1977 Duel in the Sun Crowned The Open's Greatest Finish

The Duel in the Sun saw Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus for his second of five Open wins

Duel in the Sun

The Duel in the Sun between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1997 has been voted The Open's greatest finish in Glenmorangie's vote

1977 Duel in the Sun Crowned The Open's Greatest Finish

After two months of voting for The Open's greatest finish, Glenmorangie, The Spirit of The Open, has announced that 1977's Duel in the Sun came up trumps.

The Duel in the Sun saw two of the game's greats, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, go toe-to-toe over the final 36 holes which Watson won by a stroke.

Watson's 65, to Nicklaus' 66, saw him end at 12-under-par, one clear of Nicklaus and 11 clear of third placed Herbert Green.

This comes immediately after the 2016 Open where Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson's battle was compared to 1977 at Turnberry.

Stenson shot a final round 63, to Mickelson's 65, to win by three strokes. It was the best final round score in a major by a winner as the Swede finished 14 shots clear of third placed JB Holmes.

Duel in the sun

Stenson and Mickelson's 'duel' was every bit as good as Turnberry in 1977 (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Marc Hoellinger, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, commented: “We have been delighted with the public’s reaction to this debate. The Open’s Greatest Finishes campaign has seized the imagination of golf aficionados worldwide and sparked a lot of interesting conversations. We at Glenmorangie know all about great finishes through our award-winning whisky and recognise the ‘Duel In the Sun’ to be well-deserving of the title of The Open’s Greatest Finish.”

Full breakdown of The Open’s Greatest Finishes:

1970, St Andrews - Jack Nicklaus defeats Doug Sanders by a single stroke in their mammoth 18-hole play off

1972, Muirfield - Lee Trevino lands his second Open title in a tight finish ahead of Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus , chipping in on the penultimate hole to secure a crucial par

1977, Turnberry – Tom Watson edges out Jack Nicklaus in a titanic battle forever referred to as the ‘Duel in the Sun’

1984, St. Andrews – Seve Ballesteros ends the challenge of Tom Watson by holing a magic 15ft putt on the 18th before rejoicing with the iconic fist pump celebration

1995, St. Andrews – Constantino Rocca produced one of the truly great shots in the history of The Open at the 72nd hole of The Open, sinking an uphill put from the edge of the green to force a play-off with John Daly

1999, Carnoustie – Jean Van De Velde's meltdown, wasting a three-shot advantage on the final hole which included visiting the Barry Burn before losing in a three-way play-off to Paul Lawrie

2000, St. Andrews – Tiger Woods completes the career Grand Slam by obliterating a stellar field to win by eight shots, breaking a multitude of records in the process

2007, Carnoustie – Padraig Harrington comes from six shots behind on the final day to defeat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff after Sergio fails to make a par on the 18th

2009, Turnberry – 59-year-old Tom Watson wound back the clock and set up a golfing fairytale with a putt to win his sixth open, to the distress of all he missed and duly lost out in a four-hole play-off to Stewart Cink

2013, Muirfield – Phil Mickelson charged through the field, posting a round of 66 on the final day, which in included four fantastic birdies in the final six holes

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x