1989 British Open Tournament Winner and Scores

The 1989 British Open was the 118th time the tournament was played. It took a 3-man playoff to settle the winner.

Winner: Mark Calcavecchia, 275

Where it was played: Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland

Tournament dates: July 20-23, 1989

Leader after first round: Wayne Stephens, 66

Leader after second round: Wayne Grady, 135

Leader after third round: Wayne Grady, 204

What Happened in the 1989 Open Championship

The final round of the 1989 British Open began with journeyman Wayne Grady holding a 1-stroke lead over 5-time Open Champion Tom Watson. Most observers probably thought the conclusion was foregone: Watson would win.

But he didn't, and neither did Grady. Watson carded a 72 on Sunday, while Grady shot 71 to finish at 275, two strokes in front of Watson. Greg Norman, who began the day seven strokes behind Grady, scorched Royal Troon with a 64, forcing a tie.

And Mark Calcavecchia shot 68, joining Grady and Norman at 275 and creating a 3-way playoff. The Open switched to a new playoff format this year. Previously, Open Championship playoffs were 18 holes. But at the 1989 Open, the tournament switched to a 4-hole, cumulative score playoff.

So Grady, Norman and Calcavecchia played another four holes. By the fourth extra hole, Calcavecchia and Norman were tied, with Grady essentially out of it, two strokes behind.

Calcavecchia hit a bad slice off the tee, while Norman's drive boomed down the middle only to roll into a deep, fairway bunker. Rather than use a lofted club to simply get the ball out of the bunker, Norman tried a heroic shot to reach the green. But the ball hit the face of the bunker and careened into a different bunker. From that bunker, Norman's next shot headed out of bounds. Norman basically picked up at that point, his chances down the drain.

Calcavecchia, meanwhile, hit a great recovery shot from his wayward drive, and wound up making birdie to win the 1989 British Open. The playoff scores were:

Calcavecchia, 4-3-3-3—13
Grady, 4-4-4-4—16
Norman, 3-3-4-x—x

It was Calcavecchia's sixth PGA Tour victory, but he had finished in the Top 10 of a major only once previously (second at the 1988 Masters). He posted only two other Top 10s in majors over the rest of long PGA Tour career (he finished with 13 tour victories).

Grady went on to win the 1990 PGA Championship (one of just two PGA Tour wins for Grady). Norman had already won the 1986 Open, and won again at the 1993 Open. But Norman also lost in playoffs at all four majors.

Arnold Palmer shot 82-82 and finished last. Palmer played the British Open only twice more after this, the 1990 and 1995 Opens at St. Andrews. Future 3-time major winner Vijay Singh played in his very first major here and tied for 23rd.

1989 British Open Final Scores

Mark Calcavecchia 71-68-68-68—275
Wayne Grady 68-67-69-71—275
Greg Norman 69-70-72-64—275
Tom Watson 69-68-68-72—277
Jodie Mudd 73-67-68-70—278
Fred Couples 68-71-68-72—279
David Feherty 71-67-69-72—279
Paul Azinger 68-73-67-72—280
Payne Stewart 72-65-69-74—280
Eduardo Romero 68-70-75-67—280
Nick Faldo 71-71-70-69—281
Mark McNulty 75-70-70-66—281
Mark James 69-70-71-72—282
Howard Clark 72-68-72-70—282
Steve Pate 69-70-70-73—282
Craig Stadler 73-69-69-71—282
Philip Walton 69-74-69-70—282
Roger Chapman 76-68-67-71—282
Don Pooley 73-70-69-71—283
Tom Kite 70-74-67-72—283
Larry Mize 71-74-66-72—283
Derrick Cooper 69-70-76-68—283
Vijay Singh 71-73-69-71—284
Davis Love III 72-70-73-69—284
Jose Maria Olazabal 68-72-69-75—284
Lanny Wadkins 72-70-69-74—285
Scott Simpson 73-66-72-74—285
Chip Beck 75-69-68-73—285
Stephen Bennett 75-69-68-73—285
Miguel Angel Martin 68-73-73-72—286
Jumbo Ozaki 71-73-70-72—286
Brian Marchbank 69-74-73-70—286
Peter Jacobsen 71-74-71-70—286
Gary Koch 72-71-74-69—286
Jack Nicklaus 74-71-71-70—286
Ian Baker-Finch 72-69-70-75—286
Jeff Hawkes 75-67-69-75—286
Mark Davis 77-68-67-74—286
Mike Harwood 71-72-72-72—287
Tommy Armour III 70-71-72-74—287
Jeff Woodland 74-67-75-71—287
Lee Trevino 68-73-73-74—288
Mark O'Meara 72-74-69-73—288
Raymond Floyd 73-68-73-74—288
Jose Rivero 71-75-72-70—288
Sandy Lyle 73-73-71-72—289
Joe Ozaki 71-71-69-78—289
Mark McCumber 71-68-70-80—289
Christy O'Connor Jr. 71-73-72-74—290
Ian Woosnam 74-72-73-71—290
Johnny Miller 72-69-76-73—290
Ben Crenshaw 73-73-74-71—291
Mark Roe 74-71-73-73—291
Tony Johnstone 71-71-74-75—291
Jet Ozaki 75-71-73-72—291
Gene Sauers 70-73-72-76—291
Richard Boxall 74-68-73-76—291
Michael Allen 74-67-76-74—291
Brett Ogle 74-70-76-71—291
Emmanuel Dussart 76-68-73-74—291
Curtis Strange 70-74-74-74—292
Mike Reid 74-72-73-73—292
Ronan Rafferty 70-72-74-76—292
Bob Tway 76-70-71-75—292
Paul Hoad 72-71-77-72—292
David Graham 74-72-69-77—292
Wayne Stephens 66-72-76-78—292
Ken Green 75-71-68-78—292
a-Russell Claydon 70-74-74-75—293
Luis Carbonetti 71-72-74-76—293
Sandy Stephen 71-74-71-77—293
Colin Gillies 72-74-74-74—294
Brad Faxon 72-72-75-76—295
Peter Teravainen 72-73-72-78—295
Emlyn Aubrey 72-73-73-78—296
Martin Sludds 72-74-73-78—297
Seve Ballesteros 72-73-76-78—299
a-Robert Karlsson 75-70-76-78—299
Gavin Levenson 69-76-77-79—301
Bernhard Langer 71-73-83-82—309

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1988 British Open - 1990 British Open

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