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The Open series

1949 1 Bobby Locke -5


Bobby Locke was the best putter of his generation, despite seeming to break all the teaching rules with his technique.

The incident.

On the 5th hole, Bradshaw pushed his drive into the rough and his ball ended up in the bottom of a broken beer bottle.

Unsure of the rule – he was entitled to relief but the wording at the time was ambiguous – and there not being a referee nearby to consult, Bradshaw shut his eyes tight and swung at the bottle.












With glass shattering everywhere, he moved his ball around 25 yards and ended up with a six. It took him a few holes to regain his composure and he ended with a 77.
















Locke was in top form in the play-off, scoring rounds of 67 and 68 for a 135 total.












...while Bradshaw struggled to a 74 and 73.

As champion Locke received 300 pounds sterling and Bradshaw 200.





Amazing is that Max Faulkner (Above photograph) won just 20 pounds for finishing in 6th place. These were, of course, different days, when most British boys would go back to "open up" their shop and teach just a day after the Tournament had finished.


 

1974- Royal Lytham & St Annes


Click for bigger image

For the first time in The Open, it was compulsory to play with the larger 1.68-inch ball, which had been used in America for many years and was less easy to control in the wind than the smaller ball.




Inevitably, the wind blew on the first two days at Lytham. Player, had an opening 69 to share the first-round lead with John Morgan and then moved ahead with a 68 on the second day.











Oosty`s contact, solid footwork.





None of the other leading finishers broke 70 on either day. A 75 on the third day left Player still ahead of the field, with England’s Peter Oosterhuis three behind.











Oosterhuis battled bravely but Player was always in command.


Last day.

An eagle, three birdies, and, two bogeys in the first seven holes kept the chasing pack at bay but Oosterhuis almost got back within one at the 13th only for Player to chip in from the back of the green for a birdie.

Leader and his main challenger walk to the 18th tee.

The incident

Both Oosterhuis and Player hit the fairway with their tee shots. Player, had been using a 1 iron off the tee all week and stuck to his plan to the end.









From there the South African used a five iron which, although well struck, failed to hold the green.

















Whatever was going through the mind of Player as he walked over the green and surveyed the scene, it was unlikely to have possessed any anxiety thanks to a five-stroke cushion.

The ball had found a bad lie in the dirt, close up against the wall.


"No relief sir."

Player went through the formalities of checking the situation with the rules official, who confirmed he could play it as it lies or take relief with a one-shot penalty. Unsurprisingly Player opted to play the ball. Taking putter in hand he stood left-handed to the ball and struck the ball with the back of the club head.



The shot took a short flight and the ball rolled gently onto the green, a short distance from the flag. Two putts and the claret jug was his.


 


1972

Lee TREVINO CHAMPION GOLFER 278 Jack NICKLAUS 279 Tony JACKLIN 280 Doug SANDERS 281 Brian BARNES 283 Gary PLAYER 285

The 1972 Championship was the 101st Open Championship, held 12–15 July at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland.

Lee Trevino won his second straight Claret Jug, the first to successfully defend his title since Arnold Palmer in 1962. It was the Open that will be remembered for the short game wizardry displayed by the Mexican American.

A short game that not only broke the heart of Britain’s Tony Jacklin but halted Jack Nicklaus’s hopes of achieving a Grand Slam in a dramatic conclusion that featured the three Champion Golfers.



Although Trevino played solid rounds of 71,70 to start the Tournament, he was still only getting used to the heavy Muirfield rough and tight, hard fairways that made scoring so difficult that week.


The third day in Trevino`s words

"At the start of the third round, I chipped in for a birdie on the 2nd hole. In those days, I expected to chip in every time. It was the start of an extraordinary chipping week. On Friday, my boy [Tony] Jacklin looked to be gone. He was six shots ahead of me at one point, but then I charged up the leaderboard, finishing with five birdies in a row on the back nine, for a 66."



"Of course, the story of that week is always going to be my four chip-ins. A couple of them were just gifts from the gods. My chip on the 16th in the third round was really something. I was in the right bunker, on a downslope. I had no shot to a very shallow pin and no green to work with. I planned to blow it 30 feet past the hole, let it roll back, take my putt for bogey, and get out of there. To make sure I got it out of the sand, I hit it hard and watched it fly high into the air. The next thing I knew, it had gone into the hole on the fly for a birdie."

Final day and the incident.




Tony Jacklin (photograph) enjoyed his most influential years in the late sixties and early seventies. His greatest triumph was to be the holder of both the British Open and the U.S. Open at the same time. Sadly, after the `72 Open, he was never to be in contention for a major again. https://www.billknowlesgolfart.com/post/the-last-hole-tony-jacklin-s-inside-battle-at-lytham-in-1969




The final day saw an almost expected charge from Jack Nicklaus, who had, until the final day, paid little part in the challenge for the leadership.

The Gods had been smiling on Trevino all weekend, but when his tee shot found a bunker on the par-five 17th it appeared his fun was at an end.

Trevino then had to hack his way to the rough behind the green in four while the composed Jacklin was just short of the green in two.

Trevino was all at sea to save his par while Jacklin needed to get up and down for his birdie. A two-shot swing looked on the cards.

But what happened next will never be forgotten by all who saw it – least of all Jacklin who admitted his career was never the same after this defeat.




Trevino had already metaphorically handed the title to Jacklin on the walk to the green, ‘It’s your Open Tony’. Mind games? They didn’t call him the Merry Mex for nothing. Trevino loved to stir the pot.




But he could walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

As he remembered afterward: ‘Let me tell you something, my chili was hot, I was mad. But I hadn’t quit. I chipped in five times that week. The one at 17 was the killer.” The photograph shows Trevino in later years about to hole another chip.


Click the link below for more on Trevino.





The incident


"On the final day, of course, the crucial chip-in was on the 17th hole. I was tied with Jacklin, and Jack was one stroke back. I was over the back of the green and Tony motioned for me to play even though I wasn’t farthest away because that was the courtesy in those days. After I chipped in again, he got rattled and then three-putted from close range. The fans weren’t rooting for him as much as you might think. He was English and they were Scottish, for a start. Plus, they didn’t get to see many short Mexicans like me over there very often. I always felt they were on my side."

The effect on Jacklin was devastating. Instead of a routine two-putts to take a one-shot lead onto the 18th, he was now facing a long lag-putt just to stay tied. The writing seemed to be stamped firmly on the wall as Jacklin three-putted, and found himself trailing.

A simple par was all that was needed for Trevino now, Jacklin was a spent force as he dropped another shot to finish in third place behind Nicklaus.


The champion-1972


 

Next: 1988-Seve.


Seve wins, and Nick Price battles hard.



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