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1977 British Open
Recap and Scores for the 1977 British Open Golf Tournament

The 1977 British Open - the first played at Turnberry - is one of the most famous in Open Championship history, so famous that books have been written about it. For example, Mike Corcoran's Duel in the Sun (compare prices).

Why is the 1977 British Open considered so special? Well, consider the leaderboard: Eight of the top nine players went on to be named to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Names like Watson, Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Hubert Green, Raymond Floyd, Johnny Miller - even Arnold Palmer showed up on the leaderboard, very late in his career. All those great names were in the Top 9.

This tourney features links to the past, too. Seventy-year-old Sir Henry Cotton, a 3-time champ, played, as did 4-time winner Bobby Locke. Locke withdrew after a poor first round; Cotton finished last among those who completed two rounds; but 5-time champ Peter Thomson finished 13th.

And there were looks ahead to the future. Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros were just getting started in their pro careers; Norman missed the cut, Faldo finished tied for last among those making the cut, and Seve finished 15th.

But the 1977 British Open was really all about Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, who finished 10 strokes ahead of everyone else. Their final two rounds, paired together, are what "Duel in the Sun" refers to - the epic battle between two giants the took place over the final two rounds at Turnberry.

How epic? Nicklaus played the third and fourth rounds in 65-66. But Watson played them in 65-65 to beat Jack by a stroke. The two matched each other stroke for stroke until the very last hole of the tournament. Nicklaus was ahead by two after the 12th hole, but Watson reeled him in with the help of a 60-foot birdie putt from off the green on the 15th hole. Watson took a one-stroke lead with a birdie to Nicklaus' par on the 17th.

On the final hole, Nicklaus sprayed his drive to the left, where it came to rest under the gorse. Watson played an iron off the tee right down the middle, then played a short iron to three feet from the cup.

From the gorse, Nicklaus pulled off a miraculous approach, reaching the edge of the green but 40 feet away. "I think we've got him now," Watson's caddie said to Watson. "No, I have a feeling he's going to make this," Watson replied. And Nicklaus' snaking, undulating 40-footer for birdie dropped into the cup.

In his later years on the PGA Tour, Watson was plagued constantly by the yips. But in 1977, he was a fearless putter, and there was no doubt the 3-footer he had left was going to be made. Make it he did. The "Duel in the Sun" was over, and Tom Watson was the 1977 British Open winner.

1977 British Open Scores
Results from the 1977 British Open played on the Ailsa Course at Turnberry in South Ayrshire, Scotland (a-amateur):

Tom Watson 68-70-65-65--268 $17,000
Jack Nicklaus 68-70-65-66--269 $13,600
Hubert Green 72-66-74-67--279 $10,200
Lee Trevino 68-70-72-70--280 $8,500
George Burns III 70-70-72-69--281 $7,225
Ben Crenshaw 71-69-66-75--281 $7,225
Arnold Palmer 73-73-67-69--282 $6,375
Raymond Floyd 70-73-68-72--283 $5,950
Tommy Horton 70-74-65-75--284 $4,887
Mark Hayes 76-63-72-73--284 $4,887
John Schroeder 66-74-73-71--284 $4,887
Johnny Miller 69-74-67-74--284 $4,887
Peter Thomson 74-72-67-73--286 $3,740
Howard Clark 72-68-72-74--286 $3,740
Bobby Cole 72-71-71-73--287 $2,295
Seve Ballesteros 69-71-73-74--287 $2,295
Peter Butler 71-68-75-73--287 $2,295
Bob Shearer 72-69-72-74--287 $2,295
Graham Marsh 73-69-71-74--287 $2,295
Guy Hunt 73-71-71-72--287 $2,295
Jerry Pate 74-70-70-73--287 $2,295
Gary Player 71-74-74-69--288 $1,168
John Fourie 74-69-70-75--288 $1,168
Tom Weiskopf 74-71-71-72--288 $1,168
Peter Dawson 74-68-73-73--288 $1,168
Gaylord Burrows 69-72-68-80--289 $762
Norio Suzuki 74-71-69-75--289 $762
Rik Massengale 73-71-74-71--289 $762
Roger Maltbie 71-66-72-80--289 $762
Angel Gallardo 78-65-72-74--289 $762
Martin Foster 67-74-75-73--289 $762
John O'Leary 74-73-68-74--289 $762
David Ingram 73-74-70-72--289 $762
Eamonn Darcy 74-71-74-71--290 $646
Ken Brown 74-73-71-72--290 $646
Baldovino Dassu 72-74-72-73--291 $586
Brian Barnes 79-69-69-74--291 $586
John Morgan 72-71-71-77--291 $586
Min Nan Hsieh 72-73-73-73--291 $586
Manuel Pinero 74-75-71-71--291 $586
David Vaughan 71-74-73-74--292 $527
Neil Coles 74-74-71-73--292 $527
Bob Charles 73-72-70-78--293 $487
Jaime Gonzalez 78-72-71-72--293 $487
Tony Jacklin 72-70-74-77--293 $487
Stewart Ginn 75-72-72-75--294 $463
Hale Irwin 70-71-73-80--294 $463
Brian Huggett 72-77-72-74--295 $439
Vicente Fernandez 75-73-73-74--295 $439
Michael King 73-75-72-75--295 $439
Roberto De Vicenzo 76-71-70-78--295 $439
Rodger Davis 77-70-70-79--296 $425
Brian Waites 78-70-69-79--296 $425
Christy O'Connor Jr. 75-73-71-77--296 $425
Jim Farmer 72-74-72-78--296 $425
Vincent Tshabalala 71-73-72-81--297 $425
Maurice Bembridge 76-69-75-77--297 $425
Hsu Chi San 70-70-77-81--298 $425
Ian Mosey 75-73-73-77--298 $425
David Jones 73-74-73-78--298 $425
Gary Jacobsen 74-73-70-81--298 $425
Nick Faldo 71-76-74-78--299 $425
Vince Baker 77-70-73-79--299 $425
Isao Aoki 76-72-74  
Simon Owen 73-74-75  
Des Smyth 78-72-72  
Darrell Welch 77-71-74  
David Graham 72-76-75  
Jeff Hawkes 79-70-74  
Manuel Calero 77-71-76  
Antonio Garrido 77-73-74  
Greg Norman 78-72-74  
Eddie Polland 72-75-77  
Ian Stanley 70-76-78  
Sam Torrance 77-72-75  
Philippe Toussaint 76-71-77  
Simon Hobday 75-75-75  
Pip Elson 77-73-76  
Christy O'Connor Sr. 75-75-76  
Ronnie Shade 75-72-79  
Hugh Baiocchi 77-73-77  
Garry Cullen 73-76-78  
Deray Simon 78-71-78  
Doug McClelland 76-71-81  
Delio Lovato 75-75-81  
Mark James 75-73-85  
Manuel Ballesteros 80-71  
John Bland 72-79  
Peter Cowen 76-75  
Bernard Gallacher 75-76  
John McMahon 75-76  
Willie Milne 78-73  
Ken Norton 77-74  
Arnold O'Connor 74-77  
Craig Defoy 78-74  
Richard Emery 75-77  
Bill Lockie 75-77  
John McTear 73-79  
a-Pat Garner 75-78  
Liam Higgins 77-76  
Warren Humphreys 79-74  
Tom Linskey 77-76  
Mark Lye 79-74  
a-Peter McEvoy 78-75  
a-John Powell 76-77  
David J. Russell 78-75  
Peter Berry 78-76  
Roger Calvin 79-75  
Andrew Chandler 75-79  
John Garner 75-79  
Malcolm Gregson 81-73  
Nick Job 80-74  
George McKay 75-79  
Lionel Platts 77-77  
Norman Wood 76-78  
Roberto Bernardini 82-73  
a-David Carrick 78-77  
Alex Caygill 78-77  
David Dunk 76-79  
Roger Fidler 75-80  
Kirk Goss 77-78  
a-Sandy Lyle 75-80  
Jack Newton 75-80  
Salvador Balbuena 82-74  
a-Arthur Pierse 78-78  
a-Peter Wilson 77-79  
Harry Bannerman 77-80  
Priscillo Diniz 81-77  
Hugh Jackson 79-79  
Mel Hughes 80-79  
James Seeley 82-77  
Alan Thompson 82-77  
Peter Tupling 74-85  
Johnny Johnson 84-76  
Jim Bartak 82-79  
a-Gordon Cosh 78-83  
Dave Cullen 84-77  
David Huish 80-81  
Andries Oosthuizen 81-80  
Geoff Tickell 79-82  
Harry Ashby 83-79  
P.A. Sierocinski 83-79  
a-Roger Chapman 86-79  
Lawrence Donovan 86-82  
Nick Lumb 85-84  
Henry Cotton 93-82  
Buddy Gardner 80-WD  
Bobby Locke 84 WD  

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