Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tom versus Jack at Turnberry

In 1977, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus staged one of the classic duels in golf history at the famed course at Turnberry, site of this week's British Open.

The match, in which Watson shot successive 65 scores on the last two days of the tournament, is documented in the attached story in today's New York Times. What is best remembered about the duel is Watson's 60-foot putt on 15 which evened the match during the last round of play. He then birdied 17 to go up by one on Nicklaus, still considered the best golfer ever (or at least until Tiger Woods breaks Nicklaus' record number of wins in majors.) But, in a forgotten piece of the drama, Nicklaus birdied 18 from 40 feet away putting pressure on Watson to make his two-footer for par. He calmly knocked it in and the Open championship was in the hands of the 27-year old from Kansas City.,%20One%20Great%20Moment&st=cse

The great Nicklaus and Watson squared off often during this era in golf--the 1977 Masters, the 1992 U.S. Open, and the classic at Turnberry. Reminiscing about these head-to-head duels is why we thirst for a consistent threat to Wood's dominance on today's PGA Tour.

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