1982 British Open: Clampett Goes to Pot, Watson Wins His 4th

Tom Watson of the USA celebrates after winning the British Open played at Royal Troon in Scotland
Tom Watson acknowledges the fans after winning the 1982 British Open. Bob Martin/Getty Images

The 1982 British Open was the occasion of Tom Watson's fourth victory in this championship, but is also remembered for Bobby Clampett's demise in a pothole bunker.

Clampett was a 22-year-old hotshot of whom big things were expected. He finished third at the 1982 U.S. Open a month earlier. At Royal Troon, he opened with a 67 and followed that with a 66 to take a 5-stroke lead over Nick Price at the midway point.

Clampett opened the third round strong, adding two more strokes to his lead. But on the sixth hole, Clampett's drive rolled into a pot bunker and it took him three swings to get the ball out of the bunker.

Clampett wound up shooting 78 that day, although he managed to hold onto a 1-stroke lead. But in the final round, Clampett added a 77, and wound up 10th (tied with Jack Nicklaus, who posted his final Top 10 finish in a British Open).

Watson began the final round three strokes behind Clampett, who was one ahead of Price. But the Price of 1982 wasn't the same golfer who was one of the best in the world in the early 1990s. This Nick Price had only one win on the European Tour and none on the PGA Tour.

But as Clampett's collapse continued, it was the unproven Price who took advantage. When Price birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th holes of the final round, he held a three-stroke lead.

Then Price went off the rails, too.

He was 4-over par over the final six holes.

Watson wasn't doing anything spectacular, but he didn't have to. Watson played steadily, finished with a 2-under 70, and that was good enough to win his fourth British Open title. Price finished second, a stroke behind, tied with Peter Oosterhuis.

Watson had won the 1982 U.S. Open one month earlier.

This was his seventh career major (he won one more) and the 32nd of his 39 career PGA Tour wins. Watson was just the fifth golfer to this point to win the U.S. and British opens in the same year.

1982 British Open Golf Tournament Scores

Results from the 1982 British Open golf tournament played on the par-72 Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland (a-amateur):

Tom Watson69-71-74-70--284$54,400
Nick Price69-69-74-73--285$32,810
Peter Oosterhuis74-67-74-70--285$32,810
Massy Kuramoto71-73-71-71--286$18,700
Nick Faldo73-73-71-69--286$18,700
Des Smyth70-69-74-73--286$18,700
Tom Purtzer76-66-75-69--286$18,700
Fuzzy Zoeller73-71-73-70--287$14,875
Sandy Lyle74-66-73-74--287$14,875
Jack Nicklaus77-70-72-69--288$12,495
Bobby Clampett67-66-78-77--288$12,495
Sam Torrance73-72-73-71--289$10,710
Seve Ballesteros71-75-73-71--290$9,180
Bernhard Langer70-69-78-73--290$9,180
Ben Crenshaw74-75-72-70--291$6,630
Denis Watson75-69-73-74--291$6,630
Curtis Strange72-73-76-70--291$6,630
Raymond Floyd74-73-77-67--291$6,630
Ken Brown70-71-79-72--292$4,930
Isao Aoki75-69-75-74--293$4,250
Toru Nakamura77-68-77-71--293$4,250
Johnny Miller71-76-75-72--294$3,740
Bill Rogers73-70-76-75--294$3,740
Jose Maria Canizares71-72-79-72--294$3,740
Bernard Gallacher75-71-74-75--295$3,315
Graham Marsh76-76-72-71--295$3,315
Greg Norman73-75-76-72--296$2,720
David Graham73-70-76-77--296$2,720
Arnold Palmer71-73-78-74--296$2,720
Lee Trevino78-72-71-75--296$2,720
Jay Haas78-72-75-71--296$2,720
Mark Thomas72-74-75-76--297$2,040
Larry Nelson77-69-77-74--297$2,040
Mike Miller74-72-78-73--297$2,040
David J. Russell72-72-76-78--298$1,416
Paul Way72-75-78-73--298$1,416
Brian Barnes75-69-76-78--298$1,416
Eamonn Darcy75-73-78-72--298$1,416
Craig Stadler71-74-79-74--298$1,416
Jack Ferenz76-69-80-73--298$1,416
Harold Henning74-74-76-75--299$1,105
Gary Player75-74-76-75--300$1,105
Terry Gale76-74-75-75--300$1,105
a-Malcolm Lewis74-74-77-75--300 
Bob Shearer73-72-81-74--300$1,105
Neil Coles73-73-72-82--300$1,105
Roger Chapman75-76-74-76--301$1,105
Brian Waites75-77-73-76--301$1,105
Bill Longmuir77-72-77-75--301$1,105
Tienie Britz81-70-74-76--301$1,105
Hsu Sheng San75-75-75-77--302$1,105
Manuel Pinero75-75-74-78--302$1,105
Mark James74-73-79-76--302$1,105
Mark McNulty76-74-76-77--303$1,020
Peter Townsend76-73-76-78--303$1,020
Keith Waters73-78-71-81--303$1,020
Martin Poxon74-70-78-81--303$1,020
Philip Harrison78-74-74-78--304$1,020
Michael King73-78-74-80--305$1,020
Mike Cahill73-76-77-80--306$1,020