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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
St Andrews memories
The Claret Jug and the R&A clubhouse at St Andrews

The Open at St Andrews has thrown up some of the most thrilling finishes and famous winners in golf.

As the Old Course prepares to host its 27th Open, the latest chapter of remarkable golfing stories is set to be written.

But before that, BBC Sport looks back at the last six events at the home of golf, with the help of people who were there.


Woods romped to an eight-shot victory over Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn in a week of perfect weather. The 24-year-old American didn't catch a single bunker and became only the third Open champion to card all four rounds in the 60s.

Tiger Woods

The Millennium Open at St Andrews was my first glimpse of Tiger-mania in full effect.

Tiger's presence seemed to generate a new-found level of excitement among the watching public and many spectators appeared to be there purely to see golf's latest genius.

He brought a "sex appeal" to St Andrews that the Old Course had not seen in many years, if ever.
Alasdair Lamont, Scotland


Daly, the big-hitting American, beat Costantino Rocca in a play-off after the Italian sank a monster birdie putt from the Valley of Sin to force extra holes.

Having already prepared a number of "Daly wins the Open" pages for Ceefax, my reaction was unprintable when Rocca's putt went in.

Anyone remember the leading Brit that year?

No it wasn't Faldo or Monty or Woosnam, it was Steven Bottomley, who was joint third after a 69. I wonder what happened to him?
Paul Grunill, BBC Sport journalist


Nick Faldo

Faldo's precision and control off the tee and fairway swept him to a five-shot victory over Payne Stewart and Mark McNulty.

As a teenage hacker and Faldo nut, I remember following the great man for all four rounds and being awestruck at how easy he made the game look on one of the hardest courses in the world.

The third round in particular sticks in the memory. Greg Norman, who was tied for the lead after 36 holes, seemed to be equally mesmerised as he sunk to a 76 to Faldo's 67.

I was also part of the stampede of thousands of joyful fans who evaded the stewards to sprint down the 18th fairway to get the best view of Faldo's coronation.
Andrew McKenzie, Sunderland


Seve Ballesteros

Ballesteros began the final round two behind Tom Watson and Ian Baker-Finch.

As the Australian dropped back, Ballesteros reached the 17th level with Watson. Seve made his par but Watson, up against the wall behind the green, took a bogey five. Ballesteros birdied the 18th and Watson, needing to sink his second shot, was beaten.

My enduring memory of the Open at St Andrews is always Seve's celebration. No celebration has come close to capturing that sense of genuine joy. Nobody was aware of it at the time but Watson's collapse on 17 signalled the end of his dominance, after five Open wins
G Thomson, Kirkaldy, via messageboards

It was a very hot day, and my main memory is seeing the six Tom Watson fans in despair as the 32 million Seve fans erupted when he holed the putt on 18. I honestly thought he had left the putt short, but it fell in and pandemonium ensued. Class.
Jockster35, via messageboards

In 1984, I and three friends got invited into the old clubhouse for afternoon tea. And what a fantastic afternoon we had. The smoked salmon and whiskey went down well, and seeing Seve sink the putt was brilliant. I will never forget the total joy on his face, arm aloft in triumph. I have only missed three Opens since 1981. They are very special occasions.
Eddiewal, via messageboards

My dad was a steward that year at the par-three eighth. On the first day, Seve practically scuffed it along the ground and into a gorse bush. Unperturbed, he hacked out onto the green and holed out for a par. The following day on the same hole, after knocking it onto the green, he turned around grinning and said to my dad, 'better than yesterday no?'.
Checkedbreeks, via messageboards

We were watching in a grandstand at the loop. We had just opened up our lunch box when Supermex [Lee Trevino] chipped in at the par-three 11th. We all jumped up in excitement, only for the sandwich box to go hurtling underneath the stand, never to be seen again. I never think of Supermex without my mind going back to this occasion.
Christophersupercad, via messageboards


Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus trailed Tom Watson and Britain's Peter Oosterhuis by one on Sunday morning. But as the leaders fell back, he pipped New Zealand's Simon Owen and Americans Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and Ray Floyd to win by two shots for a third Open title.

I was at the '78 and 84 Opens. In 1978, I remember the buzz going around the Old Course as Nicklaus made his charge.

I lived in St Andrews in those days. I recall as a young lad I could walk down to the Links and pretty much walk on to the Old Course for a couple of quid.

But in those days facilities were very poor; the practice ground only allowed you to hit a five iron at most. Oh how things have changed, but I would say for the better. The facilities for golfers are now superb. But at 2 or 120 a round, you still shake in your spikes on that first tee.
Airmyles, via messageboards

Very much a championship which anyone could have won, but of course there can be only one winner and it was a man familiar with the claret jug - Jack Nicklaus.

When people talk about the last two Opens being won by unknown players they should look back at the history - that's a major part of the Open.

Simon Owen had a great four days - he took the lead on the 15th but fell away. But after two unremarkable days Nicklaus finished 69, 69 - you just felt he was going to win.
Peter Alliss, BBC golf commentator


Doug Sanders

American Doug Sanders needed a par down the last to beat Nicklaus but hit his approach 30ft past the pin.

He left himself with a tiddler for victory but agonisingly missed the putt and lost to Nicklaus in an 18-hole play-off the following day.

Tony Jacklin is US Open champion and tees off as one of the later starters in round one. A man inspired, he starts birdie, birdie, birdie. I run like a mad boy to see every shot.

On nine, I see him hole his second for an eagle, out in 29! By 13 a thunderstorm breaks and play is suspended with his ball behind a gorse bush. The next day he resumes but all inspiration has left him. He never challenges for the title.
Golffan, via messageboards

I remember 1970 very clearly. Nicklaus threw his putter in the air when he won - it was a great celebration - and it was also a magical return for a man who had changed a lot since the last time we had seen him.

When he turned up we barely recognised him - Jack had lost three stone, got a new haircut and bought some new clothes. He was a changed man, apart from his golf, which was as brilliant as ever.
Peter Alliss, BBC golf commentator

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