Capsule look at British Opens held at Carnoustie
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — A capsule look at the seven previous British Opens held at Carnoustie:
Winner: Tommy Armour
Margin: One shot
Runner-up: Jose Jurado
Prize: 100 pounds
Summary: Armour, a Scot who had emigrated to the U.S., was five shots behind Jurado of Argentina going into the final round when he closed with a 71 for a one-shot victory. Jurado was two shots ahead until a double bogey-bogey-bogey finish, topping a shot into Barry Burn on the 17th hole. Armour became the last Scot to win the British Open in his native land until Paul Lawrie took advantage of a collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.
Winner: Henry Cotton
Margin: Two shots
Runner-up: Reg Whitcombe
Prize: 100 pounds
Summary: Cotton, the ’34 Open champion, was three shots behind Whitcombe going into a last day that featured such wet and miserable weather that play was nearly called off. He opened with a 74 and improved his score by one stroke each day, closing with a 71 for a two-shot victory. The entire U.S. Ryder Cup team played in the Open. Byron Nelson was the top American, finishing six shots behind in his only trip to the British Open during the active part of his career.
Winner: Ben Hogan
Margin: Four shots
Runners-up: Antonio Cerda, Dai Reese, Peter Thomson, Frank Stranahan
Prize: 500 pounds
Summary: Hogan made his only British Open appearance in search of history, told that he could not be regarded as truly great without a claret jug. Such was the frenzy that a train made an unscheduled stop to watch Hogan hit his first competitive shot on Scottish soil, and officials required gallery control for the qualifying rounds. The locals called him “Wee Ice Mon” for his demeanor. Tied with Roberto de Vicenzo going into the final round, Hogan closed with a 68 for a four-shot victory. On the eve of the tournament, Walter Burkemo won the PGA Championship, making a Grand Slam impossible for Hogan. Even so, he won all three majors he played that year by a combined 15 shots.
Winner: Gary Player
Margin: Two shots
Runners-up: Bob Charles, Jack Nicklaus
Prize: 3,000 pounds
Summary: In the height of the “Big Three” era, Player and Nicklaus staged a terrific battle over the back nine at Carnoustie, with fortunes turning on the par-5 14th. Nicklaus hit a superb shot from the rough to reach in two. Player needed a 3-wood to carry the “Spectacles” bunkers. It was a blind shot, and the eruption of cheers told him it was close. The ball stopped 2 feet away for eagle, giving him a two-shot lead. Player closed with a 73 for a two-shot victory over Nicklaus (73) and Charles (76). Billy Casper, who had a one-shot lead going into the last day, shot 78 to finish three back. It was the first time a 54-hole cut was used.
Winner: Tom Watson
Runner-up: Jack Newton
Prize: 7,500 pounds
Summary: Watson was coming off two major collapses, closing with 78-77 on the weekend a month earlier at Medinah to blow the U.S. Open, and shooting 79 in the final round at Winged Foot in the U.S. Open a year earlier. Watson started the final round three shots out of the lead, but he holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 72 to finish at 279, tied with Newton (74) and one shot ahead of Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. Watson shot 71 in the playoff for a one-shot victory to become only the third American (Tony Lema, Ben Hogan) to win the British Open on his first try.
Winner: Paul Lawrie
Runners-up: Jean Van de Velde, Justin Leonard
Prize: 350,000 pounds
Summary: In a collapse that has come to define the havoc Carnoustie can impose, Van de Velde was on the verge of becoming the first Frenchman since 1907 to capture the claret jug when he took a three-shot lead to the final hole. His tee shot narrowly avoided going into Barry Burn, and that was the only good luck he had. His 2-iron caromed off a rail in the grandstands, landing in deep rough. His third shot went into the burn, and after stepping into the water from the rising tide, he decided to take a penalty drop. The fifth went into a bunker, and he got up-and-down for triple bogey. In the four-hole playoff, Lawrie hit 4-iron to 12 feet at No. 17 for birdie on the third hole for a one-shot lead, then hit 3-iron into 3 feet for a closing birdie. Leonard hit into the burn on the 18th twice, in regulation and the playoff. Lawrie closed with a 67 to make up a 10-shot deficit, the greatest comeback in major championship history.
Winner: Padraig Harrington
Runner-up: Sergio Garcia
Prize: 750,000 pounds
Summary: Garcia was ready to be crowned a major champion when he took a three-shot lead over Steve Stricker into the final round. Garcia struggled as the Irishman charged, and Harrington had a one-shot lead playing the 18th when he hit into Barry Burn twice and made double bogey for a 67. Garcia, needing a par to win his first major, hit into a bunker and missed a 10-foot par putt and shot 73. In the four-hole playoff, Harrington opened with a birdie and Garcia made bogey, and the Spaniard never caught up. On the par-3 16th, Garcia’s tee shot bounced twice and struck the pin, bounding some 20 feet away. Harrington made bogey on the 18th for a one-shot victory. The Irishman won two of the next five majors. Garcia had to wait 10 more years before finally winning one at the Masters.