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1989 British Open
Recap and Scores for the 1989 British Open Golf Tournament

The final round of the 1989 British Open began with journeyman Wayne Grady holding a 1-stroke over 5-time Open Championship Tom Watson. Most observers probably thought the conclusion was foregone: Watson would win.

But he didn't - and neither did Grady. Watson carded a 72 on Sunday, while Grady shot 71 to finish at 275, two strokes in front of Watson. Greg Norman, who began the day seven strokes behind Grady, scorched Royal Troon with a 64, forcing a tie.

And Mark Calcavecchia shot 68, joining Grady and Norman at 275 and creating a 3-way playoff. The British Open switched to a new playoff format this year. Previously, Open Championship playoffs were 18 holes. But at the 1989 British Open, the tournament switched to a 4-hole, cumulative score playoff.

So Grady, Norman and Calcavecchia played another four holes. By the fourth extra hole, Calcavecchia and Norman were tied, with Grady essentially out of it, two strokes behind.

Calcavecchia hit a bad slice off the tee, while Norman's drive boomed down the middle - only to roll into a deep, fairway bunker. Rather than use a lofted club to simply get the ball out of the bunker, Norman tried a heroic shot to reach the green. But the ball hit the face of the bunker and careened into a different bunker. From that bunker, Norman's next shot headed out of bounds. Norman basically picked up at that point, his chances down the drain.

Calcavecchia, meanwhile, hit a great recovery shot from his wayward drive, and wound up making birdie to win the 1989 British Open. The playoff scores were:

  • Calcavecchia, 4-3-3-3--13
  • Grady, 4-4-4-4--16
  • Norman, 3-3-4-x--x

It was Calcavecchia's sixth PGA Tour victory, but he had finished in the Top 10 of a major only once previously (second at the 1988 Masters). He posted only two other Top 10s in majors over the rest of long PGA Tour career (long and successful - he finished with 13 tour victories).

Grady went on to win the 1990 PGA Championship (one of just two PGA Tour wins for Grady). Norman had already won the 1986 British Open, and won again at the 1993 British Open. But Norman also lost in playoffs at all four majors.

Arnold Palmer shot 82-82 and finished last. Palmer played the British Open only twice more after this, the 1990 and 1995 Opens at St. Andrews.

1989 British Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1989 British Open golf tournament played on the par-72 Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland (x-won four hole playoff; a-amateur):

x-Mark Calcavecchia 71-68-68-68--275 $128,000
Wayne Grady 68-67-69-71--275 $88,000
Greg Norman 69-70-72-64--275 $88,000
Tom Watson 69-68-68-72--277 $64,000
Jodie Mudd 73-67-68-70--278 $48,000
Fred Couples 68-71-68-72--279 $41,600
David Feherty 71-67-69-72--279 $41,600
Paul Azinger 68-73-67-72--280 $33,600
Payne Stewart 72-65-69-74--280 $33,600
Eduardo Romero 68-70-75-67--280 $33,600
Nick Faldo 71-71-70-69--281 $27,200
Mark McNulty 75-70-70-66--281 $27,200
Mark James 69-70-71-72--282 $20,800
Howard Clark 72-68-72-70--282 $20,800
Steve Pate 69-70-70-73--282 $20,800
Craig Stadler 73-69-69-71--282 $20,800
Philip Walton 69-74-69-70--282 $20,800
Roger Chapman 76-68-67-71--282 $20,800
Don Pooley 73-70-69-71--283 $13,720
Tom Kite 70-74-67-72--283 $13,720
Larry Mize 71-74-66-72--283 $13,720
Derrick Cooper 69-70-76-68--283 $13,720
Vijay Singh 71-73-69-71--284 $10,772
Davis Love III 72-70-73-69--284 $10,772
Jose Maria Olazabal 68-72-69-75--284 $10,772
Lanny Wadkins 72-70-69-74--285 $9,280
Scott Simpson 73-66-72-74--285 $9,280
Chip Beck 75-69-68-73--285 $9,280
Stephen Bennett 75-69-68-73--285 $9,280
Miguel Angel Martin 68-73-73-72--286 $7,537
Jumbo Ozaki 71-73-70-72--286 $7,537
Brian Marchbank 69-74-73-70--286 $7,537
Peter Jacobsen 71-74-71-70--286 $7,537
Gary Koch 72-71-74-69--286 $7,537
Jack Nicklaus 74-71-71-70--286 $7,537
Ian Baker-Finch 72-69-70-75--286 $7,537
Jeff Hawkes 75-67-69-75--286 $7,537
Mark Davis 77-68-67-74--286 $7,537
Mike Harwood 71-72-72-72--287 $6,560
Tommy Armour III 70-71-72-74--287 $6,560
Jeff Woodland 74-67-75-71--287 $6,560
Lee Trevino 68-73-73-74--288 $5,960
Mark O'Meara 72-74-69-73--288 $5,960
Raymond Floyd 73-68-73-74--288 $5,960
Jose Rivero 71-75-72-70--288 $5,960
Sandy Lyle 73-73-71-72--289 $5,680
Joe Ozaki 71-71-69-78--289 $5,680
Mark McCumber 71-68-70-80--289 $5,680
Christy O'Connor Jr. 71-73-72-74--290 $5,440
Ian Woosnam 74-72-73-71--290 $5,440
Johnny Miller 72-69-76-73--290 $5,440
Ben Crenshaw 73-73-74-71--291 $4,960
Mark Roe 74-71-73-73--291 $4,960
Tony Johnstone 71-71-74-75--291 $4,960
Jet Ozaki 75-71-73-72--291 $4,960
Gene Sauers 70-73-72-76--291 $4,960
Richard Boxall 74-68-73-76--291 $4,960
Michael Allen 74-67-76-74--291 $4,960
Brett Ogle 74-70-76-71--291 $4,960
Emmanuel Dussart 76-68-73-74--291 $4,960
Curtis Strange 70-74-74-74--292 $4,280
Mike Reid 74-72-73-73--292 $4,280
Ronan Rafferty 70-72-74-76--292 $4,280
Bob Tway 76-70-71-75--292 $4,280
Paul Hoad 72-71-77-72--292 $4,280
David Graham 74-72-69-77--292 $4,280
Wayne Stephens 66-72-76-78--292 $4,280
Ken Green 75-71-68-78--292 $4,280
a-Russell Claydon 70-74-74-75--293  
Luis Carbonetti 71-72-74-76--293 $3,880
Sandy Stephen 71-74-71-77--293 $3,880
Colin Gillies 72-74-74-74--294 $3,840
Brad Faxon 72-72-75-76--295 $3,840
Peter Teravainen 72-73-72-78--295 $3,840
Emlyn Aubrey 72-73-73-78--296 $3,840
Martin Sludds 72-74-73-78--297 $3,840
Seve Ballesteros 72-73-76-78--299 $3,840
a-Robert Karlsson 75-70-76-78--299  
Gavin Levenson 69-76-77-79--301 $3,840
Bernhard Langer 71-73-83-82--309 $3,840

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