Watson

1977 / Turnberry

Turnberry, the most scenic of courses on the Ayrshire coast, provided a new venue for The Open and one of the greatest ever staged.

Played in heatwave conditions, the “Duel in the Sun” became a two-horse race between Tom Watson, winner of the Masters that year, and Jack Nicklaus.

They were tied on 138 after two rounds and both had 65s on the third day. Nicklaus quickly established a three-stroke lead in the final round but Watson rallied and holed from 60 feet at the 15th to get level.

“This is what it’s all about, isn’t it?” Watson said on the next tee. “You bet it is,” Nicklaus replied.

A birdie at the par-5 17th put Watson in front for the first time and at the last he hit a 7-iron to two feet. Nicklaus had driven into the rough by a gorse bush but smashed an 8-iron to the edge of the green and dramatically holed from 35 feet.

Now Watson’s putt looked a bit longer but he tapped in for victory. His closing 65 was the lowest score ever to win an Open.

It also gave him a new record total of 268 – by eight strokes so Nicklaus had beaten the old record by seven – while Watson also set a new best of 130 for the last 36 holes.

Watson and Nicklaus left the 18th green arm-in-arm, each a two-time Champion Golfer.

Rarely had two players produced such a high quality of golf amid so much drama. “I just couldn’t shake him off,” Nicklaus said.

Hubert Green, ten behind Nicklaus, was the only other player to break par. “I won the tournament I played. They were playing in something else,” he said.

In the second round Mark Hayes became the first player to score 63 in The Open and the third in any major.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Tom WATSON
1
68
70
65
65
268
-
2
68
70
65
66
269
-
Hubert GREEN
3
72
66
74
67
279
-
4
68
70
72
70
280
-
Ben CRENSHAW
5
71
69
66
75
281
-
George BURNS III
5
70
70
72
69
281
-
7
73
73
67
69
282
-
Ray FLOYD
8
70
73
68
72
283
-
John SCHROEDER
9
66
74
73
71
284
-
Mark HAYES
9
76
63
72
73
284
-
9
69
74
67
74
284
-
Tommy HORTON
9
70
74
65
75
284
-
Howard CLARK
13
72
68
72
74
286
-
13
74
72
67
73
286
-
Bob SHEARER
15
72
69
72
74
287
-
Graham MARSH
15
73
69
71
74
287
-
Guy HUNT
15
73
71
71
72
287
-
Bobby COLE
15
72
71
71
73
287
-
Peter BUTLER
15
71
68
75
73
287
-
15
69
71
73
74
287
-
Jerry PATE
15
74
70
70
73
287
-
22
71
74
74
69
288
-
22
74
71
71
72
288
-
John FOURIE
22
74
69
70
75
288
-
Peter DAWSON
22
74
68
73
73
288
-
Martin FOSTER
26
67
74
75
73
289
-
John O'LEARY
26
74
73
68
74
289
-
Angel GALLARDO
26
78
65
72
74
289
-
David INGRAM
26
73
74
70
72
289
-
Norio SUZUKI
26
74
71
69
75
289
-
Rik MASSENGALE
26
73
71
74
71
289
-
Gaylord BURROWS
26
69
72
68
80
289
-
Roger MALTBIE
26
71
66
72
80
289
-
Ken BROWN
34
74
73
71
72
290
-
Eamonn DARCY
34
74
71
74
71
290
-
John MORGAN
36
72
71
71
77
291
-
Baldovino DASSU
36
72
74
72
73
291
-
Min Nan HSIEH
36
72
73
73
73
291
-
Brian BARNES
36
79
69
69
74
291
-
Manuel PINERO
36
74
75
71
71
291
-
Neil COLES
41
74
74
71
73
292
-
David VAUGHAN
41
71
74
73
74
292
-
43
72
70
74
77
293
-
Jaime GONZALEZ
43
78
72
71
72
293
-
43
73
72
70
78
293
-
Hale IRWIN
46
70
71
73
80
294
-
Stewart GINN
46
75
72
72
75
294
-
Vicente FERNANDEZ
48
75
73
73
74
295
-
Brian HUGGETT
48
72
77
72
74
295
-
48
76
71
70
78
295
-
Michael KING
48
73
75
72
75
295
-
Rodger DAVIS
52
77
70
70
79
296
-
Jim FARMER
52
72
74
72
78
296
-
Brian WAITES
52
78
70
69
79
296
-
Christy O'CONNOR JR
52
75
73
71
77
296
-
Vincent TSHABALALA
56
71
73
72
81
297
-
Maurice BEMBRIDGE
56
76
69
75
77
297
-
David JONES
58
73
74
73
78
298
-
Ian MOSEY
58
75
73
73
77
298
-
Chi-San HSU
58
70
70
77
81
298
-
Gary JACOBSON
58
74
73
70
81
298
-
Silvano LOCATELLI
62
72
72
76
79
299
-
62
71
76
74
78
299
-
Vince BAKER
62
77
70
73
79
299
-
Simon OWEN
WD
73
74
75
-
-
-
Des SMYTH
WD
78
72
72
-
-
-
Isao AOKI
WD
76
72
74
-
-
-
Darrell WELCH
WD
77
71
74
-
-
-
Jeff HAWKES
WD
79
70
74
-
-
-
David GRAHAM
WD
72
76
75
-
-
-
WD
78
72
74
-
-
-
Antonio GARRIDO
WD
77
73
74
-
-
-
Philippe TOUSSAINT
WD
76
71
77
-
-
-
Eddie POLLAND
WD
72
75
77
-
-
-
Ian STANLEY
WD
70
76
78
-
-
-
Sam TORRANCE
WD
77
72
75
-
-
-
Manuel CALERO
WD
77
71
76
-
-
-
Simon HOBDAY
WD
75
75
75
-
-
-
Ronnie SHADE
WD
75
72
79
-
-
-
Christy O'CONNOR SR
WD
75
75
76
-
-
-
Pip ELSON
WD
77
73
76
-
-
-
Deray SIMON
WD
78
71
78
-
-
-
Hugh BAIOCCHI
WD
77
73
77
-
-
-
Garry CULLEN
WD
73
76
78
-
-
-
Doug MCCLELLAND
WD
76
71
81
-
-
-
Delio LOVATO
WD
75
75
81
-
-
-
Mark JAMES
WD
75
73
85
-
-
-
Manuel BALLESTEROS
M/C
80
71
-
-
-
M/C
Arnold O'CONNOR
M/C
74
77
-
-
-
M/C
Willie MILNE
M/C
78
73
-
-
-
M/C
Geoff PARSLOW
M/C
79
72
-
-
-
M/C
John BLAND
M/C
72
79
-
-
-
M/C
Peter COWEN
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
Ken NORTON
M/C
77
74
-
-
-
M/C
John MCMAHON
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
Bernard GALLACHER
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
Craig DEFOY
M/C
78
74
-
-
-
M/C
John MCTEAR
M/C
73
79
-
-
-
M/C
Bill LOCKIE
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Richard EMERY
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Liam HIGGINS
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Tom LINSKEY
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Peter MCEVOY
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
John POWELL
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
David J RUSSELL
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
Phil LOXLEY
M/C
73
80
-
-
-
M/C
Mark LYE
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
Pat GARNER
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Warren HUMPHREYS
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
Nick JOB
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
Lionel PLATTS
M/C
77
77
-
-
-
M/C
John GARNER
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
Malcolm GREGSON
M/C
81
73
-
-
-
M/C
Guy WOLSTENHOLME
M/C
82
72
-
-
-
M/C
Norman WOOD
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Gunnar MUELLER
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
George MCKAY
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew CHANDLER
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
Roger CALVIN
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Peter BERRY
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
Roger FIDLER
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
Kirk GOSS
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
David DUNK
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
David CARRICK
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Robin FYFE
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Jack NEWTON
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
Alex CAYGILL
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Roberto BERNARDINI
M/C
82
73
-
-
-
M/C
Adrian SADLER
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
Salvador BALBUENA
M/C
82
74
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur PIERSE
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Peter WILSON
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
Harry BANNERMAN
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
Hugh JACKSON
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Priscillo DINIZ
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
Mike GALLAGHER
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Mel HUGHES
M/C
80
79
-
-
-
M/C
James SEELEY
M/C
82
77
-
-
-
M/C
Alan THOMPSON
M/C
82
77
-
-
-
M/C
Peter TUPLING
M/C
74
85
-
-
-
M/C
Johnny JOHNSON
M/C
84
76
-
-
-
M/C
Jim BARTAK
M/C
82
79
-
-
-
M/C
Dave CULLEN
M/C
84
77
-
-
-
M/C
Geoff TICKELL
M/C
79
82
-
-
-
M/C
Gordon COSH
M/C
78
83
-
-
-
M/C
David HUISH
M/C
80
81
-
-
-
M/C
Andries OOSTHUIZEN
M/C
81
80
-
-
-
M/C
Harry ASHBY
M/C
83
79
-
-
-
M/C
P.A. SIEROCINSKI
M/C
83
79
-
-
-
M/C
Roger CHAPMAN
M/C
86
79
-
-
-
M/C
Lawrence DONOVAN
M/C
86
82
-
-
-
M/C
Nick LUMB
M/C
85
84
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
93
82
-
-
-
M/C
Wd
84
-
-
-
-
M/C
Buddy GARDNER
Wd
80
-
-
-
-
M/C

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