5 iconic British Open moments that happened at Muirfield | Golf News and Tour Information
For the first time, the AIG Women’s British Open will be played at Muirfield. Opened in 1774, the Scottish links have hosted 16 Open Championships (the first in 1892) as well as Ryder Cup and Walker Cup matches. While Muirfield also hosted the Curtis Cup in 1953 and 1984, the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers have just admitted their first female members in 2019. At this week’s Women’s Open, tour pros will compete the highest purse in the event’s history: $7.2 million.
As the field gets to grips with the course, let’s take a look back at the most iconic moments that unfolded on this historic course.
The first of three Open wins came in an unlikely way. He became the first Englishman to win the claret jug since Tony Jacklin in 1969 when he made 18 pars in his final round. Faldo’s sheer consistency saw him pass 54-hole leader Paul Azinger and claim the first of his three Open victories.
Having won the Open the previous year in Birkdale, Trevino knew how difficult another victory would be in Muirfield. Jack Nicklaus, trying to win his third major of the year, had made a furious charge in the last round and found himself in the clubhouse behind Trevino and Tony Jacklin as the pair played the par-5 17th hole. Trevino’s drive landed in a bunker and he struggled to reach the green. Left with a chip with a 9-iron to save par, he proceeded to holeshot, while Jacklin threw three 18-foot putts for bogey. Jacklin also bogeyed 18, while Trevino parried the home hole to make it back-to-back titles.
Mickelson’s chances of winning the jug of Bordeaux looked slim given the 43-year-old was five shots behind leader Lee Westwood heading into Sunday. As those around him struggled, Mickelson birdied on four of his final six holes to post a 66 loss to Henrik Stenson (par three), Adam Scott (four) and Tiger Woods (five). It was Mickelson’s lowest final round of the previous 80 majors he had played.
When Player asked permission to train at Muirfield 10 days before The Open Championship, he was met with hostility by Secretary-Colonel Brian Evans-Lombe. After some negotiations, he was able to play. This proved beneficial, given that he fired a 68 in the last round to give himself the club lead. A double bogey on the last hole left Player nervous he might have missed his chance for victory, but he was sure to put on his best appearance just in case. After completing his tour, he returned to his hotel, took a shower, and returned in his white suit to receive the burgundy jug.
A 75 in the third round left Nicklaus two shots behind Phil Rodgers entering the final round. It was Rodgers, however, who stumbled with a closing 76. In turn, Nicklaus shot an under-70 to win the Open for the first time and complete a career Grand Slam at age 26. So taken by Muirfield, which he described as Britain’s finest course, that when he built his golf course outside his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, he named it Muirfield Village.