1985: Sandy Lyle wins The Open at Royal St. Georges; 1st Scot to win in 65 years
By: Josh Morris – On this day, In 1985 Sandy Lyle became the 1st Scotsman to win the Open in 65 years at Royal St. Georges in Sandwich, England. He triumphed to his 1st major title by besting American Payne Stewart by one stroke, shooting +2 for a 282 total. Stewart shot one of the lowest closing rounds of the field, a 68, in effort to catch the Scot. Lyle shot 68-71-73 with a final round of 70 which was enough for the win and £65,000.
Three years later, Lyle would add to his major resume by collecting a green jacket at the 1988 Masters with an amazing bunker blast on the final hole.
Sandy Lyle of Scotland holds the Claret Jug trophy after winning the British Open on 21 July 1985 at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England.
The last Scottish born player to win The Open before Lyle was George Duncan, who won the 55th Open at Royal Clinque Ports. This was a stark contrast to the early domination by the Scots earlier in the Open’s history. For instance, many of the first Open Championships had fields made up of entirely Scottish born golfers. From its inception in 1860 to 1889, only Scottish players won. It wasn’t until 1890 when Englishman John Ball became the first non-Scot to win the event.
Sad thing is that Lyle’s win technically came on English soil, that being in Sandwich, England. Scotland would have to wait until 1999 when Paul Lawrie over came Jean van de Velde & Justin Leonard to win any Carnoustie, Scotland. Lawrie, down by ten strokes at the start of the fourth round, completed the biggest final round comeback in major championship history, headlined by van de Velde’s triple-bogey at the last hole.
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