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 Weiskopf 68-67-71-70--276
Johnny Miller 70-68-69-72--279
Neil Coles 71-72-70-66--279
Jack Nicklaus 69-70-76-65--280
Bert Yancey 69-69-73-70--281
Peter Butler 71-72-74-69--286
Bob Charles 73-71-73-71--288
Lanny Wadkins 71-73-70-74--288
Christy O'Connor 73-68-74-73--288
Harold Henning 73-73-73-70--289
Lee Trevino 75-73-73-68--289
Brian Barnes 76-67-70-76--289
Gay Brewer 76-71-72-70--289
Tony Jacklin 75-73-72-70--290
Arnold Palmer 72-76-70-72--290
Doug McClelland 76-71-69-74--290
Gary Player 76-69-76-69--290
Eddie Polland 74-73-73-72--292
Bernard Gallacher 73-69-75-75--292
Hugh Baiocchi 75-74-69-74--292
Hugh Boyle 75-75-69-73--292
David Good 75-74-73-70--292
Dave Hill 75-74-74-69--292
Peter Wilcock 71-76-72-73--292
Bruce Crampton 71-76-73-72--292
Bruce Devlin 72-78-71-71--292
Peter Oosterhuis 80-71-69-72--292
Chi Chi Rodriguez 72-73-73-75--293
Roberto De Vicenzo 72-75-74-72--293
Doug Sanders 79-72-72-70--293
Bob Wynn 74-71-76-73--294
Tommy Horton 75-70-73-76--294
Craig Defoy 76-75-70-73--294
Peter Thomson 76-75-70-73--294
Graham Marsh 74-71-78-71--294
Ewen Murray 79-71-73-71--294
Vince Baker 72-74-75-74--295
David Vaughan 78-70-72-75--295
a-Danny Edwards 75-75-71-75--296
Philip Elson 75-75-72-74--296
Baldovino Dassu 75-75-73-73--296
Kel Nagle 74-76-73-73--296
Dale Hayes 76-72-73-75--296
Donald Gammon 76-70-76-74--296
Guy Wolstenholme 77-72-75-72--296
Harry Bannerman 73-75-75-74--297
David Webster 73-76-72-76--297
Maurice Moir 76-75-70-76--297
John Fourie 76-73-74-75--298
Bernard Hunt 76-74-74-74--298
Ronnie Shade 75-73-76-75--299
Peter Alliss 76-71-76-76--299
David Jagger 76-74-74-75--299
John McTear 76-74-71-78--299
Peter Townsend 79-73-71-77--300
David Huish 74-73-76-78--301
Bill Murray 78-71-74-78--301
Richard Lambert 78-74-72-77--301
David Dunk 73-74-74-82--303
Gunnar Mueller 76-70-78-71--295