1976 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1976 British Open was the 105th time the tournament was played. It was here that Seve Ballesteros first made his mark on world golf, but Johnny Miller was the champion.

Winner: Johnny Miller, 279

Where it was played: Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England

Tournament dates: July 7-10, 1976

Leader after first round: Norio Suzuki, Seve Ballesteros and Christy O'Connor Jr., 69

Leader after second round: Seve Ballesteros, 138

Leader after third round: Seve Ballesteros, 211

What Happened in the 1976 Open Championship

At the 1973 U.S. Open, Johnny Miller played what is considered the best final round in major championship history, shooting 63 to win. At the 1976 British Open, Miller played another great final round to win his other major title. Miller shot 66, tying the low round of the tournament, to come from two strokes behind at the start of the final round and win by six shots over runners-up Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.

Although it was Miller who was victorious, in many ways the story of this tournament was Ballesteros. He was 19 years old at the time, barely known outside of his native Spain. But the risk-taking youngster held the halfway lead after a pair of 69s, and still had a 2-stroke advantage after a third-round 73.

Ballesteros encountered trouble early in the final round, though, double-bogeying the par-4 sixth hole at Royal Birkdale after hitting his approach into thick shrubbery around the green. He also had a triple-bogey on the 11th. Ballesteros wound up shooting 74, which, combined with Miller's great round, left Seve tied for second with Nicklaus. It was certainly a harbinger of things to come for Ballesteros, however, who a month later collected his first European Tour victory at the Dutch Open. He went on to win this major three times, in 1979, 1984 and 1988.

The defending champion, Tom Watson, missed the secondary cut after shooting 80 in the third round. Jerry Pate, who won the 1976 U.S. Open a month earlier, was in good shape after two rounds, then shot 87 in the third round to also miss the secondary cut.

The 1976 British Open was full of notable comings and goings. Nick Faldo played in his first major championship and finished tied for 28th. Bernhard Langer also played a major for the first time, missing the cut. Sam Snead, who played the British Open only five times, missed the cut in his final appearance in the Open Championship. And saying their farewells to major championship golf were 1947 British Open champ Fred Daly and 1932 British Open winner Gene Sarazen. Daly was 64 years old and Sarazen was 74.

This is also the Open that "featured" the appearance of infamous British hoaxer Maurice Flitcroft. Flitcroft posed as a professional golfer and somehow faked his way into the tournament. He carded a 121 in the first round, and that score gave him away; he was banned by the R&A.

1976 British Open Final Scores

Johnny Miller 72-68-73-66—279
Seve Ballesteros 69-69-73-74—285
Jack Nicklaus 74-70-72-69—285
Raymond Floyd 76-67-73-70—286
Tom Kite 70-74-73-71—288
Tommy Horton 74-69-72-73—288
Christy O'Connor Jr. 69-73-75-71—288
Mark James 76-72-74-66—288
Hubert Green 72-70-78-68—288
Peter Butler 74-72-73-70—289
Norio Suzuki 69-75-75-70—289
George Burns 75-69-75-70—289
Vicente Fernandez 79-71-69-70—289
Brian Barnes 70-73-75-72—290
John Fourie 71-74-75-71—291
Eamonn Darcy 78-71-71-71—291
Jack Newton 70-74-76-72—292
Graham Marsh 71-73-72-76—292
Tom Weiskopf 73-72-76-71—292
Guy Wolstenholme 76-72-71-73—292
David Huish 73-74-72-74—293
Alan Tapie 74-72-75-72—293
Bob Shearer 76-73-75-69—293
David Graham 77-70-75-71—293
Stewart Ginn 78-72-72-71—293
Simon Hobday 79-71-75-68—293
Hsu Chi San 81-69-71-72—293
Neil Coles 74-77-70-73—294
Doug Sanders 77-73-73-71—294
Nick Faldo 78-71-76-69—294
Gary Player 72-72-79-71—294
Gene Littler 75-74-73-74—296
Guy Hunt 76-68-76-76—296
Hale Irwin 74-72-77-73—296
Paddy McGuirk 76-70-77-73—296
Roberto De Vicenzo 77-71-76-72—296
Bobby Cole 75-71-72-78—296
Ian Mosey 73-74-75-75—297
Vincent Hood 76-74-73-74—297
Martin Foster 74-71-77-75—297
David Jagger 78-72-74-73—297
Malcolm Gregson 73-75-76-74—298
Barry Burgess 75-76-74-73—298
Warren Humphreys 73-77-73-75—298
Tony Jacklin 73-77-76-72—298
Peter Oosterhuis 74-75-77-72—298
Peter Dawson 80-72-73-73—298
Doug McClelland 74-73-77-75—299
Bob Murphy 75-77-73-74—299
Dale Hayes 77-71-74-77—299
Bill Garrett 74-74-78-73—299
Stewart Adwick 78-71-74-76—299
Peter Berry 80-72-71-76—299
Carl Higgins 77-67-81-74—299
Arnold O'Connor 76-76-74-74—300
John Hammond 74-76-73-77—300
Arnold Palmer 75-72-76-77—300
David Talbot 74-74-74-78—300
Andries Oosthuizen 75-73-78-74—300
Bernard Gallacher 74-72-76-79—301
Danny Edwards 74-72-79-76—301
Bob Wynn 79-70-75-77—301
Liam Higgins 77-74-75-76—302
Bill Lockie 78-74-74-76—302
Peter Tupling 75-71-77-79—302
Alex Caygill 80-71-75-76—302

Previous and next:
1975 British Open - 1977 British Open

Popular posts from this blog