1987: Nick Faldo wins The Open Championship at Muirfield; par’s 18 holes in a row


Nick Faldo wins his 1st major at Murifield in ’87

July 19th, 1987 marked the date Nick Faldo would hoist his 1st Claret Jug, and win his first major championship for that matter.  Faldo parred eighteen holes in a row edging Paul Azinger by just a stroke. It was the first of Faldo’s six major championships.  It was the first win at The Open by an Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1969.

“It may look conservative on the scoreboard, but I think it was aggressive.”

-Nick Faldo

Australian Rodger Davis had the early lead int he event, shooting an opening round of -7 under, 64.  Both Azinger and Faldo shot respectable three under par, 68’s.  It was Azinger who would emerge from the pack shooting another 68 in the second round which gave him a one stroke advantage over Faldo, Davis, and Payne Stewart.

The Par Machine: Nick Faldo

Azinger lead by one shot entering the final round with Faldo & David Frost behind him. After tolerable weather conditions for the first two days, the final two rounds were played in a storm of wind and rain. Azinger had a three stroke lead at the turn which was soon cut to one, where it remained through 16 holes. Using a driver at the par-5 17th, he found a fairway bunker off the tee and bogeyed.

Now tied with Faldo, Azinger’s approach shot from the fairway on 18 found the left greenside bunker and led to another bogey. In the pairing just ahead, Faldo collected his 18th straight par to seal the deal.  Faldo

The Change with Leadbetter

In the mid 1980’s Faldo sought swing advice from David Leadbetter who helped him rebuild it. Leadbetter felt that although Faldo’s swing “looked beautiful,” and had “marvelous rhythm,” it “camouflaged a number of faults”. After a series of setbacks, Faldo’s efforts paid off in May 1987, when he won the Peugeot Spanish Open, his first European Tour victory since 1984. Faldo said that this was the turning point for not only his confidence but his career.

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