Open Championship: Most memorable moments

Harrington heroics, Seve sorcery, wonderous Woods - 10 of the most memorable Open moments.

Andy Roberts's picture
John Craven
Tue, 18 Jul 2017

Open Championship: Most memorable moments

 

The 146th Open Championship tees off at Royal Birkdale this week so what better time to take a trip down memory lane and re-live the tournament's most memorable moments.

We've all got our favourites, and let's face it, there have been many. 

There are 10 that stand out from the crowd though. We list them...

#10 - HARRINGTON HEROICS

He became the first Irishman to win the Open in 60 years the year before but Padraig Harrington’s eagle on 17 at Birkdale in ’08 was the style in which Major titles should be won. Holding a two stroke lead over clubhouse leader, Ian Poulter, Harrington took the aggressive play on his 71st hole and his 249 yard five-wood to three feet will forever be recalled on the Liverpool links as a shot worthy of a champion.

#9 - SEVE SORCERY

There’s few who have come close to Seve’s short-game wizardry and the 1979 Open was where he introduced it to the world. Seve’s up and down for birdie having found a Lytham carpark was one in a litany of miraculous escapes on his way to a first Open Championship at the age of 22. An icon was born.

#8 - DUEL IN THE SUN

The 1977 Open will forever be remembered in golfing circles as the battle of Watson and Nicklaus. Playing the last at Turnberry with a one stroke lead, Watson hit a safe one iron as Nicklaus found the gorse on the right. Jack muscled one to the green with no right to do it before Watson stiffed a seven iron in response. Of course Nicklaus holed his long birdie putt to temporarily draw level but on this occasion, Watson was a bridge too far. Nicklaus had finished 65/66 to Watson’s 65/65 over the weekend. Ridiculous!

#7 - OH JEAN! 

Moments don’t come much more memorable than Jean Van de Velde in ’99 at Carnoustie. With three shots to spare playing the last, Jean could afford to make double and win, and having got away with an aggressive drive off the tee, he looked in good shape. Wedge up the fairway, chip on and you can still afford a three putt. It made sense to everyone but the Frenchman. He went for glory, hit the grandstand, got an almighty bad break and the rest is history. He dunked it into the Barry Burn and having finally seen sense not to play from the water, he struggled to force a playoff only to lose to Paul Lawrie.

#6 - WONDEROUS WOODS

At the home of golf in 2000, as the great Jack Nicklaus bid farewell to his adoring fans on 18, a primed Tiger Woods was pictured getting in the zone for the start of his final round. And what a round it was. An eight stroke win and a record breaking 19 under par total saw Woods stroll to his first Open Championship victory. But would he ever catch Jack… unlikely now.