History of The Open at Carnoustie
Carnoustie has hosted The Open 7 times in all, last in 2007 when Padraig Harrington needed a play-off to edge out Sergio Garcia on a thrilling final day. Harrington was the last name to be added to the elite list of past champions at Carnoustie, which boasts names such as Tom Watson, Gary Player and Ben Hogan.
The first winner of The Open at Carnoustie, Scottish-born Tommy Armour equalled the then course record with a 71 on Sunday to lift the Claret Jug. The “Silver Scot” had to do it the hard way, coming from 5 shots back to eventually win it by a stroke.
Sir Henry Cotton
Henry Cotton produced one of the best final rounds at Carnoustie to win his second Open, only requiring 26 putts on route to securing the Claret Jug once again.
It was at Carnoustie in 1953 when Ben Hogan made his one and only Open appearance. He produced some stunning golf over the four days, setting a then course record 68 on route to becoming the Champion Golfer of the Year and collecting his 9th and final major.
The iconic South African golfer secured his second of three Open victories in 1968. It was here on the final day where he hit one of the best shots in Open history, striking a 3-wood into the wind to two feet for an eagle at the 14th on his way to winning the tournament by two strokes.
The man from Kansas won a remarkable 5 Open’s in 9 years, his first coming in his debut Open appearance Carnoustie in 1975. Watson holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole to tie Jack Newton, who he beat by a stroke the following day in an 18-hole playoff.
After a 24-year absence, The Open returned to Carnoustie, where an incredible final day saw Paul Lawrie win his first and only major trophy. After 71 holes, Jean Van de Velde had one hand on the trophy, only requiring a double bogey down the last. What happened next will go down in sporting history, as Van de Velde imploded on the final hole, recording a triple bogey 7 and finishing tied with Lawrie and Justin Leonard. It was Lawrie who held his nerve in the four-hole playoff, beating Leonard and Van de Velde by two.
The last Open held at Carnoustie was back in 2007, where Padraig Harrington endured in an enthralling playoff with Sergio Garcia to secure his first major win. Harrington’s victory completed an Irish double after a young Rory McIlroy claimed the Silver Medal as leading amateur.