As golf oldest Major beckons at Royal Birkdale in Southport, Merseyside from July 20-23 we’re looking back at the unforgettable moments of drama that unfolded during the nine previous occasions the famous venue has hosted The Open. 

 

Miller finishes fast as Seve arrives 

MILLER

 

In 1976, when Johnny Miller was on his game, there was nobody on the planet who could match him. But for the first three days, it appeared that nobody had told a relatively unknown Spaniard by the name of Severiano Ballesteros.

The field at Royal Birkdale also included such esteemed luminaries as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Tony Jacklin. but the 19-year old from Pedrena delighted the galleries with his fearless and audacious play. Seve shot 69 to share lead with Christy O’Connor Jnr and Norio Suzuki after round one and repeated the score on day two to go out in front on own, two shots clear of Miller. A third round 73 from the front two in blustery conditions saw the gap at the top remain the same before Seve went out and birdied the opening hole of the final round to lead by three.

Cheeky Seve

But he had a wobble over the next 10 holes which included a double bogey at the sixth and a triple at the 11th as Miller found his rhythm. When the American followed a birdie at the 12th with an eagle at the 13th he looked out of sight. Seve dug deep with birdies at 13 and 14 and an eagle of his own at 17 but Miller refused to rattle and birdied the final two holes to add the Claret Jug to his 1973 US Open win. Seve still made sure that he left the crowd with something to remember him by, producing one of the most iconic moments in Open history with a cheeky chip and run in between two bunkers protecting the 18th green to set up a closing birdie which secured a share of second place alongside Jack Nicklaus.

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