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1983 British Open
Recap and Scores for the 1983 British Open Golf Tournament

It was Open Championship win No. 5 for Tom Watson at the 1983 British Open, his eighth career victory in a major. And, it turned out, his last win in any of the majors.

The 1983 British Open also marked the last time Arnold Palmer made the cut in this tournament.

And it's remembered for "The Whiff." In the third round, Hale Irwin was on the leaderboard when he reached the 14th green. He barely missed a putt, and wasn't too happy about it - Irwin rushed to the cup and jabbed at his golf ball, which was sitting two inches from the hole. But he missed the ball. Completely whiffed.

Would that whiff come back to haunt Irwin? Do you think we'd be mentioning if it didn't?

Watson had a 1-stroke lead going into the final round, with plenty of big names close behind. A young Nick Faldo was briefly in the mix, as was an old(er) Lee Trevino.

Graham Marsh shot a final-round 64 to take the clubhouse lead at 7-under. Then Irwin and Andy Bean, playing together, each posted 8-under (both shooting 67s in the last round). That left Watson on the 18th tee at 9-under. Bean and Irwin were left hoping for a Watson bogey to produce a three-way playoff.

But Watson didn't accommodate. He striped a drive right down the center of Royal Birkdale's home hole, a 473-yard par-4. Then he hit a 2-iron from just over 210 yards that headed straight at the flag its entire flight - Watson later called it the best 2-iron of his life.

The ball rolled onto the green to within 15 feet. Watson 2-putted for par and his fifth - and final - Open Championship.

And the whiffer, Irwin, was left in second place, one stroke short of a playoff.

1983 British Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1983 British Open golf tournament played on the par-71 Royal Birkdale in Southport, England (a-amateur):

Tom Watson 67-68-70-70--275 $60,000
Andy Bean 70-69-70-67--276 $34,500
Hale Irwin 69-68-72-67--276 $34,500
Graham Marsh 69-70-74-64--277 $22,500
Lee Trevino 69-66-73-70--278 $20,400
Harold Henning 71-69-70-69--279 $18,375
Seve Ballesteros 71-71-69-68--279 $18,375
Christy O'Connor Jr. 72-69-71-68--280 $14,437
Bill Rogers 67-71-73-69--280 $14,437
Nick Faldo 68-68-71-73--280 $14,437
Denis Durnian 73-66-74-67--280 $14,437
Peter Jacobsen 72-69-70-70--281 $10,875
Craig Stadler 64-70-72-75--281 $10,875
Fuzzy Zoeller 71-71-67-73--282 $7,560
Mike Sullivan 72-68-74-68--282 $7,560
David Graham 71-69-67-75--282 $7,560
Raymond Floyd 72-66-69-75--282 $7,560
Gary Koch 75-71-66-70--282 $7,560
Bernard Gallacher 72-71-70-70--283 $4,435
Brian Waites 70-70-73-70--283 $4,435
Simon Hobday 70-73-70-70--283 $4,435
Jay Haas 73-72-68-70--283 $4,435
Hubert Green 69-74-72-68--283 $4,435
Tienie Britz 71-74-69-69--283 $4,435
Greg Norman 75-71-70-67--283 $4,435
Howard Clark 71-72-69-72--284 $3,225
Rodger Davis 70-71-70-73--284 $3,225
Eamonn Darcy 69-72-74-69--284 $3,225
Tom Kite 71-72-72-70--285 $2,197
Jack Nicklaus 71-72-72-70--285 $2,197
Lanny Wadkins 72-73-72-68--285 $2,197
Toru Nakamura 73-69-72-71--285 $2,197
Mark James 70-70-74-71--285 $2,197
Lu Chien Soon 71-72-74-68--285 $2,197
Curtis Strange 74-68-70-73--285 $2,197
Mike McCullough 74-69-72-70--285 $2,197
Hal Sutton 68-71-75-71--285 $2,197
Terry Gale 72-66-72-75--285 $2,197
Vicente Fernandez 70-72-72-72--286 $1,449
Chris Moody 74-69-70-73--286 $1,449
Ian Collins 70-75-68-73--286 $1,449
Tony Jacklin 71-75-71-69--286 $1,449
Kikuo Arai 74-67-75-70--286 $1,449
Bob Gilder 70-76-70-70--286 $1,449
Tim Simpson 73-69-72-73--287 $1,185
Tom Weiskopf 73-73-69-72--287 $1,185
Clive Tucker 73-71-73-70--287 $1,185
Massy Kuramoto 70-74-73-70--287 $1,185
Graham Burroughs 71-74-71-71--287 $1,185
Manuel Pinero 74-72-71-70--287 $1,185
Vaughan Somers 68-75-71-73--287 $1,185
Mark McNulty 72-69-68-78--287 $1,185
Larry Nelson 70-73-73-72--288 $1,087
Sam Torrance 68-73-74-73--288 $1,087
Bobby Clampett 74-72-71-71--288 $1,087
Arnold Palmer 72-74-68-75--289 $1,087
Bernhard Langer 67-72-76-74--289 $1,087
Mark E. Johnson 70-72-71-76--289 $1,087
Manuel Calero 70-75-69-76--290 $1,087
John O'Leary 74-68-69-79--290 $1,087
Ronan Rafferty 75-67-73-76--291 $1,087
Mike Ingham 71-73-70-78--292 $1,087
Hsieh Yu Shu 71-72-74-78--295 $1,087

Return to British Open Winners index for more tournament recaps

1982 British Open | 1984 British Open

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