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Continued: BRITISH OPEN FIVE: 17th hole often provides the turning point in Open

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Last update: July 16, 2013 - 3:00 AM

Carnoustie in 1999 is best remembered from the follies of Jean Van de Velde, who had a three-shot lead playing the 18th hole and had to make an 8-foot par putt for a triple bogey to get into a playoff. But there were great shots that followed that were worth remembering, none more important than Paul Lawrie at the par-4 17th.

Lawrie wound up setting a major championship record by coming from 10 shots behind on the final day to win — with loads of help from Van de Velde, of course.

The four-hole playoff among Lawrie, Van de Velde and former Open champion Justin Leonard turned on the 17th hole.

Both players opened with a pair of bogeys and were tied for the lead. Lawrie then hit a 4-iron into 12 feet on the 17th for a birdie to take the lead. Leonard hit into the Barry Burn on the 18th for the second time that day, and the Open effectively was over when Lawrie's 3-iron cleared the burn. That it ended up 3 feet for another birdie only changed the playoff score. The winning shot turned out to be that 4-iron on the 17th, and Scotland had its first Open champion on a Scottish links in 68 years.

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2. TREVINO'S MAGIC AT MUIRFIELD

One shot by Lee Trevino changed the fortunes of two players in 1972 at Muirfield.

Lee Trevino was going for his second straight Open, and he needed his full bag of tricks, chipping in three times during the week. The turning point came on the 17th hole.

Jack Nicklaus, going for the third leg of the Grand Slam, was six shots behind going into the last day and closed with a 66 to get into the clubhouse at 5-under 279. Behind him were Trevino and Jacklin, who were tied for the lead at 6 under on the par 5. Trevino was in big trouble. His fourth shot went through the back of the green, up a slope of mild rough. Jacklin had a 20-foot birdie putt, and looked like he would at least have a one-shot lead playing the final hole.

Playing quickly, Trevino chipped in for a par. Nicklaus in the scoring area couldn't believe what he heard. And it must have rattled Jacklin, for he not only missed his birdie putt, but he pulled the 3-footer for par to fall one shot behind. Trevino made par on the last for the title, denying Nicklaus the Grand Slam. Jacklin was so shattered that he never contended in another major.

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