Greg Norman led all four of the majors after 54 holes in 1986, a feat dubbed the “Saturday Slam”. But the only one he actually won was The Open at Turnberry.
Amid all the frustration of near-misses that had gone before, not least losing to Jack Nicklaus at the Masters earlier that year, and still to come, such as Bob Tway’s holed bunker shot at the PGA Championship a few weeks later, Norman finally secured a first major title.
The Australian claimed the Claret Jug by five strokes from Gordon J Brand, with Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam in third place, Nick Faldo fifth and Seve Ballesteros tying for sixth.
The sun-kissed conditions of Turnberry’s first Open in 1977 were long gone. It was wild and windy and Woosnam was the only player to match the par of 70 on the first day. Norman opened with a 74 and then equalled the Open record with a 63 the next day.
It might have been even better as the Great White Shark was typically aggressive with his long birdie try on the 18th green, hoping for a 61, and ended up three-putting.
“I don’t want people to think that the score I shot today makes the course easy,” Norman said. “It was still tough, just not brutal like yesterday.”
Conditions were bad again on Saturday and Norman had another 74. While he led at one point by five strokes, a run of bogeys coming home put him only one ahead of Tommy Nakajima.The Japanese player started with a double bogey in the final round and Norman, buoyed by a pep talk from Nicklaus the previous night, closed with a 69 for a level-par total of 280. “Everybody knows how much I wanted to win a major,” he said.