1964 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1964 British Open was the 93rd time the tournament was played. The winner was a "bubbly" player in his first appearance in this major championship.

Winner: Tony Lema, 279

Where it was played: The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

Tournament dates: July 8-10, 1964

Leader after first round: Christy O'Connor Sr. and Jean Garaialde, 71

Leader after second round: Tony Lema, 141

Leader after third round: Tony Lema, 209

What Happened at the 1964 Open Championship

Tony Lema established himself as a star in the golf world with a dominating victory in the 1964 Open. Lema was already famous for his showmanship — his nickname was "Champagne Tony" — and was a winner on the PGA Tour. But here he became a major champion and seemed poised to challenge the "Big 3" of golf.

One of those "Big 3," Jack Nicklaus, was runner-up in this tournament — but a distant runner-up. Lema opened with a 73 and was two off the first-round lead. He moved into the lead, though, with a second-round 68, and after another 68 in Round 3 Lema was seven strokes clear of the field. He wound up beating second-place Nicklaus by five, and third-place Roberto De Vicenzo by six.

And Lema did that in his very first appearance in a British Open, his first experience of playing links golf.

During the 1962 season, Lema joked to the media that he would serve champagne if he won that week's PGA Tour tournament. He did win, and he brought champagne to the media. From then on, Lema was known as "Champagne Tony." From September 1962 through May 1966, Lema won 12 times on the PGA Tour, had six other wins, and finished in the Top 10 in eight of the 15 majors he played. Tragically, in 1966, Lema was killed when the small plane in which he was traveling crashed onto a golf course.

Arnold Palmer skipped the 1964 British Open despite being a recent two-time champion, having won the 1961 and 1962 Opens. The caddie on Palmer's bag in those two wins was Tip Anderson, and Anderson, on Palmer's recommendation, worked for Lema in this Open.

This was Nicklaus' first runner-up finish in the Open Championship. (He did match the then-record for competitive rounds on The Old Coures with a 66 in the third round.) While he eventually won the tournament three times, Nicklaus also finished second a record seven times total over the course of his career.

1964 British Open Final Scores

Tony Lema 73-68-68-70—279
Jack Nicklaus 76-74-66-68—284
Roberto De Vicenzo 76-72-70-67—285
Bernard Hunt 73-74-70-70—287
Bruce Devlin 72-72-73-73—290
Christy O'Connor Sr. 71-73-74-73—291
Harry Weetman 72-71-75-73—291
Harold Henning 78-73-71-70—292
Angel Miguel 73-76-72-71—292
Gary Player 78-71-73-70—292
Doug Sanders 78-73-74-68—293
Frank Phillips 77-75-72-70—294
Jean Garaialde 71-74-79-72—296
Christy Greene 74-76-73-73—296
Ralph Moffitt 76-72-74-74—296
Dave Thomas 75-74-75-72—296
Alex Caygill 77-74-71-75—297
Bob Charles 79-71-69-78—297
Malcolm Gregson 78-70-74-76—298
John MacDonald 78-74-74-72—298
Alan Murray 77-73-76-72—298
Phil Rodgers 74-79-74-71—298
Syd Scott 75-74-73-76—298
Tony Coop 75-72-76-76—299
Doug Ford 75-76-76-72—299
Liang Huan Lu 76-71-78-74—299
Jimmy Martin 74-72-79-74—299
Peter Thomson 79-73-72-75—299
George Will 74-79-71-76—300
Peter Butler 78-75-74-74—301
Geoffrey Hunt 77-75-74-75—301
Ramon Sota 77-74-74-76—301
Stuart Davies 74-77-71-80—302
Dennis Hutchinson 77-74-77-75—303
Michael Murphy 76-74-76-77—303
John Panton 78-74-77-74—303
Brian Wilkes 77-76-74-76—303
Max Faulkner 73-73-80-78—304
Dai Rees 76-77-77-74—304
Brian Allen 78-75-73-79—305
Norman Drew 76-76-79-74—305
Stuart Murray 80-73-78-74—305
Len Thomas 76-75-82-72—305
Malcolm Leeder 77-76-75-80—308
Kel Nagle 77-76-80-80—313

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