Here we take a look at 10 of the finest final rounds in the history of The Open Championship; rounds that secured the Claret Jug for those who carded them.
Having won The Masters and the U.S. Open earlier in the year, Ben Hogan travelled across the Atlantic to compete in The Open Championship for the first and only time, at Carnoustie in Angus. “The Hawk” had never played on the links and never played with the (then) smaller British ball. He practised at Panmure before coming through qualifying on the Championship and Burnside courses at Carnoustie. He went into the final round tied for the lead with Roberto De Vicenzo and, despite battling the flu and having already played 18-holes in the morning, he went round the challenging layout at Carnoustie in a course-record 68 to win by four shots.
Johnny Miller – Royal Birkdale 1976
The American went into the final round at Birkdale trailing a charismatic Spanish teenager called Seve Ballesteros by three shots. Johnny Miller had won 14 tournaments in the previous two seasons on the PGA Tour and had been U.S. Open champion in 1973. Ballesteros was an unknown and had never won a European Tour event. Over the last 18-holes Miller’s experience told and he carded a marvellous six-under par 66 that included an eagle on the 13th and birdies at the last two holes.
Tom Watson – Turnberry 1977
The famous “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Both men carded the same scores in the first three rounds: 68, 70 and then a fantastic 65. They took a three shot lead over Ben Crenshaw into Saturday’s final round and then accelerated away from the field. Trading birdies over the closing 18, Watson eventually prevailed with another 65, compared to Nicklaus’s 66. The next placed man was Hubert Green – 10 behind Nicklaus. “I won the tournament I played in,” he quipped afterwards.
Seve Ballesteros – Royal Lytham 1988
The three men in contention to win the rain-delayed 1988 Open at Lytham played together in the final round. Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo trailed Nick Price by two shots. Faldo fell off the pace on the front nine as the other men ripped it up in a superb battle on the links. Price played the six holes from the 6th to the 11th in four-under-par but his one-shot lead was turned into a one-shot deficit over that stretch by Ballesteros who covered the holes in six-under! Seve played a sublime second to the 16th and then hit a majestic chip shot on the 18th hole to secure a par, a round of 65 and a two-shot victory. It was surely the best round of his life.
Greg Norman –Royal St George’s 1993
The scoring at Royal St George’s was excellent in 1993. After rounds of 66, 68 and 69, Greg Norman trailed his great rival Nick Faldo by a shot going into the last day. The Australian was tied with Masters champion Bernhard Langer. Both Faldo and Langer closed with fine rounds of 67 but they couldn’t live with the brilliance of Norman. The Australian tore round St George’s in 64 for the lowest final round in Open Championship history.