Tom Watson surprised many with his victory in his first British Open championship. But this should not have been that astonishing given that Watson’s game was well suited for the shot making needed on the links style courses that are part of the British Open rotation. His strengths at putting and scrambling served him well on these demanding courses.
To notch his first Open Championship in 1975 at Carnoustie, Watson had to sink a 20 foot putt on the 72nd hole to tie Australian Jack Newton to force a playoff. He then won the 18 hole playoff by 1 stroke.
Watson won again at Turnberry in 1977. He defeated Jack Nicklaus in an epic duel that many in the golf world consider to be one of the most memorable of all major championships. The two so dominated the tournament that the third place finisher, Hubert Green, ended 11 shots back of Watson and 10 behind Nicklaus.