A capsule look at the 15 previous British Opens held at Muirfield Golf Club, where the 142nd British Open will be played July 18-21:
WINNER: Ernie Els.
RUNNER-UP: Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington.
EARNINGS: 700,000 pounds.
RECAP: Tiger Woods' bid for a calendar Grand Slam ended Saturday when the weather turned nasty for a two-hour spell, sending the Masters and U.S. Open champion to an 81, his worst score as a professional. Ernie Els steadied himself for a 72 to stay in the lead, and with a splendid bunker save on the 13th, the Big Easy was sailing right along. But he took a double bogey on the 16th hole, and had to finish birdie-par to join a record four-man playoff with Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington. The Aussies were eliminated after the four-hole aggregate. Els saved par from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole — the fifth playoff hole — to beat Levet and win his first claret jug.
NOTEWORTHY: This was the first time the British Open had been decided by sudden death in a playoff.
WINNER: Nick Faldo
RUNNER-UP: John Cook.
MARGIN: 1 shot.
EARNINGS: 95,000 pounds.
RECAP: Nick Faldo could be so tactical that he looked like a machine at times, especially with a major on the line. This was not one of those occasions. Despite a blistering start, a four-shot lead after 54 holes and a four-shot lead with nine holes to play, Faldo had to rally. Faldo made three bogeys, John Cook birdied the 15th and 16th, and suddenly the American was two shots ahead. Faldo then played four of his best holes in a major, starting with a 5-iron to 3 feet on the 15th. Cook missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 17th and bogeyed the 18th. Faldo needed only a par on the 18th to win, and he hit 3-iron into the green to secure the most nervous win of his six majors.