Thousands of golf enthusiasts will be heading to Royal Birkdale for this year’s Open Championship and no doubt it will stir memories of the last time this great championship took place at the famous old course back in 2008.
That championship was particularly memorable for the fact that Padraig Harrington successfully defended his title on the Merseyside links; becoming the first European golfer to do so since James Braid in 1906 in the process.
But that is just one of many incredible moments that this famous tournament has thrown up in its 146 year history.
So to whet the appetite we’ve put our thinking caps on and come up with five more memorable moments from the world’s greatest golf tournament in recent years.
1. Seve’s Celebration, St Andrews, 1984
The 1984 open Championship was memorable for one man, and in particular one image.
Seve Ballesteros’s Open win at St Andrews in 1984 was not his first major – in fact it was his penultimate – but it was by far his personal favourite.
Trailing Tom Watson on the final day, the Spaniard came back to win by two shots at the home of golf, denying his rival a third successive Open title.
His final putt on the 18th green from 12 yards made its way towards the hole and appeared to hang-on the edge of the cup for an eternity, before dropping in.
Cue the famous fist pump celebration which has been attempted by gofers around the world ever since- but never bettered.
2. Tiger’s Slam, St Andrews, 2000
Having just won the U.S. Open by an unthinkable 15 shots, the 24 year old descended on St Andrews looking to go one better.
Leading by six shots after 54 holes He romped to an eight-shot victory, thanks to not finding one of the 112 bunkers protecting the Old Course during all four rounds.
It was Tiger’s first Open title, allowing him to complete a career Grand Slam and join Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as the only players to win all four major championships.
3. Van de Velde Implodes, Carnoustie, 1999
Carnoustie’s 18th is one of the most difficult holes in golf, so to have a three shot cushion going down the final fairway should be enough for anyone, right?
Well not if your name is Jean Van de Velde who decided against taking the conservative approach when a double-bogey would have sufficed.
His drive landed right of the burn, but deciding against laying-up,his second shot shot flew straight into the grandstand right of the green, ricocheting back across the creek into knee-high rough.
Van de Velde would then put his next shot into the burn and waded in to try to play it before deciding to take a drop.
He’d eventually make a 10-footer for triple-bogey 7 to get into a playoff with 1997 champ Justin Leonard and eventual winner Paul Lawrie. Though the 1999 Open would always be remembered for this calamitous fail by the Frenchman.
4. Scott’s Surrender, Royal Lytham, 2012
Another Open remembered for a dramatic collapse was the 2012 Championship at Royal Lytham.
Adam Scott held a four-shot lead with four holes to go as he sought his first major title at the time.
While Scott was suffering through three consecutive bogeys, ahead at No. 18 Ernie Els sank the most important putt of his career since his win at Muirfield 10 years earlier.
Scott just required a closing par to force a playoff, but instead he missed a 7-foot effort – handing Els his fourth major championship.
5. Rose Blossoms, Royal Birkdale, 1998
A fresh faced Justin Rose looked too young to even be participating in The Open Championship at Birkdale back in 1998, let alone nearly winning it.
But a second-round 66 left him just one shot off the lead, and although he struggled throughout the third round, he kept in contention going into the final day.
Holing his approach shot from an unpromising position for a birdie at the 18th Rose finished fourth, the best performance by an amateur in the Open since Frank Stranahan was second behind Ben Hogan in 1953.