Seve

1979 / Royal Lytham & St Annes

Three years after finishing runner-up as dashing 19-year-old at Birkdale, Seve Ballesteros won the first of three Open titles, and of a pair of victories at Royal Lytham & St Annes, in 1979.

He defied those who thought he was too wild to win a major. His big-hitting could be wayward but his magical short game was more than capable of getting him out of his frequent scrapes.

His victory was the start of a new era for the game. In the year that continental Europeans joined the Ryder Cup, the Spaniard became the first player from mainland Europe to win The Open since Arnaud Massy in 1907.

At 22, Ballesteros was the youngest Champion Golfer since Willie Auchterlonie in 1893.It was the veteran Champion Golfer Roberto de Vicenzo who advised that the rough at Lytham was less thick the closer to the green you got. 

Ballesteros had his game plan and, infamously, at the 16th hole in the final round launched a huge drive that found an overflow car park to the right of the fairway. Ballesteros got a free drop, pitched onto the green and holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie.

The strategy was successful – he won by three strokes from Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw, who had a double bogey at the 17th – yet the Spaniard was often dismissed as the “car park” champion.

His 65 on the second day was extraordinary for a sequence of four birdies in the last five holes, Lytham’s feared finishing stretch.

He played the final 36 holes with Hale Irwin, who had just won his second US Open and was one of the straightest hitters in the game.

However, the American would wilt alongside the frenzied whirlwind that was Ballesteros, who at the end was mobbed by his three ecstatic brothers on the 18th green.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Seve BALLESTEROS
1
73
65
75
70
283
-
2
72
69
73
72
286
-
Ben CRENSHAW
2
72
71
72
71
286
-
Mark JAMES
4
76
69
69
73
287
-
Rodger DAVIS
5
75
70
70
73
288
-
Hale IRWIN
6
68
68
75
78
289
-
Graham MARSH
7
74
68
75
74
291
-
Bob BYMAN
7
73
70
72
76
291
-
Isao AOKI
7
70
74
72
75
291
-
10
78
72
70
72
292
-
Masashi OZAKI
10
75
69
75
73
292
-
10
73
71
72
76
292
-
John O'LEARY
13
73
73
74
73
293
-
Simon OWEN
13
75
76
74
68
293
-
Wally ARMSTRONG
13
74
74
73
72
293
-
Terry GALE
13
71
74
75
73
293
-
17
71
73
74
76
294
-
Peter MCEVOY
17
71
74
72
77
294
-
Ken BROWN
19
72
71
75
77
295
-
Orville MOODY
19
71
74
76
74
295
-
19
74
76
75
70
295
-
19
74
74
78
69
295
-
19
77
74
69
75
295
-
Tsuneyuki NAKAMURA
24
77
75
67
77
296
-
24
73
74
76
73
296
-
Ed SNEED
26
76
75
70
76
297
-
26
76
75
72
74
297
-
Jerry PATE
26
69
74
76
78
297
-
26
72
68
76
81
297
-
Mark HAYES
30
75
75
77
71
298
-
Tom KITE
30
73
74
77
74
298
-
Armando SAAVEDRA
30
76
76
73
73
298
-
Bill LONGMUIR
30
65
74
77
82
298
-
Bobby VERWEY
30
75
77
74
72
298
-
Simon HOBDAY
30
75
77
71
75
298
-
Christy O'CONNOR JR
36
79
73
71
76
299
-
Lee ELDER
36
75
72
76
76
299
-
Michael KING
36
75
70
73
81
299
-
Peter COWEN
36
79
72
72
76
299
-
Ray FLOYD
36
76
73
71
79
299
-
John SCHROEDER
41
74
75
72
79
300
-
Denis WATSON
41
75
70
76
79
300
-
Noel RATCLIFFE
41
79
73
72
76
300
-
Hubert GREEN
41
77
71
73
79
300
-
Martin FOSTER
41
77
75
74
74
300
-
Peter OOSTERHUIS
41
75
74
73
78
300
-
Hugh BAIOCCHI
41
72
73
78
77
300
-
Dennis CLARK
41
72
69
76
83
300
-
Philippe TOUSSAINT
41
76
75
74
75
300
-
Carl MASON
50
77
72
76
76
301
-
Garry CULLEN
50
72
74
77
78
301
-
Brian BARNES
50
78
71
77
75
301
-
DeWitt WEAVER
50
73
71
80
77
301
-
Geoff PARSLOW
54
75
75
76
76
302
-
Ian RICHARDSON
54
75
73
77
77
302
-
Kosaku SHIMADA
54
75
74
75
78
302
-
Yoshitaka YAMAMOTO
57
76
74
77
76
303
-
Guy WOLSTENHOLME
57
77
75
71
80
303
-
57
77
73
77
76
303
-
Jack NEWTON
57
76
73
78
76
303
-
Robin FYFE
61
74
73
79
81
307
-
Peter DAWSON
WD
76
74
78
-
-
-
Ewen MURRAY
WD
77
75
76
-
-
-
Gordon J. BRAND
WD
75
77
76
-
-
-
John HAY
WD
75
77
76
-
-
-
Peter SENIOR
WD
75
76
77
-
-
-
Gil MORGAN
WD
76
76
77
-
-
-
Fuzzy ZOELLER
WD
78
72
79
-
-
-
John BLAND
WD
77
75
77
-
-
-
Brian JONES
WD
76
74
79
-
-
-
Kim DABSON
WD
78
73
78
-
-
-
Guy HUNT
WD
74
78
77
-
-
-
Tommy HORTON
WD
76
75
79
-
-
-
Manuel BALLESTEROS
WD
74
76
80
-
-
-
David INGRAM
WD
74
77
79
-
-
-
Joe HIGGINS
WD
77
75
78
-
-
-
Juan ANGLADA
WD
73
76
82
-
-
-
Peter BUTLER
WD
74
78
79
-
-
-
Wayne PLAYER
WD
75
75
82
-
-
-
David THORP
WD
74
74
84
-
-
-
David FEHERTY
WD
76
75
82
-
-
-
Michael CAHILL
WD
73
75
85
-
-
-
Lon HINKLE
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Sam TORRANCE
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Dale HAYES
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
Willie MILNE
M/C
81
72
-
-
-
M/C
Ian MOSEY
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
David JONES
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
Tsuneyuki NAKAJIMA
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Tony CHARNLEY
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Warren HUMPHREYS
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Vicente FERNANDEZ
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
Bob SHEARER
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
Malcolm GREGSON
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Robin MANN
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Eamonn DARCY
M/C
83
72
-
-
-
M/C
Brian HUGGETT
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Bernard GALLACHER
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Jim RHODES
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
David WATKINSON
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Gary HALLBERG
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Wayne GRADY
M/C
75
81
-
-
-
M/C
Marc FARRY
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
Andy NORTH
M/C
82
74
-
-
-
M/C
Gavin LEVENSON
M/C
80
76
-
-
-
M/C
Manuel PINERO
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
Antonio GARRIDO
M/C
80
76
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy MARTIN
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
David JAGGER
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
John MORGAN
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
Peter TUPLING
M/C
79
78
-
-
-
M/C
Tom MELVILLE
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
Adan SOWA
M/C
80
77
-
-
-
M/C
Denis DURNIAN
M/C
76
81
-
-
-
M/C
Paul HOAD
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
John FOWLER
M/C
80
77
-
-
-
M/C
Hsi Chuen LU
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
Osamu HATANO
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Mike FERGUSON
M/C
78
80
-
-
-
M/C
Peter BARBER
M/C
78
80
-
-
-
M/C
Alan MEW
M/C
77
81
-
-
-
M/C
Jyoji YOKOI
M/C
76
82
-
-
-
M/C
Maurice BEMBRIDGE
M/C
83
75
-
-
-
M/C
David REGAN
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
Terry HEALY
M/C
82
76
-
-
-
M/C
Brian WAITES
M/C
76
82
-
-
-
M/C
Howard CLARK
M/C
83
76
-
-
-
M/C
Nick JOB
M/C
82
77
-
-
-
M/C
Tony MINSHALL
M/C
79
80
-
-
-
M/C
Jeremy BENNETT
M/C
80
79
-
-
-
M/C
Scott MYERS
M/C
85
75
-
-
-
M/C
Peter MITCHELL
M/C
83
77
-
-
-
M/C
Stephen ROLLEY
M/C
80
80
-
-
-
M/C
Roger FIDLER
M/C
80
80
-
-
-
M/C
Peter HIGHMOOR
M/C
85
76
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
79
82
-
-
-
M/C
Mike KRANTZ
M/C
83
78
-
-
-
M/C
John BENDA
M/C
82
80
-
-
-
M/C
Philip HARRISON
M/C
82
80
-
-
-
M/C
Garry HARVEY
M/C
82
80
-
-
-
M/C
Steven LAWS
M/C
82
80
-
-
-
M/C
James EDMAN
M/C
80
82
-
-
-
M/C
R.W. GUY
M/C
80
82
-
-
-
M/C
Bill MURRAY
M/C
80
82
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew BOWNES
M/C
82
81
-
-
-
M/C
David J RUSSELL
M/C
81
82
-
-
-
M/C
David WHELAN
M/C
86
79
-
-
-
M/C
Philip MORLEY
M/C
83
82
-
-
-
M/C
Ron WOOD
M/C
83
84
-
-
-
M/C
Battista MAESTRONI
M/C
87
90
-
-
-
M/C
Neil COLES
Scr
-
-
-
-
-
M/C

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