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The Open Championship: Greatest St Andrews moments

Original article published 17 October 2022

It's fitting that the home of golf plays host to the 150th Open Championship, as the world’s top stars prepare to take on the challenge of St Andrews.

This is the 29th time that St Andrews has held the oldest Major Championship and there have been some iconic moments at the Fife course.

We've selected our top five moments as we look forward to some more memorable incidents at the 2022 Open Championship.


The Open Championship


The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland


Thursday 14th - Sunday 17th July

How to watch

Sky Sports and follow via bet365's Live Golf Tracker

OddsRory McIlroy 10/1, Xander Schauffele 16/1, Jon Rahm 18/1, Jordan Spieth 18/1, Matthew Fitzpatrick 20/1

Jones walks off as Hutchison wins the Claret Jug

In 1921, Scottish-born Jock Hutchison won his only Open Championship at the same time becoming the first American citizen to lift the Claret Jug.

The 37-year-old picked up the £75 first prize after winning a play-off over amateur Roger Wethered, having carded a 72-hole total of 296.

Hutchison's victory was overshadowed though by the famous Bobby Jones, who was playing St Andrews for the very first time.

Jones, who went on to win The Open 12 months later, walked off the course after 11 holes having taken four shots to get out of a bunker!

Nicklaus takes the title after Sanders nightmare

Jack Nicklaus won three Open Championships in his illustrious career, but his most fortunate victory came at the home of golf back in 1970.

The Golden Bear started the final round two shots off the lead and looked set to finish second to fellow countryman Doug Sanders, who led by a shot teeing off at the 72nd hole.

Sanders smashed his drive down the fairway and had just 74 yards for his second, needing just a par to secure his first Major title. But the man from Georgia took four to get down, including a two-and-a-half foot putt calamity.

The two men returned on the Monday for an 18-hole play-off, with Nicklaus firing a birdie at the last hole to secure the title - his second at the time and, eight years later, he won his third Claret Jug, once again at St Andrews.

Seve shines in a thrilling final round

One of the strongest final-round fields battled it out for the 1984 Open Championship, with what was a 'who's who' of the biggest names in golf.

Going into Sunday, Ian Baker-Finch and Tom Watson were joint leaders on 11-under-par, two shots clear of European duo Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer.

Watson was the favourite, as he searched for a third consecutive Claret Jug, but a final round 73 wasn't good enough to get him over the line.

Ballesteros carded a 69 on Sunday and sealed his second Open success with a birdie on 18, holing a 15-foot right-to-left putt and then punching the air in celebration.

The names on the final leaderboard make fascinating reading, with Langer and Watson finishing T2, Fred Couples and Lanny Wadkins tied fourth and Nick Faldo and Greg Norman completing the top six.

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Daly wins after Rocca drama

John Daly was noted as a golfer with raw power and was not a player many pundits thought would be challenging for The Open when the field gathered at St Andrews in 1995.

But the American was never given enough credit for his shot-shaping and making, until he lifted the Claret Jug at the home of golf.

Daly, who won the PGA Championship in 1991 as an alternate, had shared the lead at the halfway stage, but a 73 on Friday saw him go into the final round four shots off the pace.

A one-under-par 71 looked like it would be enough for 'Wild Thing' to lift the Claret Jug, especially when Constantino Rocca had a moment to forget on the 18th.

The Italian reached the 'Valley of Sin' with his tee shot and then fluffed his pitch, with the ball ending back at his feet. With his chances having looked to have gone, Rocca responded with an incredible 65-foot putt up the slope to snatch a birdie and force a play-off.

Daly was determined not to miss his chance though and made sure in the four extra holes, with the American finishing on -1 compared to Rocca’s +3 total.

Tiger completes the Grand Slam

To celebrate the new Millennium, St Andrews hosted The Open in 2000 and it was an historic week for Tiger Woods - who collected his first Claret Jug.

The then world number one destroyed the field, leading from the second round and going on to win the tournament by no fewer than eight strokes.

Woods - who now has three Open victories to his name - didn't hit a single bunker during all four rounds and his victory made him the youngest person to complete the career Grand Slam.

His 19-under-par total of 269 was also the new Open Championship scoring record, which lasted for 15 years until Henrik Stenson fired 264 on-route to winning at Royal Troon in 2016.

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