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Twelve years after the largely

unheralded journeyman Todd

Hamilton snatched the Claret

Jug from the grasp of former

winner Ernie Els, the Open

Championship makes a long-

awaited return to Scotland’s

west coast, and more

specifically, Royal Troon, for

a ninth occasion.

Few would consider the




essentially succeeded nearby

Prestwick on the revered

rotation during the 1920s, as

being their favourite venue,

but it remains an extremely




seaside golf, particularly the

formidable back-nine, which

is likely to provide a fearsome

conclusion to the 145



if there is any semblance of

breeze in the wearied faces

of those in contention. There

is little to dislike about Troon,

but it lacks the romantic

charm of the other venues.

Unless, you are American.

Since 1962, when Arnold

Palmer, whose appearances

in Britain rejuvenated golf’s

oldest major, successfully

defended the title he had won

12 months previously at Royal

Birkdale, there has been an

inexplicable dominance on

this respected old course by

golfers from the United States.

Troon’s next championship, in

1973, would be remembered

for two reasons; it was the only

major title secured by sweet-

swinging Tom Weiskopf, and

it also saw the great Gene

Sarazen, in his 72



make a farewell hole-in-one

on the famed eighth hole

during the first round.

In 1982, Tom Watson found

success at Troon, clinching

his fourth victory by a

solitary shot from England’s

Royal Troon

Has aHistoryof

American Winners


Kieran Clark

NWO Golf Links