Share your favorite British Open memories
Had it not been for the pandemic, the British Open would be in full swing this week. Instead, we are left to our memories. What are your favorite British Open reccolections?
Please email your response to editor Stuart Hall. In order to publish, please include your first and last name, along with your city and state of residence.
I remember the 2004 Open, when Todd Hamilton won in a four-hole playoff over Ernie Els at Royal Troon.
As it happened, I was in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. A friend called me and said that Todd was in a playoff with Els — so she gave me a play-by-play via phone as I sat on the steps of the National Art Gallery. And cheered — to the amazement and amusement of the people around me — when he won. I believe it was the first time I had heard of someone using a wood as a putter from off the green in a major championship.
The reason his victory stands out in my memory, and was so important and interesting to me, was that Todd had played for several years in the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships, an international junior event that I founded in 1974 and still run, so I knew him as a 10-year-old. In addition, Todd’s mother was a good friend of my cousin, so I felt an almost family connection.
It continues to be a good memory, and even more so now that Todd’s son, Drake, is competing in Pepsi Little People’s in Quincy, Ill., and I get to reacquaint with his mother again as she accompanies Drake to the tournament.
Estes Park, Colo.
I have a couple that come to mind right away.
I remember being so excited to have the British Open on TV in the morning live via satellite when I was a teenager. I thought that was really cool. So I was glued to ABC in 1969 when Tony Jacklin won at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, wearing a purple sweater and the Brits going nuts because he was the first Englishman to win since Max Faulkner won it in 1951. Then, the very next year, Jack [Nicklaus] beat the late Doug Sanders in the Sunday playoff — as the British Open ended on Saturday unless a playoff was necessary.
I loved Jack, but I remember feeling so bad for Sanders as this was his British Open and major to win.
Those are my memories and the coverage was excellent and almost magical since it was beemed via satellite live. Loved it so much.
Boca Raton, Fla.
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