The course at Royal Troon is shaping up nicely for July, Ivor Robson’s successors have been announced and Glenmorangie is seeking the greatest Open finish.
Glenmorangie “The Spirt of the Open” has launched a campaign to find what the public believes to be the Greatest Finish in Open history. You can vote now at Glenmorangie.com
A panel made up of Glenmorangie’s ambassadors – Justin Rose, Tony Jacklin CBE and David Cannon, together with R&A CEO Martin Slumbers and a selection of media partners (including Mike Harris of Golf Monthly) have collaborated to draw up a shortlist of the 10 greatest Open finishes. The panel considered different aspects including, the quality of play down the stretch, atmosphere, pressure and the significance of achievement; and the 10 shortlisted finishes are as follows:
1970, St Andrews – Jack Nicklaus defeats Doug Sanders by a single stroke in an epic 18-hole play off after Sanders’ infamous missed putt on the 72nd green.
1972, Muirfield – Lee Travino claims a second Open title, breaking Tony Jacklin’s heart with an incredible chip-in par on the penultimate hole.
1977, Turnberry – Tom Watson edges out Jack Nicklaus in a titanic battle: the “Duel in the Sun.”
1984, St. Andrews – Seve Ballesteros ends the challenge of Tom Watson by willing a birdie putt into the hole on the 18th then celebrating with an iconic, matador’s fist pump.
1995, St. Andrews – Constantino Rocca produces one of the great shots in the history of The Open at the 72nd hole, sinking a putt from the “Valley of Sin” to force a play-off with John Daly.
1999, Carnoustie – Jean Van De Velde’s meltdown, blowing a three-shot lead on the final hole before losing in a three-way play-off to Paul Lawrie who closed with 67 and then birdied the 17th and 18th in extra holes.
2000, St. Andrews – Tiger Woods completes the career Grand Slam by obliterating a stellar field to win by eight shots, breaking a multitude of records in the process.
2007, Carnoustie – Padraig Harrington comes from six shots behind to defeat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff after Sergio’s par putt on the 72nd green defies gravity and fails to drop.
2009, Turnberry – 59-year-old Tom Watson set up a golfing fairytale with a chance to win his sixth open. Athough he missed just missed out it was one of the most exciting climaxes to any tournament.
2013, Muirfield – Phil Mickelson charged through the field, posting a round of 66 on the final day, including four birdies in the final six holes and a simply incredible second to the par-5 17th.
It’s now up to you to decide which of these incredible climaxes stands above the others as The Greatest Open Finish. You can do so by voting at genmorangie.com. Voting will be open until the 15th of July with the winner announced on the 16th; the penultimate day of this year’s tournament.
Scottish Open to Dundonald
It has been announced that the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be contested over Dundonald Links just outside Troon.
Kyle Phillips, the man responsible for designing the layout at Kingsbarns, created the course at Dundonald and, much like Kingsbarns, it’s a sympathetic modern take on a classic Scottish links.
When we played, the wind was gusting and the greens were fast and firm. If the pros face it in similar conditions, we could see some perplexed faces as they try to come to terms with the tricky slopes and run-offs that surround many of the putting surfaces.
There’s an eclectic selection of holes on the links that will test all facets of the game. Long par-4s demand strong hitting while shorter holes require a deft touch and the ability to manipulate ball flight.
The course is no stranger to significant competitions. The links has welcomed European Tour qualifying, Senior Open qualifying, the Boys Amateur Championship and the 2015 and 2016 Ladies Scottish Opens.
The 2017 championship should be quite a spectacle and it’s great for the event to travel to the South West, having previously visited Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen and Gullane.