1997 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1997 British Open was the 126th time the tournament was played. The winner was five stroke off the lead when he started the final round, but won by three.

Winner: Justin Leonard, 272

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

Tournament dates: July 17-20, 1997

Leader after first round: Darren Clarke and Jim Furyk, 67

Leader after second round: Darren Clarke, 133

Leader after third round: Jesper Parnevik, 202

What Happened at the 1997 Open Championship

Justin Leonard was the "champion golfer of the year" here, but in some ways this tournament will always be remembered as the nadir in the collapse of Ian Baker-Finch's golf game.

Baker-Finch was a telegenic, friendly, popular and very good golfer in the late 1980s and early 1990s whose career seemed ready to take off after he won the 1991 Open Championship. But soon thereafter a combination of swing changes and confidence problems knocked his game backwards. He never recovered, spiralling downward.

Then he reached the 1997 Open and carded a first-round 92. Baker-Finch withdrew and, according to some reports, fell to the floor in the clubhouse in tears. He essentially disappeared from PGA Tour golf after that.

That was the bad news in the 1997 British Open. The good news was the stellar play of Leonard, who began the final round five strokes off the lead, but ended it with a three-stroke margin of victory over Jesper Parnevik and Darren Clarke.

Leonard did that with clutch putting and a final-round score of 65. He birdied six of the nine holes on the front nine, then added two late birdies on the 16th and 17th holes.

It was the third of Leonard's 12 career wins on the PGA Tour, but proved his only victory in a major. He lost in playoffs at two other majors, the 1999 Open Championship and the 2004 PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods played the Open Championship as a professional for the first time here and tied for 24th place. He went on to win it three times. Jack Nicklaus made his third-to-last appearance in The Open and tied for 60th place, but it was the last time he made the cut in this major.

1997 British Open Final Scores

Justin Leonard 69-66-72-65-272
Darren Clarke 67-66-71-71-275
Jesper Parnevik 70-66-66-73-275
Jim Furyk 67-72-70-70-279
Stephen Ames 74-69-66-71-280
Padraig Harrington 75-69-69-67-280
Peter O'Malley 73-70-70-68-281
Eduardo Romero 74-68-67-72-281
Fred Couples 69-68-70-74-281
Robert Allenby 76-68-66-72-282
Lee Westwood 73-70-67-72-282
Retief Goosen 75-69-70-68-282
Tom Kite 72-67-74-69-282
Frank Nobilo 74-72-68-68-282
Mark Calcavecchia 74-67-72-69-282
Shigeki Maruyama 74-69-70-69-282
Davis Love III 70-71-74-67-282
Ernie Els 75-69-69-69-282
Tom Watson 71-70-70-71-282
Stuart Appleby 72-72-68-71-283
Brad Faxon 77-67-72-67-283
Mark James 76-67-70-70-283
Jose Maria Olazabal 75-68-73-67-283
Tom Lehman 74-72-72-66-284
Jay Haas 71-70-73-70-284
Colin Montgomerie 76-69-69-70-284
Phil Mickelson 76-68-69-71-284
Ian Woosnam 71-73-69-71-284
David A. Russell 75-72-68-69-284
Peter Lonard 72-70-69-73-284
Tiger Woods 72-74/64-74-284
Mark McNulty 78-67-72-68-285
Rodger Davis 73-73-70-70-286
David Duval 73-69-73-71-286
Jonathan Lomas 72-71-69-74-286
Andrew Magee 70-75-72-70-287
Greg Norman 69-73-70-75-287
Raymond Russell 72-72-74-70-288
Michael Bradley 72-73-73-70-288
Mark O'Meara 73-73-74-68-288
John Kernohan 76-70-74-68-288
Vijay Singh 77-69-70-72-288
Bernhard Langer 72-74-69-73-288
Jerry Kelly 76-68-72-73-289
David Tapping 71-66-78-74-289
Jose Coceres 76-70-71-72-289
Curtis Strange 71-71-70-77-289
Jim Payne 74-71-74-71-290
Steve Jones 76-71-68-75-290
Richard Boxall 75-71-72-72-290
Jeff Maggert 76-69-71-75-291
Nick Faldo 71-73-75-72-291
Peter Senior 76-70-73-72-291
Greg Turner 76-71-72-72-291
Angel Cabrera 70-70-76-75-291
Corey Pavin 78-69-76-68-291
Peter Mitchell 75-69-76-71-291
Wayne Riley 74-71-75-71-291
Payne Stewart 73-74-71-74-292
Jack Nicklaus 73-74-71-75-293
a-D. Barclay Howard 70-74-76-73-293
Tom Purtzer 72-71-73-78-294
Steve Stricker 72-73-74-75-294
Peter Teravainen 74-72-73-75-294
Jamie Spence 78-69-72-75-294
Gary Clark 74-72-72-77-295
Paul McGinley 76-71-77-71-295
Per-Ulrik Johansson 72-75-73-75-295
Tommy Tolles 77-68-75-76-296
Billy Andrade 72-72-78-76-298

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1996 British Open - 1998 British Open

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