Over the final 18 holes, the South African made a terrific charge. He needed only a par on the last hole, but Player drove into a bunker on the 18th and then three-putted for a double bogey. He thought that would cost him the Open. But as more scores were returned, no one could match his 284. He wound up winning by two shots over Bullock and Flory van Donck of Belgium.
The 90-man field only had three Americans, none of whom made the cut. A year later, Arnold Palmer made his Open debut.
2. LEE TREVINO'S WIN, TWO OTHERS' LOSSES
Lee Trevino won his second straight British Open in 1972 at Muirfield in a championship equally known for who didn't win.
Jack Nicklaus had his best chance at the calendar Grand Slam after winning the Masters and U.S. Open, and returning to the links course where he won his first British Open. But he had a sore neck in the early part of the week, and along with conservative play, he went into the final round six shots behind Trevino.
Nicklaus made a vintage charge and at one point was tied for the lead, but he missed a short birdie putt down the stretch and shot 66. The main challenge for Trevino came from Tony Jacklin, going for his third major. The turning point of the championship came on the par-5 17th hole.
Trevino was tied with Jacklin, his playing partner, and Nicklaus, who had finished on 5-under 279. Trevino chipped through the back of the green in four, and looked like he would make bogey at best. Jacklin had about 20 feet for birdie. Trevino chipped in for his par, and Jacklin three-putted for bogey. A par on the last gave Trevino the claret jug by one shot over Nicklaus.
Nicklaus never had another shot at the Grand Slam. It was more devastating to Jacklin, who never contended in another major.
1. REDEMPTION AND A MAJOR FOR FALDO
Nick Faldo was an emerging star for England, having won the Order of Merit and played on five Ryder Cup teams. But he didn't feel his game was good enough, and in a risky move, he rebuilt his swing under David Leadbetter and went some three years without winning.
It all started to come together with a win in Spain, and his game was equipped for a week of bad weather at Muirfield in 1987. The wind was so strong that four holes were shortened in the third round to give players a chance to reach the fairway. Paul Azinger had a 71 on Saturday for a one-shot lead over Faldo and David Frost. Faldo plodded his way through the last round making par after par. Like most of his majors, he needed some help at the end, and Azinger delivered.
The American had a one-shot lead when he took bogey on the 17th, and then found a bunker with his approach on the 18th and closed with another bogey for a 73. Faldo kept grinding away with pars, and his 4-footer on the last hole gave him an even-par 71 — a par on every hole.
It was his first major, the start of Faldo winning four of the next 13 majors and rising to No. 1 in the world.