8 anniversaries at this year's Open Championship
SOUTHPORT, England — A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the Open Championship:
150 years ago (1867): Old Tom Morris captured his fourth and final title at Prestwick at age 46. He remains the oldest player to win the Open, and he was the oldest to win any major for just more than a century until Julius Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48. Morris had a two-shot lead over Willie Park Sr., who also was going after his fourth title. Both closed with a 58 and Morris won by two shots.
125 years ago (1892): In the first Open contested over two days and 72 holes, English amateur Harold Hilton closed with 72-74 on the final day at Muirfield — the low score in the third and fourth rounds — for a three-shot victory over amateur John Ball, Sandy Herd and Hugh Kirkaldy. It still is the only time in a major that an amateur finished first and second. Entry fees were introduced for the first time to improve the quality of the field. This was the first of 16 Opens held at Muirfield.
100 years ago (1917): This was the third of five straight years the Open was cancelled because of World War I.
75 years ago (1942): This was the third of six straight years the Open was cancelled because of World War II.
50 years ago (1967): Roberto de Vicenzo became the first player from South America to win a major when he closed with a 70 and held off Jack Nicklaus for a two-shot victory at Royal Liverpool. The 44-year-old Argentine won the claret jug 17 years after he was runner-up to Bobby Locke. De Vicenzo tied Gary Player for a course-record 67 in the third round to build a two-shot lead over Player, with Nicklaus another shot behind. He was one shot ahead of Nicklaus, who had already closed with a 69, when he played a 3-wood over the out-of-bounds area on the 16th hole and safely onto the green for a two-putt birdie. He closed with two pars.
25 years ago (1992): Nick Faldo won his third Open and never looked more uncomfortable. Never mind that he opened with 66-64 for a 36-hole record that still hasn't been beaten, or that he had a four-shot lead with nine holes to play. Faldo made three bogeys, John Cook birdied the 15th and 16th, and suddenly the American was two shots ahead. Faldo rallied and Cook collapsed. Faldo hit 5-iron to 3 feet for birdie on the 15th. Ahead of him, Cook missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and he closed with a bogey. Faldo needed only par on the 18th to win, and he hit 3-iron onto the green to secure the most nervous victory of his six majors.
20 years ago (1997): Justin Leonard won his only major and made it three straight majors for players in their 20s following Tiger Woods (21) at the Masters and Ernie Els (27) at the U.S. Open. Leonard began the final round at Royal Troon five shots behind Jesper Parnevik, who was playing in the final group with Darren Clarke. As they traded mistakes, Leonard closed with a 65 and set a target that neither Parnevik nor Clarke could match. Parnevik closed with three straight bogeys for a 73, while Clarke shot 71 as both finished three shots behind. It took Clarke 14 years to win his Open. Parnevik never won a major.
10 years ago (2007): Padraig Harrington became the first Irishman in 60 years to capture the claret jug, and Carnoustie again delivered a calamitous finish. Harrington made hit into Barry Burn twice on the 18th hole and made double bogey to go from a one-shot lead to one shot behind. Sergio Garcia, who started the final round with a three-shot lead, made bogey from the bunker on the 18th that led to a playoff. Harr, only for Sergio Garcia to make bogey from the bunker on the 18th to force a playoff. Harrington quickly built a two-shot lead and had to make a 3-foot par putt to win the four-hole playoff. Garcia took the loss hard, claiming the golfing gods were against him. It would be 10 years before the Spaniard would finally win a major.