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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 12:08 GMT
Watson wins duel in the sun
Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus head for the back nine in 1977
Grandstand: Open Golf
Sunday 9 July, 1977

The 106th Open at Turnberry in 1977 is widely considered as the best ever.

For four days the two best players in the world, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, went head to head after being tied after three rounds at 10 under par, nine shots clear of the field.

The final day in 1977 was dubbed the 'duel in the sun' and with nine holes left, Nicklaus led by a stroke, a worthy lead in a match that had been close from the outset.

The tension, which had been building throughout the Sunday, rose rapidly at the short 15th.

Nicklaus landed his tee shot on the green, Watson in the rough. Watson putted in for two, Nicklaus for three, and the game was back to all-square.

At the 17th Watson hit the green with his second shot, but Nicklaus, whose tee-shot had left him closer to the pin, gave his second shot a little too much power, and it trundled past the hole.

He missed the pin with his third shot, and Watson took the lead with a par - it was to stay that way till the end, but with one hole left nobody was predicting an outcome.

GRANDSTAND TEAM
Commentators: Henry Longhurst & Peter Alliss
Golf director: AP Wilkinson
Producer: Martin Hopkins
Editor: Paul Lang

On the 18th Watson arrived a couple of feet from the pin in two shots, with Nicklaus a 15-yard putt away from the hole.

But the Golden Bear wasn't going to lie down that easily, and sank the putt for birdie to put the pressure back on Watson.

With only a two yard putt for victory, Watson held his nerve to sink the putt.

The 27-year-old had beaten the world's greatest player 65 and 65 to 65 and 66, a Championship record by eight shots.

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