1977 Open Championship

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1977 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 6–9 July 1977
Location Ayrshire, Scotland
Course(s) Ailsa Course, Turnberry
Tour(s) European Tour
PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 70[1]
Length 6,875 yards (6,286 m)[1]
Field 156 players
87 after 1st cut
64 after 2nd cut[1]
Cut 150 (+10) (1st cut)
221 (+11) (2nd cut)[1]
Prize fund £100,000[1]
$170,000
Winner's share £10,000
$17,000
Champion
United States Tom Watson
268 (−12)
Turnberry is located in Scotland
Turnberry
Turnberry
Location in Scotland

The 1977 Open Championship was the 106th Open Championship, held 6–9 July on the Ailsa Course at Turnberry, Scotland. Tom Watson won the second of his five Open titles by one stroke over runner-up Jack Nicklaus.[2] The two played together in the final two rounds and had separated themselves from the field under clear skies, leading this Open to be remembered as the "Duel in the Sun." This was the first Open ever held at Turnberry, which renamed its 18th hole after the duel.[3][4] Three months earlier, Watson had held off Nicklaus to win his first green jacket at the Masters.

In the second round, Mark Hayes shot 63 to establish a new single round record at The Open Championship by two strokes. The previous record of 65 was set by Henry Cotton in the second round in 1934 at Royal St. George's.[5]

Americans dominated the final leaderboard, filling the top eight spots and eleven of the first twelve.[6][7] The first page of the leaderboard was loaded with future members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The leader after 36 holes, Roger Maltbie, finished at 289 (+9), in a tie for 26th place.

Duel in the Sun[edit]

Watson's victory is considered by many to be the finest tournament played in the last half of the 20th century. After two rounds, he and Nicklaus were one shot out of the lead, in a four-way tie for second, and were paired for the third round on Friday.[5] Both shot five-under 65 for 203 (−7), three shots clear of Ben Crenshaw and six ahead of the remainder of the field after 54 holes.[8]

Paired again for the final round on Saturday afternoon, Nicklaus birdied twice and was up by three strokes after four holes. Watson birdied three of the next four to pull even at two-under for the round, then bogeyed the ninth hole to fall one back at the turn. Nicklaus birdied the 12th hole to go two strokes ahead, then Watson birdied 13 and the par-3 15th, rolling in a putt from off the green to even up the round at three-under.[9]

After halving the 16th with pars, it was on to the reachable par-5 17th, where Nicklaus missed the green to the right but chipped his third to four feet (1.3 m) of the cup. Watson missed an eagle putt and tapped in for birdie, but then Nicklaus two-putted for par to go a stroke down with one hole remaining. On the 18th tee, Watson drove to an ideal position in the fairway, but Nicklaus went right and into the rough. Watson's 7-iron approach stopped pin-high and two feet left of the flag, and with Nicklaus in trouble, appeared to seal the victory. But Nicklaus slashed his 8-iron recovery onto the front of the green and sank his 35-foot (11 m) putt for a remarkable birdie and a bogey-free 66. Now needing a seventh birdie of the round to avoid an 18-hole playoff, Watson sank the two-footer for his second straight 65, second Open, and third major title. With birdies on four of the final six holes, his total of 268 was eight strokes better than the previous best score ever in the Open.[3][4]

Watson and Nicklaus finished well ahead of the other challengers, and shot the same score every day, except for Sunday. The third place finisher, reigning U.S. Open champion Hubert Green, shot a final round 67 and was a distant ten strokes behind Nicklaus, who won his third Open (and third career grand slam) the following year at St. Andrews.[9]

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made both cuts[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Tom Watson  United States 1975 68 70 65 65 268 –12 1
Jack Nicklaus  United States 1966, 1970 68 70 65 66 269 –11 2
Lee Trevino  United States 1971, 1972 68 70 72 70 280 E 4
Arnold Palmer  United States 1961, 1962 73 73 67 69 282 +2 7
Johnny Miller  United States 1976 69 74 67 74 284 +4 T9
Peter Thomson  Australia 1954, 1955,
1956, 1958, 1965
74 72 67 73 286 +6 T13
Gary Player  South Africa 1959, 1968, 1974 71 74 74 69 288 +8 T22
Tom Weiskopf  United States 1973 74 71 71 72 288 +8 T22
Bob Charles  New Zealand 1963 73 72 70 78 293 +13 T43
Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 1967 76 71 70 78 295 +15 T48

Missed the first cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2
Henry Cotton  England 1934, 1937, 1948 93 82
Bobby Locke  South Africa 1949, 1950,
1952, 1957
84 WD

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Wednesday, 6 July 1977

Place Player Country Score To par
1 John Schroeder  United States 66 −4
2 Martin Foster  England 67 −3
T3 Jack Nicklaus  United States 68 −2
Lee Trevino  United States
Tom Watson  United States
T6 Seve Ballesteros  Spain 69 −1
Gaylord Burrows  United States
Johnny Miller  United States
T9 George Burns  United States 70 E
Raymond Floyd  United States
Tommy Horton  England
Chi-San Hsu  Taiwan
Hale Irwin  United States
Ian Stanley  Australia

Source:[10]

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 7 July 1977

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Roger Maltbie  United States 71-66=137 −3
T2 Hubert Green  United States 72-66=138 −2
Jack Nicklaus  United States 68-70=138
Lee Trevino  United States 68-70=138
Tom Watson  United States 68-70=138
T6 Peter Butler  England 71-68=139 −1
Mark Hayes  United States 76-63=139
T8 Seve Ballesteros  Spain 69-71=140 E
George Burns  United States 70-70=140
Howard Clark  England 72-68=140
Ben Crenshaw  United States 71-69=140
Chi-San Hsu  Taiwan 70-70=140
John Schroeder  United States 66-74=140

Source:[5]

Amateurs: Garner (+13), McEvoy (+13), Powell (+13), Carrick (+15), Lyle (+15), Pierse (+16), Wilson (+16), Cosh (+21), Chapman (+25).

Third round[edit]

Friday, 8 July 1977

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Jack Nicklaus  United States 68-70-65=203 −7
Tom Watson  United States 68-70-65=203
3 Ben Crenshaw  United States 71-69-66=206 −4
T4 Tommy Horton  England 70-74-65=209 −1
Gaylord Burrows  United States 69-72-68=209
Roger Maltbie  United States 71-66-72=209
T7 Johnny Miller  United States 69-74-67=210 E
Lee Trevino  United States 68-70-72=210
T10 Raymond Floyd  United States 70-73-68=211 +1
Mark Hayes  United States 76-63-72=211

Source:[8]

Final round[edit]

Saturday, 9 July 1977

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Tom Watson  United States 68-70-65-65=268 −12 10,000
2 Jack Nicklaus  United States 68-70-65-66=269 −11 8,000
3 Hubert Green  United States 72-66-74-67=279 −1 6,000
4 Lee Trevino  United States 68-70-72-70=280 E 5,000
T5 George Burns  United States 70-70-72-69=281 +1 4,250
Ben Crenshaw  United States 71-69-66-75=281
7 Arnold Palmer  United States 73-73-67-69=282 +2 3,750
8 Raymond Floyd  United States 70-73-68-72=283 +3 3,500
T9 John Schroeder  United States 66-74-73-71=284 +4 2,875
Mark Hayes  United States 76-63-72-73=284
Johnny Miller  United States 69-74-67-74=284
Tommy Horton  England 70-74-65-75=284

Source:[6]

Scorecard[edit]

Final round

Hole   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10   11  12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4
United States Watson –7 –6 –6 –6 –7 –7 –8 –9 –8 –8 –8 –8 –9 –9 –10 –10 –11 –12
United States Nicklaus –7 –8 –8 –9 –9 –9 –9 –9 –9 –9 –9 –10 –10 –10 –10 –10 –10 –11
United States Green +2 +1 +1 +1 E E E E –1 –1 –1 –1 E E E E –1 –1

Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Source:[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. pp. 59, 203. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Jenkins, Dan (18 July 1977). "A braw brawl for Tom and Jack". Sports Illustrated: 28. 
  3. ^ a b Deford, Frank (14 July 1986). "The best against the best". Sports Illustrated: 58. 
  4. ^ a b Garrity, John (28 July 2008). "The Duel in the Sun: Watson vs. Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977". Golf.com. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Hayes shoots Open record". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 8 July 1977. p. 19. 
  6. ^ a b "1977 Open Championship results". databasegolf.com. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Jack's best shot not good enough". Eugene Register-Guard. (wire services). 10 July 1977. p. 1B. 
  8. ^ a b "Classic duel set in British Open". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 9 July 1977. p. 33. 
  9. ^ a b "Tom Watson wins; Jack Nicklaus' best one stroke short". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 10 July 1977. p. D1. 
  10. ^ "Longshot U.K. Open leader blasts 'star' system". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 7 July 1977. p. 23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°18′58″N 4°49′55″W / 55.316°N 4.832°W / 55.316; -4.832