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The Open Championships Greatest Golfers at St Andrews

The Old Course at St Andrews usually hosts The Open Championship every five years. The course distance is 6,972 yards with a par score of 72. It is known for its deep bunkers including the Hell Bunker on the 14th 530-yard par 5 and the Road Hole on the 17th 455-yard par 4.

St Andrews is in Scotland and as a links course next to the North Sea, the wind can often cause the players big problems, leading to poor scoring. Not hitting the fairway can lead to some difficult shots from the rough.

Let’s take a look at some of the most famous golfers that have graced the St Andrews fairways and have actually won the Open Championship at the ‘Old Lady’.

John Henry Taylor (England)

John Henry Taylor has won the Open Championship on no fewer than five occasions in 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909 and 1913. It was the 1895 win that was one of his greatest and this happened at St Andrews. It was his second successive win and he nearly made it three in 1896, only to lose in a play-off to Harry Vardon, a six-time winner of the Open Championship.

Playing two rounds per day over two days, Scotsman Sandy Herd was 5 shots clear of Taylor who was tied in second place at the end of the first day. Herd then pulled two shots back on Herd in the third round leaving him three shots behind. In the final round Sandy Herd lost his nerve and hit 85 in what was his worst round of the tournament. Taylor had nerves of steel and hit a 78, the best round of the afternoon to win by four shots and claim the £30 prize money. Taylor was a contender in the Open Champion from the age of 22 until he was 55. He was also a co-founder and Chairman of the British Professional Golf Association.

Peter Thomson (Australia)

The Australian goes down as one of the greatest of all time in the Open Championship. He is a five-time Open champion taking the title in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965. Thomson is the only golfer of the modern era to win the title in three successive years. Every time Thomson won the Open, he was either leading or tied in first place going into the final round.

It was in 1955 that Thomson won his second Open Championship and prize money of £1,000 at the Old Course, St Andrews.  Also in the field were South African Bobby Locke and Englishman Henry Cotton who were three-time prior winners of the title. Tied in 10th place after the first round, Thomson was two shots off the pace and a second round 68 brought him to the top of the leader-board at 5 under par together with Scotsman Eric Brown and Welshman Dennis Smalldon. With a solid two under par in the third round Thomson was heading the leader-board by one shot and a par 72 on the final round was enough to keep him two shots clear of the chasing pack. Peter Thomson was voted ABC Sportsman of the year in 1955 and two years later was awarded an MBE.

Seve Ballesteros (Spain)

A true legend of Open Championships Seve Ballesteros won his second of three titles at St Andrews in 1984. A player who could play magic shots and a flamboyant character, Ballesteros won each of his three Open Championships from being two shots behind the leader going into the final round.

At St Andrews he made a solid start hitting a 69 to leave him three under par. The joint leaders were Peter Jacobson, the ‘Great White Shark’ Greg Norman and Bill Longmuir. In the second round Ian Baker-Finch excelled and ended the day 10 under par having hit an excellent 66. Ballesteros himself had hit a strong 68 and was tied in second place with Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino. Seve hit his highest round on day three when finishing with a 70 leaving him nine under par and two shots behind joint leaders Ian Baker-Finch and Tom Watson. In the final round Seve did what he does best and went on to score 69 and win by two shots over Berhard Langer and Tom Watson.

Nick Faldo (1990)

St Andrews hosted the 1990 Open Championship and Nick Faldo approached the tournament in great form having won the green jacket of the Maters earlier in the year. Former Open winners Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus were also on the card.

In the first round Faldo hit a 67 but it was not good enough to be in the lead that was tied by Greg Norman and Michael Allen who both hit 66. However, the second day saw Faldo play even better when he finished with a 65. Greg Norman matched his heroics with a 66 and both were tied for the lead at 12 under par.

On day three Faldo once again hit a 67 and this time found some daylight over second place. He took a five-shot lead at 17 under par over Ian Baker-Finch. Greg Normans challenge had faltered and he dropped four shots during his round of 76. With such a lead Faldo played a controlled final round to finish on a total of 18 under par five shots clear of Mark McNulty and Payne Stewart. Faldo picked up £85,000 for his troubles and it was the second of his three Open Championship victories.

Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)

This Championship saw the 150th anniversary since the founding of the event. Louis Oosthuizen gets a mention as a greatest winner at St Andrews in 2010 as he ended his first two rounds with a 65 and 67, giving a total of 132. This was the lowest score ever recorded in an Open Championship after the first two rounds. However, in the first round Rory McIlroy more than met Oosthuizen and shot a 9 under round, holing 8 birdies on his last ten holes to lead by two shots as Oosthuizen finished 7 under par. A five under par followed on the second day to break the record as the wind picked up as Oosthuizen sat comfortable at 12 under par. McIlroy’s fortune turned and he hit an eight over par slipping down the leader-board. In the meantime, Mark Calcavecchia hit 5 under par to move into second place, 5 shots behind Oosthuizen.

This time it was Calcavecchia’s turn to slip up as he dropped seven shots on the first five holes of the third round. This time Oosthuizen posted a three under round to take him to 15 under par for the tournament, a four-shot lead over Paul Casey who hit a 67 taking him to 11 under par. Englishman Casey’s hopes were ended on the fourth day when he hit a triple bogey on the 12th hole. Oosthuizen played steady and safe to finish on one under par for the day and 16 under par overall to win £850,000. Lee Westwood claimed second place with a finishing total score of nine under par. Oosthuizen won the title comfortably by seven shots.

We are anticipating a hotly contested 150th Open Championship this year at the famous St Andrews where one bad shot can destroy a professional golfer’s scoring card and challenge. Here at, we bring you all you need to gamble on the tournament but we always encourage responsible gambling. If you think you have a problem with gambling you can get free support and advice by visiting


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