted a special exemption to allow him to extend his 40-year Open career through to The 144th Open at St Andrews in 2015.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
St Andrews 2015
M/C
76
80
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Liverpool 2014
T51
73
73
75
68
289
1
Muirfield 2013
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 2012
T77
71
72
76
73
292
12
Royal St George's 2011
T22
72
70
72
72
286
6
St Andrews 2010
M/C
73
75
-
-
-
M/C
Turnberry 2009
T2
65
70
71
72
278
-
Royal Birkdale 2008
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Liverpool 2006
48
72
70
75
71
288
-
St Andrews 2005
41
75
70
70
72
287
-
Royal St George's 2003
18
71
77
73
69
290
-
Muirfield 2002
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 2001
M/C
74
78
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 2000
55
73
71
72
73
289
-
Carnoustie 1999
M/C
82
73
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1998
M/C
73
76
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Troon 1997
10
71
70
70
71
282
-
St Andrews 1995
31
67
76
70
77
290
-
Turnberry 1994
11
68
65
69
74
276
-
Royal St George's 1993
M/C
71
73
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1992
M/C
73
75
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1991
26
69
72
72
69
282
-
St Andrews 1990
M/C
72
73
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Troon 1989
4
69
68
68
72
277
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1988
28
74
72
72
72
290
-
Muirfield 1987
7
69
69
71
74
283
-
Turnberry 1986
35
77
71
77
71
296
-
Royal St George's 1985
47
72
73
72
77
294
-
St Andrews 1984
2
71
68
66
73
278
-
Royal Birkdale 1983
1
67
68
70
70
275
-
Royal Troon 1982
1
69
71
74
70
284
-
Royal St George's 1981
23
73
69
75
73
290
-
Muirfield 1980
1
68
70
64
69
271
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1979
26
72
68
76
81
297
-
St Andrews 1978
14
73
68
70
76
287
-
Turnberry 1977
1
68
70
65
65
268
-
Royal Birkdale 1976
WD
75
72
80
-
-
-
Carnoustie 1975
1
71
67
69
72
279
-

Latest from The Open