July 08, 2016

A capsule look at the previous eight British Open championships held at Royal Troon:

Year: 1923

Winner: Arthur Havers

Runner-up: Walter Hagen

Winning score: 295

Prize money: 75 pounds

Recap: Only 222 players entered the first British Open held at Troon. With several top Americans trying to track him down, 20-year-old Arthur Havers shot 73 in the third round to take a one-shot lead, and then closed with a 76 to hold off defending champion Walter Hagen. Gene Sarazen, the reigning U.S. Open champion, failed to qualify by a single shot.

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Year: 1950

Winner: Bobby Locke

Runner-up: Robert de Vicenzo

Winning score: 279

Prize money: 300 pounds

Recap: Bobby Locke became the first back-to-back winner of the British Open since Walter Hagen in 1929. Tied for the lead going into the final round, Locke closed with a 68 for a two-shot victory over Roberto de Vicenzo. His winning score of 279 was the lowest in Open history at the time. This also is the year the Postage Stamp eighth hole earned its fearsome reputation. Herman Tissies, a German amateur, was bunkered left of the green. It took him five shots to get out - to a bunker on the right side of the green. He eventually holed out for a 15.

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Year: 1962

Winner: Arnold Palmer

Runner-up: Kel Nagle

Winning score: 276

Prize money: 1,400 pounds

Recap: Arnold Palmer won his second straight Open in dominant fashion, building a two-shot lead after 36 holes and extending it by two shots each of the final two days. He wound up with a six-shot victory over Kel Nagle, and the Open scoring record of 276. He also became the first American to win consecutive claret jugs since Walter Hagen. This also was the British Open debut of Jack Nicklaus, and it was far from memorable. He opened with an 80, closed with a 79 and took a 10 on the 11th hole.

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Year: 1973

Winner: Tom Weiskopf

Runner-up: Johnny Miller, Neil Coles

Winning score: 276

Prize money: 5,500 pounds

Recap: Tom Weiskopf was the hottest player in golf, with three victories in his previous six tournaments and nothing worse than a tie for fifth. He carried that game to his first and only major title, opening with a 68 and leading wire-to-wire for a three-shot victory over Johnny Miller and Neil Coles. In his return to Troon, Jack Nicklaus closed with a 65 but came up four strokes shy. After failing to qualify 50 years earlier, Gene Sarazen returned and played the Postage Stamp in three shots over two rounds - an ace in the first round, a birdie from the bunker in the second.

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Year: 1982

Winner: Tom Watson

Runner-up: Nick Price, Peter Oosterhuis

Winning score: 284

Prize money: 32,000 pounds

Recap: Tom Watson was the strong favorite after winning the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with his dramatic chip-in on the 17th. He was seven shots behind Bobby Clampett going into the weekend, shot 74 in windy conditions to get within three shots, and then surged past a fading Nick Price and Peter Oosterhuis to win by one shot. He became only the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and the British Open in the same year.

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Year: 1989

Winner: Mark Calcavecchia

Runner-up: Greg Norman, Wayne Grady

Winning score: 275 (playoff)

Prize money: 80,000 pounds

Recap: Mark Calcavecchia won his only major, and Greg Norman suffered another major setback. Norman birdied his first six holes and closed with a 64. Joining him in the playoff were Calcavecchia, who birdied the 18th hole for a 68, and Wayne Grady, who bogeyed the 17th and finished with a 71. Calcavecchia and Norman were tied going into the last of the four-hole playoff. Norman hit an enormous drive that wound up in the face of a fairway bunker. He hit into another bunker short of the green, and then went over the green. Calcavecchia had a 6-foot birdie putt to end a five-year drought for Americans winning the Open.

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Year: 1997

Winner: Justin Leonard

Runner-up: Darren Clarke, Jesper Parnevik

Winning score: 272

Prize money: 250,000 pounds

Recap: The final round shaped up as a duel between Jesper Parnevik and Darren Clarke. Five shots behind to start the final round, Justin Leonard was phenomenal with the putter and closed with a 65 for a two-shot victory. Clarke hit his tee shot on the beach at No. 2 for double bogey. Parnevik was still in control until he started dropping shots. Leonard surged ahead with a spectacular par save on the 15th and birdies on the next two. His 35-foot birdie on the 17th clinched the claret jug, the fifth straight time an American won the Open at Troon.

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Year: 2004

Winner: Todd Hamilton

Runner-up: Ernie Els

Winning score: 274 (playoff)

Prize money: 720,000 pounds

Recap: Todd Hamilton went toe-to-toe with Ernie Els over the final 40 holes, the last four in a playoff. On the 18th hole in the playoff, the 38-year-old Hamilton used a hybrid to chip from 40 yards to within two feet to win by one shot. Els closed with a 68. He made birdies on the 16th and 17th holes in regulation but missed a 12-foot birdie for the victory. Hamilton closed with a 69. Phil Mickelson took the lead with eight holes to play and finished one shot out of a playoff. Hamilton became the sixth straight American to win at Royal Troon.

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