1973 British Open: Weiskopf Keeps Cool for Win

Tom Weiskopf, winner of the 1973 British Open, kisses the Claret Jug
Thumbs-up and a kiss for the trophy from 1973 British Open winner Tom Weiskopf. Arthur Jones/Getty Images

A man who didn't come close to making the cut provided one of the thrills of the 1973 British Open. Seventy-one-year-old Gene Sarazen aced the famed "Postage Stamp" hole - No. 8 at Royal Troon - during his opening round of 79. Sarazen followed with a second-round 81, but that hole-in-one by a 71-year-old legend on such a famous hole remains a part of British Open lore.

The winner of the 1973 British Open was Tom Weiskopf.

The tall, long-hitting Weiskopf had long been thought of as someone who should be competing for majors. And compete he did; among other things, Weiskopf shares the record for most runner-up finishes (4) at The Masters Tournament. But he managed to get into the win column here, in what proved to be his only major championship title.

Weiskopf opened with rounds of 68 and 67. Jack Nicklaus wasn't far behind with 69-70, but a third-round 76 knocked Nicklaus out of the mix (he did post 65 in the final round to finish fourth).

Johnny Miller was one behind Weiskopf entering the final round, but Weiskopf - who had a reputation for losing his cool - stayed in control of both his emotions and his game, shooting 70 to Miller's 72. That made Weiskopf's margin of victory three strokes over Miller and Neil Coles (who closed with a 66).

Lee Trevino was going for his third consecutive win in this major, but shot 73 or higher the first three rounds.

A final-round 68 did get him into a tie for 10th place.

Christy O'Connor Sr., one of Europe's best golfers since the 1950s and a 10-time Ryder Cup team member, finished tied for seventh. He never won the Open, and this was his final Top 10 finish.

The 1973 British Open was the last one to use the slightly smaller "British ball." By 1974, the R&A and USGA had finally agreed to a single measurement for the golf ball, adopting a 1.68-inch standard.

1973 British Open Golf Tournament Scores

Results from the 1973 British Open golf tournament played at the par-71 Troon Golf Club in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland (a-amateur):

Tom Weiskopf68-67-71-70--276
Johnny Miller70-68-69-72--279
Neil Coles71-72-70-66--279
Jack Nicklaus69-70-76-65--280
Bert Yancey69-69-73-70--281
Peter Butler71-72-74-69--286
Bob Charles73-71-73-71--288
Lanny Wadkins71-73-70-74--288
Christy O'Connor73-68-74-73--288
Harold Henning73-73-73-70--289
Lee Trevino75-73-73-68--289
Brian Barnes76-67-70-76--289
Gay Brewer76-71-72-70--289
Tony Jacklin75-73-72-70--290
Arnold Palmer72-76-70-72--290
Doug McClelland76-71-69-74--290
Gary Player76-69-76-69--290
Eddie Polland74-73-73-72--292
Bernard Gallacher73-69-75-75--292
Hugh Baiocchi75-74-69-74--292
Hugh Boyle75-75-69-73--292
David Good75-74-73-70--292
Dave Hill75-74-74-69--292
Peter Wilcock71-76-72-73--292
Bruce Crampton71-76-73-72--292
Bruce Devlin72-78-71-71--292
Peter Oosterhuis80-71-69-72--292
Chi Chi Rodriguez72-73-73-75--293
Roberto De Vicenzo72-75-74-72--293
Doug Sanders79-72-72-70--293
Bob Wynn74-71-76-73--294
Tommy Horton75-70-73-76--294
Craig Defoy76-75-70-73--294
Peter Thomson76-75-70-73--294
Graham Marsh74-71-78-71--294
Ewen Murray79-71-73-71--294
Vince Baker72-74-75-74--295
David Vaughan78-70-72-75--295
a-Danny Edwards75-75-71-75--296
Philip Elson75-75-72-74--296
Baldovino Dassu75-75-73-73--296
Kel Nagle74-76-73-73--296
Dale Hayes76-72-73-75--296
Donald Gammon76-70-76-74--296
Guy Wolstenholme77-72-75-72--296
Harry Bannerman73-75-75-74--297
David Webster73-76-72-76--297
Maurice Moir76-75-70-76--297
John Fourie76-73-74-75--298
Bernard Hunt76-74-74-74--298
Ronnie Shade75-73-76-75--299
Peter Alliss76-71-76-76--299
David Jagger76-74-74-75--299
John McTear76-74-71-78--299
Peter Townsend79-73-71-77--300
David Huish74-73-76-78--301
Bill Murray78-71-74-78--301
Richard Lambert78-74-72-77--301
David Dunk73-74-74-82--303
Gunnar Mueller76-70-78-71--295

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