Sandy Lyle

1985 / Royal St George's

Sandy Lyle’s victory in The Open at Sandwich in 1985 was greeted with patriotic fervour and sparked a run of eight major titles – four Opens and four Masters – by British golfers in seven years.

As an 11-year-old boy, Lyle had sat in the grandstand at the 18th green at Royal Lytham when Tony Jacklin won The Open in 1969.

When Jacklin threw his ball into the crowd, Lyle almost caught it. No matter, 16 years later he became the next home winner at Royal St George’s in 1985.

Lyle’s experience at the 72nd hole was more fraught than Jacklin’s. He came to the last one ahead, but his approach run off into Duncan’s Hollow to the left of the green.

His first chip just failed to crest the slope and it rolled down to his feet, Lyle sank to his knees in despair. He got up and down for a 5 but now had to wait.

As it turned out, David Graham bogeyed three of the last four holes and Bernhard Langer two of the last three. It left Lyle as winner by one stroke from Payne Stewart, with Graham and Langer sharing third place with Christy O’Connor Jnr, Jose Rivero and Mark O’Meara.

Lyle had started the final day three off the lead and the crucial part of his round were the birdies at the 14th and 15th holes. At the 14th, a poor drive left him short of the Suez Canal in two, but he hit a 2-iron onto the green and holed from 20 feet. At the next he holed from 12 feet.

He was the first Scot to win The Open since Tommy Armour in 1931, but the first who had not become a naturalised American since George Duncan in 1920.

O’Connor broke Henry Cotton’s record for St George’s from 1935 with an opening 64 that included seven birdies in a row from the fourth and a nine-hole sequence played in “level 3s”. Lyle’s 282 total was the first over-par winning score since 1968.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Sandy LYLE
1
68
71
73
70
282
-
Payne STEWART
2
70
75
70
68
283
-
3
70
72
70
72
284
-
Bernhard LANGER
3
72
69
68
75
284
-
Jose RIVERO
3
74
72
70
68
284
-
David GRAHAM
3
68
71
70
75
284
-
Christy O'CONNOR JR
3
64
76
72
72
284
-
D.A. WEIBRING
8
69
71
74
71
285
-
Tom KITE
8
73
73
67
72
285
-
Anders FORSBRAND
8
70
76
69
70
285
-
Peter JACOBSEN
11
71
74
68
73
286
-
Jose Maria CANIZARES
11
72
75
70
69
286
-
Fuzzy ZOELLER
11
69
76
70
71
286
-
Eamonn DARCY
11
76
68
74
68
286
-
Gary KOCH
11
75
72
70
69
286
-
16
71
72
71
73
287
-
Sam TORRANCE
16
74
74
69
70
287
-
Simon BISHOP
16
71
75
72
69
287
-
Ian WOOSNAM
16
70
71
71
75
287
-
20
71
73
74
70
288
-
Jaime GONZALEZ
20
72
72
73
71
288
-
Graham MARSH
20
71
75
69
73
288
-
20
73
76
68
71
288
-
Mark JAMES
20
71
78
66
73
288
-
Philip PARKIN
25
68
76
77
68
289
-
Manuel PINERO
25
71
73
72
73
289
-
Gordon J. BRAND
25
73
72
72
72
289
-
Michael CAHILL
25
72
74
71
72
289
-
David FROST
25
70
74
73
72
289
-
Robert LEE
25
68
73
74
74
289
-
Kris MOE
25
70
76
73
70
289
-
Jose Maria OLAZABAL
25
72
76
71
70
289
-
Wayne RILEY
33
71
70
77
72
290
-
Ove SELLBERG
33
71
78
70
71
290
-
Ben CRENSHAW
35
73
75
70
73
291
-
Hugh BAIOCCHI
35
75
74
71
71
291
-
Bob SHEARER
35
75
73
68
75
291
-
Andy BEAN
35
72
72
73
74
291
-
Corey PAVIN
39
70
74
72
76
292
-
Magnus PERSSON
39
71
73
76
72
292
-
Jeffrey PINSENT
39
73
74
72
73
292
-
Tony JOHNSTONE
39
68
72
80
72
292
-
39
75
74
70
73
292
-
David A RUSSELL
44
74
72
71
76
293
-
Peter SENIOR
44
70
71
80
72
293
-
Ronan RAFFERTY
44
74
73
71
75
293
-
Martin POXON
47
73
75
71
75
294
-
Howard CLARK
47
70
71
76
77
294
-
47
72
73
72
77
294
-
Denis WATSON
47
72
74
75
73
294
-
Gordon BRAND JR
47
69
74
77
74
294
-
Mark MOULAND
47
72
75
74
73
294
-
Bernard GALLACHER
47
73
76
71
74
294
-
54
73
73
75
74
295
-
Emilio RODRIGUEZ
54
71
70
77
77
295
-
Larry NELSON
56
70
75
75
77
297
-
Peter FOWLER
56
70
79
70
78
297
-
David WHELAN
58
69
74
75
80
298
-
David WILLIAMS
59
74
71
74
81
300
-
Vaughan SOMERS
60
76
72
73
80
301
-
Wd
70
76
69
-
-
-
David GILFORD
WD
72
74
76
-
-
-
Jeff MATHEWS
WD
74
71
77
-
-
-
Terry GALE
WD
75
73
74
-
-
-
WD
72
77
73
-
-
-
David RAY
WD
73
74
75
-
-
-
Craig STADLER
WD
76
72
74
-
-
-
Steve MARTIN
WD
74
74
74
-
-
-
Lanny WADKINS
WD
73
74
76
-
-
-
Michael KING
WD
71
75
77
-
-
-
Paul WAY
WD
71
76
76
-
-
-
Chris MOODY
WD
72
77
74
-
-
-
Ossie MOORE
WD
73
73
77
-
-
-
Paul THOMAS
WD
75
74
75
-
-
-
Chen Tze MING
WD
74
71
79
-
-
-
Tony CHARNLEY
WD
75
74
75
-
-
-
Peter TERAVAINEN
WD
73
74
77
-
-
-
Bill MCCOLL
WD
69
80
75
-
-
-
Eddie POLLAND
WD
72
77
75
-
-
-
Des SMYTH
WD
75
74
76
-
-
-
Kikuo ARAI
WD
71
78
76
-
-
-
Paul OGLESBY
WD
76
69
80
-
-
-
Massimo MANNELLI
WD
74
74
77
-
-
-
Grant TURNER
WD
72
74
80
-
-
-
Manuel BALLESTEROS
WD
74
75
77
-
-
-
Ray CARRASCO
WD
73
76
81
-
-
-
Peter DAHLBERG
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
Denis DURNIAN
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
Woody BLACKBURN
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Mark MCCUMBER
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
Mark MCNULTY
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Ian MOSEY
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
Chris PLATTS
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Simon HOBDAY
M/C
72
78
-
-
-
M/C
Glenn RALPH
M/C
78
72
-
-
-
M/C
Derrick COOPER
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
Bob BYMAN
M/C
72
78
-
-
-
M/C
Mike INGHAM
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
Neil COLES
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
John BLAND
M/C
73
78
-
-
-
M/C
Carl MASON
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
74
77
-
-
-
M/C
Michael CLAYTON
M/C
72
79
-
-
-
M/C
Steven CIPA
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
Peter HARRISON
M/C
72
79
-
-
-
M/C
Jamie HOWELL
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Krister KINELL
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Shinsaku MAEDA
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Tommy HORTON
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
David LLEWELLYN
M/C
74
79
-
-
-
M/C
Eduardo ROMERO
M/C
74
79
-
-
-
M/C
Rodger DAVIS
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Tateo OZAKI
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
Rick HARTMANN
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
David ARMSTRONG
M/C
71
82
-
-
-
M/C
Bill BERGIN
M/C
73
81
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
81
73
-
-
-
M/C
Alan TAPIE
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Gary SMITH
M/C
74
80
-
-
-
M/C
Ken BROWN
M/C
72
83
-
-
-
M/C
Brian SHARROCK
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Jonathan EVANS
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Nicholas GODIN
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
Brad FAXON
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
Vicente FERNANDEZ
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
Bill LONGMUIR
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
Noel RATCLIFFE
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
Lee JONES
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
Mark DAVIS
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Garth MCGIMPSEY
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Clive TUCKER
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Baldovino DASSU
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Brian MARCHBANK
M/C
76
80
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
74
83
-
-
-
M/C
Mike MCLEAN
M/C
72
85
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy HEGGARTY
M/C
77
81
-
-
-
M/C
Graham HOMEWOOD
M/C
80
78
-
-
-
M/C
Stephen BENNETT
M/C
77
81
-
-
-
M/C
Jerry ANDERSON
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Christopher BASSETT
M/C
75
84
-
-
-
M/C
Roger CHAPMAN
M/C
74
85
-
-
-
M/C
Naomichi OZAKI
M/C
82
77
-
-
-
M/C
Art RUSSELL
M/C
77
82
-
-
-
M/C
Philip WALTON
M/C
74
85
-
-
-
M/C
Tohru NAKAMURA
M/C
76
84
-
-
-
M/C
Bobby MITCHELL
M/C
78
82
-
-
-
M/C
Maurice BEMBRIDGE
M/C
83
78
-
-
-
M/C
Armando SAAVEDRA
M/C
80
81
-
-
-
M/C
Garry CULLEN
M/C
78
84
-
-
-
M/C
Robert PURDIE
M/C
77
87
-
-
-
M/C
Jeff HALL
M/C
78
86
-
-
-
M/C
Richard LATHAM
M/C
84
84
-
-
-
M/C

Latest from the open