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1977: The Year in Golf


Tom Watson - Jack Nicklaus - 1977 British Open

Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus staged their "Duel in the Sun" at Turnberry in 1977.

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Al Geiberger becomes the first player to break 60 in PGA Tour event, shooting 59 in the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.

Tom Watson wins The Masters and the British Open, edging Jack Nicklaus in both events. He beats Nicklaus by one stroke at Turnberry for the British Open in one of the classic duels in golf history. Over the final two rounds, playing together, Watson shoots 65-65 and Nicklaus 65-66.

For the first time, all 18 holes of a U.S. Open round are televised.
At the PGA Championship, a sudden-death playoff format is used for the first time in a major. Lanny Wadkins defeats Gene Littler. Earlier in the year, Littler beat Wadkins by three strokes to win the Houston Open, the last of Littler's 29 wins on Tour.

Bruce Lietzke's first PGA Tour victory comes in a four-hole playoff against Gene Littler for the Joe Garagiola Tucson Open.

Jack Nicklaus wins his own tournament, The Memorial, in its second year of existance.

Born This Year:

Se Ri Pak, multiple LPGA major winner
• Mi-Hyun Kim, 1999 LPGA Rookie of the Year
• Kelli Kuehne, LPGA Tour
Cristie Kerr, LPGA Tour

Died This Year:

• Clifford Roberts, cofounder, Augusta National; chairman, The Masters
• Cecil Leitch, 4-time winner of British Women's Amateur

Money Leaders:

PGA: Tom Watson, $310,653.16
LPGA: Judy Rankin, $122,890
European: Seve Ballesteros, Spain, £ 46,435

Scoring Leaders:

PGA (Vardon Trophy): Tom Watson, 70.32
LPGA (Vare Trophy): Judy Rankin, 72.16

Men's Major Championship Winners:

The Masters: Tom Watson
U.S. Open: Hubert Green
British Open: Tom Watson
PGA Championship: Lanny Wadkins

Women's Major Championship Winners:

LPGA: Chako Higuchi
U.S. Open: Hollis Stacy

Amateur Champions:

U.S.: John Fought
British: Peter McEvoy
U.S. Women's: Beth Daniel
British Women's: Angela Uzielli

Ryder Cup
U.S. 12.5, Great Britain and Ireland 7.5

Walker Cup
U.S. 16, Great Britain and Ireland 8

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