St Andrews and The Open Championship are bound by history

St Andrews will host The Open Championship in 2022. As anticipation builds for the 150th anniversary next year, we take a look at the moments, the shots, and the memories that make the "Home of Golf" and The Open so inextricably linked in the minds of golfers the world over.

Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
10/19/2021

"If you're going to be a player people will remember, you have to win The Open at St Andrews" - Jack Nicklaus

 

Like Nicklaus rightly says, lifting the Claret Jug in golf's spiritual home is the pinnacle of a career. St Andrews is a place where legends are made, stories are written, and reputations are set in stone. Ahead of the 150th anniversary of The Open Championship, here are just a few of the most iconic Open moments to have played out across the Old Course.

 

1946 - Sam Snead's only Claret Jug

 

Slammin' Sammy racked up more PGA Tour wins (82) than any other player, yet he only succeeded in winning The Open once. It was the first post-war playing of the championship and Snead made the arduous trans-Atlantic journey to compete, a trip so expensive that he made a net loss on his £150 prize. He failed to keep his initial opinion under wraps, describing the course as an "old, abandoned kinda place"—without doubt, the Old Course reveals its charms over time.

 

1984 - Seve Ballesteros's joy

 

Seve Ballesteros and Tom Watson toe-to-toe down the stretch at St Andrews was a matchup that needed no introduction. The two icons and links golf masters put on a show that ultimately favoured the Spaniard—a two-shot swing at the Road Hole set the scene for Ballesteros's jubilant fist-pumping on the final green when he drained the winning putt. The celebrations are now unforgettable and part of Open folklore.

 

1995 - Costantino Rocca atones for his Sins

 

Perhaps the most emotional of outpourings came from Costantino Rocca in 1995. With John Daly already in the clubhouse, the Italian needed to up-and-down from short of the 18th green to force a playoff but duffed his pitch into the Valley of Sin. It seemed like that would be the final play, but Rocca snaked home a huge putt to tie. Daly emerged victorious from the playoff, but we won't forget Rocca in a hurry.

 

2000 - A Tiger Woods masterclass

 

Four rounds in the 60s, a winning margin of eight shots, and, incredibly, not a single visit to one of the Old Course's 112 bunkers. These are the extraordinary stats recorded as Tiger Woods won the first of his Open Championship trio. St Andrews witnessed Woods at his unmatchable peak, in a year when he routinely destroyed high-quality fields.

 

2005 - A fond farewell

 

If we needed any reminding of the centrality of St Andrews and The Open Championship to golf, consider that the greatest player in history chose to play his final competitive round here. Jack Nicklaus, a major champion 18 times over, including three Claret Jugs, stood proudly at the peak of the Swilcan Bridge with some 50,000 in attendance to witness the curtain being drawn on an unparalleled career.c

 

2022 - The 150th Open

 

Just like the greats that have come before them, the return to St Andrews in 2022 offers 156 golfers the opportunity to make history once again. Who will rise to the occasion and become the Champion Golfer of the Year on this hallowed turf?

 

Secure your place at this landmark event by choosing from a selection of priceless experiences.