Monday, July 12, 2010

Breaking Down All the Winners At St. Andrews Ever

St. Andrews has hosted a ton of British Opens. Here are all the winners that have ever won, and something about the event they took down.

1873, Tom Kidd: It was the first British not played at goofy Prestwick Golf Club, and Kidd won it with a score of 179, the highest ever when the event was just 36 holes.

1876, Bob Martin: This was his first of two British wins at St. Andrews. The amount Martin took home for victory? A hefty 10 pounds.

1879, Jamie Anderson: It was his third straight British Open win, and his first at St. Andrews. He is just one of three golfers to ever win three consecutive Opens.

1882, Bob Ferguson: Just after Anderson took home his third straight British, Ferguson starting winning in bunches. This victory, at St. Andrews, was his hat trick. Ferguson's golfing career was cut short by a bout with typhoid. Damn you typhoid!

1885, Bob Martin:He was a shot down in the final round, but made it up, beating Archie Simpson by a shot

1888, Jack Burns: You've heard the stories of old NFL players taking summer jobs because they didn't make enough money back in the day. Burns won the British, and then took a job working on railroads.

1891, Hugh Kirkaldy: Manning brothers, move over. Kirkaldy beat his own brother to win the last British held over 36 holes, and then died three years later at the young age of 29.

1895, John Henry Taylor: He Just the second Englishman to ever win the British, Taylor's win in '95 was his second in a row.

1900, John Henry Taylor: Back-to-back British wins at the Old for Taylor, who is considered one of the pioneers of the game of golf.

1905, James Braid: Braid, considered the inventor of the dogleg in golf, won five Open championships, including this one, by five shots.

1910, James Braid: This was his fifth and final Open, which he won with a four round total of 299. Braid went on to take the French Open in the same year.

1921, Jock Hutchinson: Not only does Jock have one of the best names ever to win the British, but he was the first U.S.-based golfer to take home the Open (he was born in St. Andrews but became a U.S. citizen in 1920). Hutchinson won in a playoff over Roger Wethered. Hutchinson lived to be 93-years-old.

1927, Bobby Jones: It was an interesting relationship, Jones and St. Andrews. In his first appearance here in 1921, Jones stormed off the golf course after 11 holes in his third round. Then, he won the damn tournament six years later, leaving the Claret Jug for the R&A instead of taking it back home out of respect.

1933, Denny Shute: An interesting week for Shute, who shot the exact same score (73) in all four rounds, only to be forced in a playoff with Craig Wood. Shute made it nine straight British Open wins for an American player, the longest stretch in the history of the tournament.

1939, Richard Burton: Burton, who infamously holds the title of longest Open champion (he held the Claret Jug from '39 to '46 because of World War II), is most famous not for his British title, but for a legend that he once hit the 120 yard par-3 17th hole at his home course with every club in his bag, including the putter.

1946, Sam Snead: Snead was tied for the lead heading into the final round in '46, only to win by four when he closed with a 75.

1955, Peter Thomson: One of the coolest experience of my golfing career was caddying in the same group as Peter Thomson back when I looped at St. Andrews. He was older, yes, but hearing the legend talk about the game and the play on the Old was something most people would die for. Thomson's win this year at St. Andrews was his second of five British wins.

1957, Bobby Locke: While most people think of Gary Player as the first big thing to come out of South Africa, they're forgetting Locke, who took home four Claret Jugs in just nine years. Both of Locke's last two Open titles came over Thomson.

1960, Kel Nagle:Here is something pretty insane - Nagle, an Australian, won at least one tournament from 1949 to 1975. His lone Open Championship came at the hands of a fairly popular golfer, Arnold Palmer, by just one shot in '60. His closing score of 10-under was the lowest ever recorded to date.

1964, Tony Lema: Lema, who beat Jack Nicklaus at St. Andrews in '64 by five shots, has one of the saddest, yet ironic, deaths in the history of sports. Heading to a tournament in 1966, Lema's airplane ran out of fuel and he crashed and died ... in a water hazard on the seventh hole of Lansing Country Club.

1970, Jack Nicklaus: It wasn't as much great play by Jack as it was a complete choke by Doug Sanders. Standing on the 18th green needing two putts to win, Sanders lagged his first putt to just over two feets, only to push that one right, ended up in a playoff with Jack that he would eventually lose. Years after the tournament, Sanders was asked if he ever thought about that putt he missed. "Not much,” he said. “Sometimes I manage to go 10 minutes without thinking about it.”

1978, Jack Nicklaus: Jack's run at St. Andrews was very similar to that of Tiger Woods' current domination at the Old Course. This time, beat four players, including Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw, to claim his third and final Claret Jug.

1984, Seve Ballesteros: It might say in the record books that Seve won this event by two shots, but it was way closer than that. Seve, who had bogeyed the Road Hole each of the first three days, hit a 6-iron from 193 yards to the middle of the green, lagging for a par, and then birdied the 18th. Tom Watson, who was trailing Seve by a shot after his birdie on the closing hole, was in the middle of the fairway on the 17th, but hit his second shot over the green, up against the famed rock wall. His bogey there allowed Ballesteros his second Claret Jug.

1990, Nick Faldo: It was over before it really started for Faldo in '90. Having already won the Masters earlier in the season, Faldo came to St. Andrews looking for his second British, and would get it after Thursday and Saturday 65s. He put himself in a position to glide to a five-shot victory, finishing at 18-under, the lowest score to date at an Open.

1995, John Daly: Arguably the craziest and most exciting Open ever, considering the company. Daly, with a one-shot lead over Costantino Rocca, looked like he'd wrapped up the British when Rocca chubbed his second shot from the Valley of Sin on the 72nd hole. That was until Rocca holed the next one from basically the same spot, falling in the ground and beating the grass in celebration. Daly would eventually beat him in a four-hole playoff, wrapping up his second major championship.

2000, Tiger Woods: I still love the sign that hangs in the Dunvegan about this Open, with his winning score of 19-under, the lowest ever at at British. The winning scores are listed, with a photo of Tiger, but a reminder just below it that simply says, "No wind." Yes, the wind didn't blow, but Tiger did to the rest of the field, winning by eight.

2005, Tiger Woods: Different verse, same as the first. The '05 Open was a little tighter for Woods coming down the stretch, but he still managed to win by five shots over Colin Montgomerie.


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